Peanut Butter festival begins with Brush Arbor singing

Published 3:00 am Saturday, October 18, 2014

The annual Peanut Butter Festival in Brundidge on the last Saturday in October kicks off on the prior Wedneday night with the Brush Arbor Singing at the Knox Ryals Pavilion on the grounds of the historic Bass House.

This year the community wide event will begin at 6 p.m. with the singing of the old familiar hymns. The Pike County High School choral group, directed by Wayne Duckworth, will be the featured group and will lead the singing.

Bleachers will be set up but those who would like to bring lawn chairs are invited to do so. Lawn chairs placed to the side or in front of the bleachers provide a better vantage point.

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The Brush Arbor Singing is sponsored annually by First National Bank of Brundidge. The bank employees will serve light refreshments before the Brush Arbor singing begins.

Everyone is invited to join the singing and make this a special time for all those who come to worship in song.

Brush Arbor meetings, sometimes called protracted meetings, or camp meetings, began in the late 1700s and continued into the mid 1900s. Itinerant ministers or circuit riding preachers would travel from place to place and would often send word ahead of their expected time of arrival in a community. If there was no building, the people would quickly put up a brush arbor for a meeting place. It was usually located in a well-traveled area along the side of a road and everyone was welcome.

Lawrence Bowden, president of the Festival sponsor the Brundidge Historical Society, invites people back to the way it was during the heydays of the peanut butter mills. “Life was much simpler then and the Brush Arbor singings were simple but powerful and meaningful ways to worship as a community. Hopefully, we will find it that way again.”