Bap­tist con­ven­tion will ac­cept camp­ground gift

The Oklahoman - - NEWS - Re­li­gion Ed­i­tor chin­ton@ok­la­homan.com BY CARLA HIN­TON

On the heels of a big cel­e­bra­tion mark­ing the cen­ten­nial of Falls Creek, Ok­la­homa’s South­ern Bap­tists are pre­par­ing to ac­quire a large camp­ground in the eastern part of the state.

News of the con­ven­tion’s planned ac­qui­si­tion of the 199-acre Tu­lako­gee Camp and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Wagoner was shared at the Bap­tist Gen­eral Con­ven­tion of Ok­la­homa’s 2017 an­nual meet­ing Mon­day and Tues­day at Quail Springs Bap­tist Church, 14613 N May.

The Rev. An­thony Jor­dan, the con­ven­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor-trea­surer, told del­e­gates that the camp­ground will be given to the con­ven­tion by one of the Bap­tist as­so­ci­a­tions that helped build and run the fa­cil­ity over the years.

Tues­day, Jor­dan said the gift came with some debt and re­fur­bish­ments are needed. How­ever, he said in ac­cept­ing the camp­ground, the con­ven­tion’s board of di­rec­tors will launch a cam­paign to raise be­tween $3.5 mil­lion and $4 mil­lion that they deem nec­es­sary to im­prove the camp and pay off the debts.

Jor­dan said the Tu­lako­gee Camp is on U.S. Army Corp of En­gi­neers land on the shores of Fort Gib­son Lake. It in­cludes a mo­tel­style lodge and an in­door, air-con­di­tioned wor­ship cen­ter that seats 700 peo­ple.

He said the ac­qui­si­tion of the camp will fit the con­ven­tion’s mis­sion.

In Septem­ber, the con­ven­tion hosted two days of ac­tiv­i­ties at Falls Creek to com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the camp and con­fer­ence cen­ter near Davis.

At this week’s gath­er­ing, James Swain, Falls Creek di­rec­tor, told del­e­gates that sum­mer 2017 was his­toric in more ways than one for the pop­u­lar youth camp at Falls Creek, with 2,580 young peo­ple mak­ing pro­fes­sions of faith in Christ. The youth camp drew 54,448 to­tal at­ten­dees over the sum­mer.

“That is the most pro­fes­sion of faith in the his­tory of Falls Creek’s 100 years. God did a great work this sum­mer at Falls Creek,” he said.

While Falls Creek’s youth camp is geared to­ward teens, the con­ven­tion’s ad­ja­cent camp called Cross Tim­bers Chil­dren’s Mis­sion Ad­ven­ture Camp is fo­cused on ele­men­tary age youths.

Jor­dan called the Tu­lako­gee Camp “Cross Tim­bers East” when he ex­plained that youth mis­sions pro­gram­ming at the eastern Ok­la­homa camp will be the same as that at the Cross Tim­bers camp near Davis.

Cross Tim­bers was ex­panded when the con­ven­tion bought an ad­ja­cent camp from the Ok­la­homa Assem­blies of God in 2012.

“Ok­la­homa Bap­tists know how to do camp min­istry ef­fec­tively,” Jor­dan said Tues­day.

“We be­lieve in camp min­istry be­cause we have seen thou­sands of lives trans­formed in a camp set­ting.”

He said the Tu­lako­gee Camp will serve as an an­chor for the con­ven­tion’s camp min­istry in the Eastern part of the state.

Of­fi­cers are elected

Mean­while, del­e­gates to the con­ven­tion’s 111th an­nual meet­ing also elected the Rev. Joe Ligon, se­nior pas­tor of First Bap­tist Church of Mar­low, to a sec­ond one-year term as con­ven­tion pres­i­dent.

The Rev. Mike Keah­bone, se­nior pas­tor of Chero­kee Hills Bap­tist Church in Ok­la­homa City, was elected to serve a sec­ond one-year term as the con­ven­tion’s first vice pres­i­dent. The Rev. Steve Den­nis, se­nior pas­tor of First Bap­tist Church of Che­co­tah, was elected to serve his first one-year term as the con­ven­tion’s sec­ond vice pres­i­dent.

The Bap­tist Gen­eral Con­ven­tion of Ok­la­homa in­cludes 1,800 churches in Ok­la­homa, mak­ing up the largest Chris­tian de­nom­i­na­tion in the state.

[PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED]

The Tu­lako­gee Camp and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Wagoner in­cludes a mo­tel-style lodge.

The Tu­lako­gee Camp and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Wagoner is on the shores of Fort Gib­son Lake.

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