Church of the Week: The Seaside Pavilion, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

The Seaside Pavilion was built in 1998 in the location where, since 1885, Salvation Army Camp Meetings have been conducted in the southern Maine resort town of Old Orchard Beach. The lovely Robin and I vacationed in Old Orchard Beach multiple times when our children were young, and loved the old pavilion where outdoor services were held, with tall evergreens shading the grove, some of them still growing in amongst the benches where people sat.

This new pavilion was dedicated in July 1998 by none other than President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush. It is still surrounded by stately white pine trees and nestled in the middle of what is now known as the “old camp meeting grounds neighborhood." But there are no more pines in the middle of the seats.

In addition to the great summer camp meetings, which still draw Salvationists from all over the country, the Seaside Pavilion now also hosts an impressive schedule of artists and guests such as Ricky Skaggs, Mark Lowry, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

While we'll miss the old grove where we enjoyed some awesome camp meetings and speakers, and the tabernacle, where I devoured the Bible studies led by such teachers as now-Commissioner Bill Francis, Dr. Roger Green, and Col. Henry Gariepy, we really should get back to OOB sometime soon. Maybe next year. It's a special place.

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