Fifty-one years ago, George and Lucy Havens began an outdoor tent revival on a ranch outside of Santa Anna. George Havens, a diminutive Hollywood stuntman turned evangelist, traveled across the country and around the world preaching, but always returned to his place of birth for the annual Cowboy Camp Meeting at the Flying H Acres.
The 2017 Cowboy Camp Meeting is now entering its final weekend, with services tonight, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m., with a Bible study at 6 before the main sermon begins.
Ruben Hernandez is the cowboy camp director. He said the camp’s preachers and musicians generally come from Cowboy Churches across the region. “Little George Havens had a dream of doing this 51 years ago,” Hernandez said. “Through the years, his wife has continued on. George has been gone about 30 years, but his wife has picked up the reins and done a good job of keeping it going.”
Lucy Havens and the Little George Havens Evangelistic Association recently took over ownership of the camp again after eight years under the Fellowship of Cowboy Churches. Havens said the Cowboy Camp Meeting inspired the hundreds of Cowboy Churches that now dot the state and region.
“We’ve been having sweet services,” Hernandez said. “I think it’s been really good, and it’s just a good time to fellowship out here.”
The services are still outdoors under a bright red-and-white tent. “We’re thankful that God has sent a breeze in the nightly services and kind of kept it comfortable,” he said.
The goal of the meetings, he said, is to bring non-believers to know Christ and to replenish the spirit of Christians with fellowship and community. “I’ve heard people say, ‘Why do we need to have a revival meeting? They don’t last!’ You know how I answer that? ‘Why do you take a bath? It doesn’t last.’ But we need to do that. We need to be refreshed,” Hernandez said.
Now 93, Havens is still on fire for the Lord. She said every new Christian makes the 10-day camp worthwhile. “We just have a good time,” she said. “And our business is to lead souls to the Lord.”
The Flying H Acres is located at 11459 Hwy. 283 between Santa Anna and Coleman.