Members of the board of directors of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma adopted a $24.6 million budget for 2008, approved a new name for the Oklahoma Children’s Mission Camp, voted for revised Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center registration fees and extended the convention’s partnership with Guanajuato, Mexico during their Sept. 25 meeting at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City.
The proposed budget for 2008, which must be approved by messengers to the annual state convention in November, will be distributed 60 percent to Oklahoma and 40 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention.
During the summer of 2008, the new children’s camp, combining the ministries of Camps Nunny Cha-ha and Hudgens, will become CrossTimbers, the new name reflecting the cross and the more than 500 acres of trees at Camp Hudgens.
The Falls Creek registration fees, which were last increased four years ago, will go up $1 per day.
The partnership of Oklahoma Baptists with Guanajuanto was extended an additional two years, ending Dec. 31, 2009.
In other business, the board voted that Falls Creek no longer provide a grocery store and that the area vacated by the grocery store be used to provide needed programming and office space for the camp.
Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony L. Jordan said the grocery store didn’t make a lot of profit, but the items that did make money would be transferred to the concessions area for purchase there.
The board also approved a guest Internet access policy and a committee to study the make-up of the board of directors and the length of terms for all boards of the convention.
Also approved was the 2006 audit report, prepared and presented by Eide Bailly, CPAs.
In an earlier work session, President Alton Fannin, pastor of Ardmore, First, proposed a means of paying off the $5 million unpledged balance on the Falls Creek tabernacle.
Fannin, who said it is a strategy he wanted to personally share, challenged Oklahoma Baptists who have been blessed by Falls Creek to give a one-time gift of $100.
“I’m a simple person with a simple plan to raise $5 million,” Fannin said. “I once heard Lyle Garlow say ‘tell the people and trust the Lord.’ I’m just asking people to share their blessing, share $100 and send the check to the Falls Creek campaign.”
Fannin said he attends a civic club where members are given an opportunity to share a blessing from the past week. But to do so, they have to put $1 in the blessing bucket.
“If 55,000 Baptists will give $100 for a blessing they received at Falls Creek, we can raise the needed money,” he said.
Fannin said no one will be added to the Falls Creek data base, no phone calls will be made and the cancelled check will serve as the receipt.
“I feel if we tell the people and trust the Lord, that is all that is required,” he said.
Fannin, pulling a $100 bill out of his billfold, he said he has carried since 1978, challenged the board members to be the first to give to The Blessing. As he did so, several board members approached him with $100 bills and checks.
In his address to the board, Jordan shared that the $2.5 million overage from last year’s budget has gone to extend ministries across the nation and around the world to penetrate lostness.
“As the Across Oklahoma campaign grew larger, we used $65,000 to provide additional materials,” he explained.
He said Oklahoma Baptists helped their partnership states of Utah-Idaho with a conference and a down payment on some land for a church plant.
“We are getting ready to send a van to Guerrero, Mexico,” he said. “And we’ve provided money for finishing some apartments and funding a church planting professor at the seminary.”
In the convention’s partnership country of Armenia, money was used to help the church in Yerevan purchase a building where the church can meet, where volunteers can stay, where people can be trained for ministry and where a medical clinic can be housed.
“We have seen an increase in what churches have given to the Cooperative Program over the last two years,” noted Jordan. “The national average is 6.4 percent, but our churches are up to 9.7 percent. In addition, we gave 40.81 percent beyond Oklahoma.
“Because of the generosity of Oklahoma Baptists and the ability to use their gifts beyond Oklahoma, we can participate in helping impact lostness around the world.”