Above: The worship band Rivers led times of worship in song during Fall Back at Falls Creek.
DAVIS—Falls Creek Baptist Conference Centers hosted Fall Back Weekend, Oct. 15-16, offering a unique setting for church youth groups to experience at the campground in the Arbuckle Mountains.
A common perspective of Falls Creek is seeing thousands of students all over the encampment, enjoying summer activities, gathering for Bible studies, learning about missions and meeting in the Tabernacle for powerful worship services.
Fall Back was different from the summer weeks, but the weekend retreat was enjoyable with 52 churches represented and 1,020 people in attendance.
“Many youth pastors told me they really had a great time,” said Andy Harrison, director of Oklahoma Baptists Conference Centers. “They love the retreat atmosphere. It’s laid back. The schedule has just enough programming in it that makes it valuable in that regard. But it also allows enough free time that they’re able to interact with their students in a way they want to in a retreat environment.”
Mike Keahbone, pastor of Lawton, First, was the Fall Back speaker. Rivers was the worship band, which led inspiring times of worship in the Tabernacle. Keahbone mentioned the praise and worship time during his opening message of Fall Back.
“I know there are believers here,” Keahbone said. “I know because of how you sung those words. It was powerful. It caused my heart to fill up with lots of joy.
“Some of you singing those words, you mean them. You really do love God, but you’re not in a great place with God. You sang them because, even though you haven’t been living like you’re supposed to, you know He still loves you.
“And there are some of you,” Keahbone continued, “listening to these songs, reading the words on the screen, and you’re really not sure how to process or what to do. I will tell you this, the God of this universe loves you so much. If you don’t know Him as Lord and Savior, He wants to save your soul.”
On Saturday morning, Fall Back participants observed a campus-wide prayer experience, with the intention of modeling the emphasis from Acts 1:8. Students went to four different prayer stations that instructed them to pray for their hometown, their state, the United States and the world.
“Overall, the retreat was a very positive experience,” Harrison said. “It was especially energizing for the students and for the leaders as well.”
The Fall Back Weekend at Falls Creek has officially occurred for the past 11 years. Harrison mentioned how the two-day event originated.
“It started organically with different youth pastors meeting at Falls Creek during fall break (for schools),” Harrison said. “From there, Falls Creek got involved by providing the speaker and the band. The youth pastors get together and facilitate the other elements of the event.”
Though it’s a relatively new event for Oklahoma Baptists, Harrison believes Fall Back will become a mainstay as an annual gathering for church youth groups.
“We’ve only just begun to tap the possibility of it,” Harrison said about Fall Back. “There’s a lot that we can do. Oklahoma is still not in sync with all the schools having fall break at the same time, but there were groups here that their fall break was actually the next week but had students come anyway.”
Another advantage for future Fall Back retreats is the time of year. There are not as many competing events for church groups happening in the fall.
“It’s the one big event between now and YEC (Youth Evangelism Conference),” Harrison said. “Fall Back is made to service a youth ministry, so that churches can maximize their time with students.”
For more information on Fall Back, visit fallscreek.org/events/fall-back.