Baptist convention will accept campground gift
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.
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.