DAVIS—The 100th summer began for the youth weeks at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Centers, June 5-9. The sun was shining and providing warm weather for Falls Creek’s first
week, which was a welcoming condition.
Jason Langley, director of conference centers for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), was pleased with the kickoff at Falls Creek, as the legendary campground provides new attractions while offering the same opportunity to encounter Christ.
“We want to make sure that people are safe, that they have a good time, and we want to make sure that they hear the Gospel,” Langley said, describing the intention of the whole Falls Creek staff. “They (the staff) are driven by making sure that kids hear the Gospel, so they have worked tirelessly to get everything functional from the new Icee stands, to getting electricity to where it needs to be, to coffee machines where they need to go, to getting product and shelving for the gift shop to be put together.”
Most of these tasks Langley mentioned refer to the operational workings of the new Centennial Plaza that is located in the central gathering area at Falls Creek, across from the Mathena Family Event Center. The Falls Creek staff, both full-time and seasonal, have worked especially hard, even through minor setbacks from recent storms.
Langley, though, is happy how everything was operational for the opening week of Falls Creek youth camps.
“It’s just a reminder of how great the staff is, working to have everything ready for camp,” Langley said. “We have ‘set the table,’ so that people can meet the Lord and have that experience many have had over the years.”
Jordan encourages campers to ‘tell
Anthony Jordan, BGCO executive director-treasurer, made sure people had the opportunity to experience Christ as he was the Week One speaker at Falls Creek. On opening night, he challenged everyone sitting in the Tabernacle to share their story. He wanted them to be able to tell others how they became a follower of Christ.
Jordan said he would speak to campers whom he met on the campgrounds during the day and ask them to share with him their story. This was a significant experience for Jordan, who had high expectations for Falls Creek when he became BGCO’s leader in 1986.
“Dr. Jordan gave the vision for this place almost 20 years ago.” Langley said, “To see the completion of that (vision) and then get up and share the Gospel in this place during a 100-year celebration is a fulfillment of legacy.”
Sharing the Gospel is what Jordan did every night during the first week. On Tuesday night, June 6, the first night that Falls Creek offers a formal invitation for campers to make public decisions, Jordan spoke on the parable of the sower in Luke 8.
He referenced how some in the Tabernacle that night would reflect what the parable described as hard soil. “Tonight, there are people here who hear the Gospel,” Jordan said. “It will land on your heart, but it’s going to bounce off. Some will ignore what the preacher is saying tonight.”
Jordan said some would be like the shallow soil, and some would be like the thorny soil. “God is not calling you to a new high, a new experience. He’s calling you to Himself.”
He addressed campers directly about what Satan wanted for them. “There is a spiritual warfare going on in your very soul,” Jordan said with his booming voice. “Because Satan wants to blind you to the Gospel. He wants to cause you to turn away from the Gospel, and here’s the reason why. Because Satan does not want you to believe in Jesus Christ, and he does not want you to be saved. He wants you to stay on His side.”
That first invitational time experienced 271 total decisions for Christ, including 140 professions of faith, nine assurances of salvation, 101 restorations, 11 special needs/other decisions and 10 committing to ministry. And many more decisions happened throughout the week, and will continue through the following seven weeks.
And so begins the 100th summer experience at Falls Creek.