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Zion Tabernacle Meetings

Aug 9, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Media Release

166th Annual Zion Tabernacle Meetings

Sunday, August 6, 2017 – Thursday, August 10, 2017


The Pastor of Zion Evangelical United Methodist Church is Pastor Ed Newlan. The Church will hold its 166th annual camp meetings at Zion Oaks Tabernacle, 3271 Zion Oaks Road on Sunday, August 6, 2017 through Thursday, August 10, 2017; these meetings began back in 1852.  The building we use today was constructed in 1923.


Our Evangelist, Pastor Joel Cartwright, will speak each night at 7:00 p.m.  He is with us for the first time.  Pastor Joel graduated from Indiana Central University (now the University of Indianapolis) with a Bachelor’s degree in Theater.  He went on to Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, where he received his Master of Divinity… and met his wife, Rev. Donna B. Catlin, also a Master of Divinity graduate of CTS.  Joel also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Church Growth, Evangelism, and Missions from Asbury Seminary, in Wilmore, KY.  As of 2016, he is the Lead Pastor of the Pekin Grace United Methodist Church.  In addition to her seminary degree, Donna holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from Heidelburg University in Ohio, with a piano major, and voice and violin minors.  Pastor Joel was born in La Harpe, IL, grew up in Galesburg, and attended Springfield High School.


Dr. Catlin’s theme for the week is: Let’s Quit Playing Church.  In addition, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Joel and Gary Motta (last year’s guest evangelist) will perform “The Backwoods Preacher”, a drama about the legendary, two-fisted circuit rider, Peter Cartwright, written in the 1980s by Gary Motta.  While Joel has preached as Peter Cartwright over 300 times in churches large and small, at the Illinois State Fair, in the Old and New State Capitols, the Illinois State Library, in historical settings and Chautauquas across the Midwest, and as far away as Poland, this is the first full performance of the play in over 30 years.


Each morning at 9:30 a.m., (10:30 a.m. on Sunday), Rev. Ralph Bauer, will lead a Bible Study.  Ralph is with us for the 16th consecutive year. Ralph and his wife Lila were farmers in the Pekin area and attended Groveland Zion as youths. It is a joy for Ralph to teach just a few feet from the altar where he came to know Christ as his Savior in this tabernacle in 1958. Ralph and Lila received their Bible training at Moody Bible Institute, and then spent 41 years in missionary work in the Appalachians of Kentucky and the Island of Trinidad, West Indies in a youth, church planting and teaching ministry.


This year we will be challenged by the Book of Philippians and blessed with its theme, “There is Joy in the Journey”, even when we go through difficult times.  Each person who attends the morning sessions will receive, in printed form, the messages on the four Chapters of Philippians.


At each evening service there will be special music and a volunteer choir each night.  Please come at 6:30 and join the choir. Everyone is welcome. Come with your friends and enjoy great music, great messages and great Christian fellowship.


For more information,

Call Jerry Clark: 309-256-3830 or email:

       Al Roe: 309-241-5807 or email:

       Martha Clark: 309-256-3831 or email:


      “Like” us on Facebook: Zion Church Tabernacle

Location: Zion Oaks Tabernacle, 3271 Zion Oaks Rd., Pekin, IL

Contact: Martha Clark

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