EDITORIAL: Congratulations Oklahoma Baptists
Some wondered if the day would ever come. Nearly 90 years of ministry had taken its toll on the facilities at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. With God’s help, could Oklahoma Baptists take an incredibly effective and powerful youth camp and make it even better?
By the late 1990s, the tabernacle had grown tired and worn, having endured years of extreme heat and exciting camp meetings. The infrastructure holding Falls Creek together was beginning to show wear and tear as well. It was obvious many cabins had seen better days. But Oklahoma Baptists were not asleep at the wheel. They recognized the responsibility God had placed in their hands, and they made the decision, by faith, to take Falls Creek to the next level of ministry when together they launched the Falls Creek, For the Sake of the Call capital campaign.
No doubt, God has worked miracles in the lives of the more than 2 million people who have attended Falls Creek since 1917. More Southern Baptist missionaries have received their call to ministry at Falls Creek than any other place on the planet. More than 200,000 have made decisions for Christ while attending Falls Creek. It is no wonder that Falls Creek has become the largest Christian youth encampment in the world, with as many as 14 percent of Oklahoma’s youth population attending every year.
Nearly 90,000 people visit Falls Creek each year. More than half of those visiting come for the annual youth camp. The balance is made up of those who attend the annual men’s retreat, women’s retreat, senior adult conference, Indian Falls Creek, children’s camps and one of the largest single adult conferences in the nation. Despite the challenge of operating primarily as an outdoor ministry facility in the past, Falls Creek has truly become a year-round ministry impacting thousands of lives every year.
As good as it has been at Falls Creek, Oklahoma Baptists have every reason to expect God has only just begun to reveal all He has planned in the lives of those who will make their way to Falls Creek in the future.
This summer proved to be a record year for Falls Creek in many ways. Summer camp attendance rose to an all time high of more than 54,000! Professions of faith reached a new record with more than 2,400 people accepting Christ as Savior. All said and done, total decisions peaked at 7,600, a new all-time record.
Congratulations Oklahoma Baptists for catching the vision and continuing the heritage for proclaiming the Gospel from the hills of the Arbuckle Mountains. If this summer is any indication as to what God is up to, then the praise report from Falls Creek is only going to lift higher and higher as updated ministry facilities, climate-controlled buildings and spirit-filled leaders serve as vessels for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
More than 8,000 families have sacrificed to make the new indoor Falls Creek tabernacle a reality. While lives are being changed, the opportunity to participate in the Falls Creek, For the Sake of the Call capital campaign continues. Some have purchased seats in the new auditorium in honor of loved ones; others have purchased pavers and stones to commemorate a special life event. The options for participating in the campaign are endless. The difference that Falls Creek will make in the lives of future generations is immeasurable.