Fairfield County - Camp Welfare Virtual Tour

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Camp Welfare was founded soon after the Civil War by the African Methodist Episcopal Church and has been located on its present site since at least 1876.

An early 20th century one-room school stood here until it closed in 1955, one year after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, calling for the desegregation of public schools.

The camp includes simple cabins called tents, arranged in a U-shape. The older tents, probably constructed around 1900, are wood frame. Some of the newer tents are constructed of concrete blocks.

The focal point of the camp is the arbor, a rough gable-roofed wooden shelter with benches where worship services are held.

Camp meetings have been held during the last week of August each year since 1876. Many of the families have continued to attend through several generations, passing their tents down through the family.

The site was deeded to Camp Welfare A.M.E. Zion Church in 1925, which is located on the site.