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Oklahoma Baptists see ‘blessings’ as summer camps begin

Oklahoma Baptists can appreciate how well camps have started this summer. Along with many associational camps across the state, the first weeks at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center and CrossTimbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp have seen children and students enjoying the summer festivities and making life decisions for Christ.

Falls Creek

Falls Creek campers learn about world missions at the Missions Village. Photo by Brian Hobbs

The first two weeks at Falls Creek have already experienced 700 students making spiritual decisions. As of June 11, 359 campers made professions of faith in Christ and 56 students made commitments to serve in ministry.

Curtis Zackery, a Christian speaker from Franklin, Tenn., was the speaker for Week 1. Zane Black, founder of Lovin Life ministries, was the speaker for Week 2. Jami Smith, well-known worship leader who serves at Edmond, Oakdale, was the worship leader for the first two weeks at Falls Creek.

CrossTimbers in Davis

CrossTimbers is now meeting in two locations, and the Davis encampment is going strong, as all 11 sessions will see many children registered.

Jayme Hightower, a CrossTimbers summer staff member from Bartlesville, First, speaks to a group of campers at CrossTimbers in Grand Lake. Photo by Chris Doyle

The first session of CrossTimbers in Davis, June 3-6, had 430 total campers and sponsors. The camp recorded 51 total spiritual decisions made by campers with 18 professions of faith in Christ.

Charlie Gatton, CrossTimbers program director and children’s ministry specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, emphasizes that many of these spiritual decisions are made not only during the camp’s worship services but also during the daily activities of camp, including at CrossTimbers’ target sports.

CrossTimbers at Grand Lake

This summer is also the first expansion of CrossTimbers at Grand Lake Baptist Assembly in Grove. Session one at Grand Lake, June 5-8, had 236 total campers and sponsors and recorded 48 total spiritual decisions with seven campers making professions of faith in Christ.

“Grand Lake is an absolutely beautiful campground,” Gatton said. “We are excited about God being at work already. It’s smaller, so we are able to build relationships faster in this environment. It’s a great experience.”

Will Wilson, pastor of Bethel Acres, New Hope, was the camp pastor for CrossTimbers’ inaugural session at Grand Lake and shared how he appreciated speaking during the opening camp session.

“CrossTimbers at Grand Lake was a wonderful experience,” Wilson said. “The beautiful campground will prove to be a tremendous place where God will continue to build on the work He has done for many years through the valiant efforts of the churches in that association. Bringing the CrossTimbers program to Grove saw fruit (during) week one and will continue to see fruit for many years to come.”

Camp Perfect Wings

Face painting was one of the fun activities provided at Camp Perfect Wings. Photo provided

Camp Perfect Wings kicked off the summer camp season at CrossTimbers in Davis. On May 30-June 1, many special needs kids and adults participated in outings designed for them.
“We had as good of a crowd of people as we ever had,” Gatton said about Camp Perfect Wings. “Eight of our summer staffers were able to be buddies for campers and were a great blessing to them.”

“Buddies” are adult sponsors who pair up with campers, as they experience what Camp Perfect Wings offers. Gatton said a few of the CrossTimbers summer staff members are studying special needs education in college and were excited to participate in Camp Perfect Wings this year.

Gatton credited the great camp experience to Becka Johnson who has been serving as volunteer camp director at Camp Perfect Wings. David Anderson, who is children’s ministry specialist for the Louisiana Baptist state convention, served as camp pastor, and Gatton said Anderson’s messages centered on sharing truth and the “I am” statements that Jesus shared in the Bible.

Shelby Egender, preschool ministry associate at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, has been a longtime volunteer at Camp Perfect Wings and said the campers are the reason why she comes back to camp every year.

“I love this camp,” Egender said. “I love the campers. They love you no matter what. They are excited to be at camp every year. It just blesses me.”
More reports will be featured on Falls Creek and the CrossTimbers camps in upcoming Baptist Messenger editions.

Chris Doyle

Author: Chris Doyle

View more articles by Chris Doyle.

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