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    Set your calendars now for one of the biggest church events in southern Ohio. The Spring Jubilee camp meeting will be held at the Scioto County Fairgrounds in Lucasville, Ohio, from May 15-19, 2017.  This annual gathering is celebrating 21 years and has seen more than 400 souls saved.

    Last year, 32 churches from Scioto County and southern Pike County came together to support this gathering, and more than 150 different churches were represented.  The average nightly attendance in 2016 was nearly 1,600.

    Calvin Ray Evans

    It is presented by Evangelistic Outreach Ministries ( ) of New Boston. Calvin Ray Evans and Brian Baer, also the pastor and assistant pastor at Rubyville Community Church, are the main evangelists this year with a special visit on Friday night by CT Townsend.  Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, CT and his family now live in Andersonville, S.C.  He preached in the 2016 Burlington revival in North Carolina —a revival that began on Mother’s Day and ran for 12 consecutive weeks!  (Note: This tent revival is kicking off again today.  For more information, go to

    Karen Peck and New River, winner of four Dove awards for Southern Gospel Group and recipient of five Grammy nominations. Karen Peck has won 11 Favorite Soprano Fan Awards from the Singing News Magazine. They have had over 15 number one hits.

    Jubilee also offers some fantastic singing every night from nationally known Southern Gospel artists.

    This year’s lineup is:

    Monday: The McKameys ( )
    Tuesday: Karen Peck & New River (
    Wednesday: The Primitive Quartet ( )
    Thursday: Mike Blanton & Evidence (
    Friday: CT & Becky Townsend (

    The camp meeting began back in 1996 when Bob Alexander, pastor at Miller’s Run Church in Lucasville, approached Calvin Ray with the idea.  At the time, he and his father, the late Calvin Evans, held an annual fall revival in the hills of Pedro, Ohio, just north of Ironton, and Bob wanted to have one in Scioto County as well.

    “I told him to pray about it, and if he could get eight churches in the area to pray for it and support it, we would do it,” said Calvin Ray.  Bob partnered with Ed Cox, pastor of Minford Community Church, and in less than a week, they gathered endorsements from a dozen local churches.  Soon, Spring Jubilee was born.

    The first few years, attendees met in the 4-H building at the Scioto County Fairgrounds.  It was the biggest building located on the grounds at that time, and it was filled with people the first night.  A few years later, the fairgrounds built the Pavilion, and services were moved there which increased capacity by several hundred more people.

    Last year, 32 churches from Scioto County and southern Pike County came together to support this gathering, and more than 150 different churches were represented.  The average nightly attendance in 2016 was nearly 1,600.

    “The impact is great to our region,” said Evans.  “The vast majority of those who are converted go into the churches that attend and support the meeting.  So our local churches have gained some wonderful folks in their church families as a result.”  He adds that it is the largest attended week-long service in the area for a religious meeting of this nature and has been for many years now.

    Brian Baer

    The record crowd for one night’s attendance is 2500.  This happened a few years ago on the night the McKameys first debuted along with the Cruse Boys.  The McKameys are now on the schedule every year.

    In the event’s early stages, Calvin Ray and his father usually did the preaching along with a few other guest preachers such as Billy Fields and Jack Lassiter.  The late Harold Patrick played piano for the first several years as well.  “God has given us great ministers over the years and wonderful talent,” said Calvin Ray.  More recently, Mike Blanton and Jacob Berry of Miami, Oklahoma, have preached as well. (Sidebar: Jacob just got engaged to be married. See more about him at