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Jordan gets to the heart of the ‘matter’ as he begins 16th year

DAVIS—As the skies darkened and clouds began to swirl across the Oklahoma landscape the afternoon of May 24, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony L. Jordan reflected on his 15 years as leader of the Convention as the BGCO Board of Directors met in regular session at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center.

Jordan, who celebrated his 62nd birthday in April, referenced a recent column he wrote for the Baptist Messenger in which he drew from Philippians 1, where Paul says “that they may learn what really matters.”

Jordan said he has thought about what he believes really matters, and he told the board he has compiled a list which includes four things: the Gospel, the local church, cooperation and, finally, leadership.

“I have always believed the Gospel matters, but I believe it more today than I ever have,” Jordan said. “We have as a group of churches joined together as a convention to do the work of the Kingdom of God forever and always centered around the Gospel . . . from the standpoint of our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel, whether it’s across the street to our neighbor, or in our home to one of our family members or in East Asia. One of the reasons I love Oklahoma Baptists is as I go across the state . . . I find people who love Jesus, who love the Gospel and who want to be a part of getting it to the ends of the Earth.

“Secondly, God has chosen to do His work through the local church. In fact, the Lord Jesus was the One who built His church, He is the one Who loves His church and died for it. He commissioned His church. Everything we are as the people of God boils down to our relationships within the local body of believers.

“Thirdly, cooperation really matters. We are independent people . . . . but when we do our best work, we do it together and there is a power and an incredible force unleashed whenever Oklahoma Southern Baptists lock arms and decide to walk forward together, and we can do things we could never accomplish as one church or as one individual Christian.

“Finally, I have come to the conclusion after all of these years that leadership matters. Passionate leaders make a difference; people who God has entrusted with a vision.

“Leaders have to live on the ragged edge of faith, and they have the ability to bring the right people around them to get the job done. Finally, leaders are tenacious. It’s one thing for God to give you a vision, but leaders are those who stand firm, no matter what kind of challenges come their way; they persevere until they get to the end of the road and victory is won.”

“I am a blessed man. I have a family who stands with me, and a wife who has walked alongside me for these 15 years—in fact 43 years, I should say. I have people who serve beside me; brilliant people, dedicated leaders . . . and godly, wonderful people all across this state who have risen to the task who believe in taking the Gospel to the ends of the Earth and accomplishing great things to the glory of God.”

In appreciation of Jordan’s 15 years of service as executive director-treasurer, the board approved a recommendation by its executive committee to grant him two additional weeks of vacation and an additional two weeks of study leave. He and his wife, Polla, also were presented with gifts during lunch.

In other action, the Board, meeting in the Jenny V. Massey Chapel in the tabernacle at Falls Creek, approved an increase in the gate fees for Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center to “$10 per day for BGCO churches ($50 per week) and $16 per day ($80 per week) for non-BGCO churches; and further, that income from the rate increase be designated for water treatment system and wastewater treatment system upgrades.”

The rate increase becomes effective in January 2012.

The money generated by the rate increase will help pay for the construction of the two water and wastewater treatment plants, which have been mandated by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

The water treatment plants must be relocated out of the 100-year floodplain and equipment must be upgraded to ensure treatment processes are not overloaded during peak summer months while providing a minimum of two units for all treatment processes.

The existing Falls Creek wastewater treatment facility is comprised of a single partially-aerated lagoon constructed in 1968. The camp-wide wastewater collection system includes approximately 2.6 miles of sanitary sewer lines connected with 63 manholes. Inspection and line testing has identified numerous areas where significant repairs to, or replacement of, the 43 year-old clay pipe is required.

The BGCO was notified by the ODEQ that current standards require at least two aerated lagoons, in series, followed by one settling lagoon.

The Board also approved a recommendation from the executive committee to limit the use of Convention mailing lists, labels and email to organizational use, except in specific instances; a request from the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma regarding a revision in the language in a previously-approved line of credit authorization to reflect the change in an executive level position title; that a study committee be approved by the president in consultation with the executive director-treasurer to study the Convention’s Constitution Articles II and III; that draft Constitution & Bylaws be adopted as amended and commended for adoption by messengers to the 2011 annual meeting of the BGCO after proper notice by publication in the Baptist Messenger; that the recording secretary be authorized to correct article and section designations, punctuation, typographical errors, misspellings, and cross-references and to make other such technical and conforming changes as may be necessary to reflect the intent of the convention in connection with the adoption of these amendments. Recommendations from the finance committee to amend the BGCO Personnel Policy Manual regarding email usage and employee pay periods also were approved.

Bob Nigh

Author: Bob Nigh

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