This week, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) meets in our Annual Convention. The convention is like a large family reunion. While we take care of business, this is truly a spiritually uplifting time of fellowship and worship.

This year, we have the privilege of celebrating the 40th anniversary of Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief. Begun by Laddie Adams as part of the ministry of the BGCO Brotherhood Department, Disaster Relief has grown into a multi-faceted, premier organization that serves thousands each year who stand in the rubble of disaster. Now, with more than 5,000 trained volunteers, this ministry includes mud-out, ash-out, debris removal, chain saw tree removal, food service and much more. Disaster Relief volunteers have served after tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and Tsunamis around the world.

Few ministries touch people so deeply in the midst of their most vulnerable moments. These volunteers are truly the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. Because of loving acts of kindness, the door for gospel witness is regularly opened. People are helped in their moment of temporal turmoil, but more importantly, for many, their eternal destiny is changed!

We will celebrate and honor the volunteers and founders who have given so much through the years. With humble pride, we rejoice in this great work of the Lord.

Celebration continues as we honor Ron Fannin, associate executive director of the BGCO. Ron is a Marietta boy who heard the call of God to serve in full-time vocational Christian service at his come church in Wynnewood. Ron has served as music minister in our churches, vice president of The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma (BFO) and for the last 13 years, he has been the associate executive director. With a tender heart and tough business approach, Ron has distinguished himself as a leader of excellence.

The BGCO is very healthy. Our churches continue to give generously, and remain at the top of the Southern Baptist Convention in per church percentage given through the Cooperative Program. Those dollars are invested in equipping our churches and extending their ministries beyond what one church can do alone.

ReConnect Sunday School is a good example of the convention equipping the churches. Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center and CrossTimbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp extend the ministry of the local church, as do church planting and our mission partnerships in Colorado, East Asia and Mexico.

The convention will be privileged to see the initial conceptual drawings of the new buildings at Falls Creek. These drawings can be found in this issue of the Baptist Messenger. I have no doubt you will be overwhelmed with the remarkable facilities God continues to provide at Falls Creek through the generosity of His people.

The strength of our convention is multiplied when you consider the remarkable institutions that are ours. The BFO provides excellence in handling funds invested to benefit Kingdom work in Oklahoma and beyond. Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children touch lives through childcare and Hope Pregnancy Centers, and their ministry is absolutely free to those served.

Baptist Village Communities is a nationally-recognized ministry to senior adults that provides wonderful homes and caring ministry. Oklahoma Baptist University is a world-class university integrating faith and intellectual pursuits. Each of these institutions stand at the head of their respective areas.

This convention meeting, as much as any, is about celebration of the mighty works of God through Oklahoma Baptists. So, give thanks and rejoice, for God has mightily blessed Oklahoma Baptists beyond imagination!