Church camp meeting began many years ago in the days of circuit riding missionaries. Preachers would ride their horses from ranch to ranch, preaching as they went, camping gear in tow. In those days, cowboys and settlers would come from around the area to hear the non-denominational preaching.
The first New Mexico camp meeting was in 1940 at Nogal Mesa. Nogal Mesa was chosen because the spot ''made you want to remove your hat.'' The views from this mesa at sunset are enough to make you take pause and pray as you enjoy church services overlooking the valley of Carrizozo, NM.
At the first camp meeting, cooking was done over an open fire and eating was done at picnic tables with benches; today, those traditions remain the same. However, a few things have changed. You may still see cowboy hats and boots, but most attendees are just regular folk from around the area and beyond.
Nogal Mesa Ranchmen's Camp Meeting welcomes everyone! All ages have some activity in which to participate. Camp Meeting runs the same week every year, begins the evening of the third Wednesday in July and runs through the following Sunday at noon. Buildings include a tabernacle, cook shack and open sided dining area, which retain their primitive feel. There is plenty of room for tents, RVs and camp trailers. Facilities include drinking water and porta-potties. There are no hookups for RVs.
We run on donations only, so there are no camping fees and no meal payment. No reservations are needed, just show up and have fun!
15 miles east of Carrizozo or 5 miles west of Capitan on US 380, then turn south at MM80 on Ranchman Campmeeting Road. From Ruidoso, take Hwy 48 to Hwy 37, north at MM7. Watch for Signs!