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Three Generations Enjoy United Camp Meeting Together

Updated: Jul 5

Left to right: Terrence Gibson, Debleaire Snell, Gianna Gibson, Emmanuella Gibson, Gianna Snell

Denise Darius, her daughter, Emmanuella Gibson, and granddaughter Gianna Gibson enjoyed United Camp Meeting together this year.  Amazingly, the family’s commitment to Adventist education played a part in bringing it all together.

“I’ve been coming to South Lancaster since my daughter was attending Atlantic Union College (AUC),” said Grandma Denise, “but I never really attended the meetings."

“We live five minutes from here,” said her daughter Emmanuella.  “But I wanted my daughter, Gianna, to have the camping experience.  So for the last two years we physically camped in a tent here with her Adventurers club from the Village church. 

“We talk to my mom [who lives in North Carolina] about it all the time and send her pictures when we’re here,” continued Emmanuella.  “She says, ‘I wish I could be there, too.’

Denise had never seen the campgrounds, so Emmanuella wanted to give her the tour.  “My mom’s visiting from North Carolina this week,” Emmanuella said, “so it lined up with camp meeting perfectly.”

Mother, daughter, and granddaughter arrived in the afternoon and walked the entire campgrounds.  The whole family also enjoyed the evening meetings with Debleaire Snell. They met Pastor Snell in person, and in a special moment, Gianna met his wife, whose name is also Gianna.  

“What I’m going to remember most is the meeting with Pastor Snell because I usually see him on TV!" said Denise, laughing joyfully.  “He’s a great teacher and a great orator.” 

"AUC is what brought us to this community,” explained Emmanuella.  Even three or four generations of her husband Terrence's family attended AUC, starting with West Indies College in Jamaica, then coming to AUC.

“This was my foundation,” Emmanuella said. “I grew here spiritually, and I was always really involved on campus and coming to camp meetings. I also sang in the choir.  Now I’m part of Kirosha Huggan’s adult community choir [who performed the first Sabbath of camp meeting], although I didn’t get to sing this Sabbath.  And Gianna is part of Kirosha’s King’s Kids Community Choir.”  Gianna, a third grader at South Lancaster Academy this fall, also continues the South Lancaster-based Adventist education tradition in her family.

“I’m thinking I would love to come and camp for one week,” mused Emmanuella. “It would be cool if Mom comes from North Carolina, and we line it up.”

Camp Meeting 2025, anyone?

Denise "Grandma" Darius with Breath of Life speaker, Debleaire Snell.

Gianna meets Gianna.

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