As I write these words, I once again stand in awe of the overwhelming generosity of God and His people. As you have seen on the front page of the Baptist Messenger, a wonderful Oklahoma Baptist couple has given $7 million for a dining/multipurpose facility at Falls Creek. To Him Be Praise! This is the single largest gift ever given to Falls Creek.
The identity of the donors will not be revealed until the BGCO Board of Directors meeting at Falls Creek in May. At that time, I will have the joy of presenting them to the Board and all Oklahoma Baptists. This separation in time gives us opportunity to rejoice in the Lord first. I cannot wait to allow you the privilege of knowing them. This couple loves the Lord, their church, and souls. Their love for Falls Creek is directly related to the evangelistic ministry of the conference center. It is amazing to hear how God moved in their hearts and how they followed the Spirit’s leading.
This gift will provide the ability to feed large crowds during the non-summer season for retreats and events—Falls Creek is not able to do so today. The lack of a large dining/multipurpose facility hampers the capability to adequately host large events. This gift will also allow for a medium-size auditorium for events for 1,000-2,000 people. This building will be an amazing addition to Falls Creek and will make the conference center so much more functional. Falls Creek will be able to host many more events, which is then translated into souls saved and lives changed.
In addition, I recently announced that $1.5 million of the 2012 overage will be used to reduce the debt on the tabernacle. When the payment is made, there will be $3.2 million debt remaining. Of that debt, there is one pledge of $1 million, and the rest will need to come from new gifts.
One of the ways all Oklahoma Baptists can participate is through the Save-A-Seat campaign. There are still more than 2,600 seats in the tabernacle that can be sponsored for $500 each. With each sponsorship, you have the privilege of placing a plaque on the seat to honor whomever you wish. Most importantly, you have the joy of knowing that there will be people who sit in your seat, hear the Word of God, and have the opportunity of a life-changing experience. The Save-A-Seat campaign has the potential of providing $1.3 million toward debt reduction. I have every confidence we will see the debt retired in the next couple of years. Will you join me in purchasing a seat? For more information, call 800/690-6933.
Whether building new facilities or eliminating the debt, you can be assured the provision comes from GOD through the generosity of His people. However, our giving is not about money but changed lives. Because of our gifts, people of all ages will come to Falls Creek and encounter the living God of the universe through His Son, Jesus. Transformation of hearts and souls happens over and over again on the grounds and in the buildings at the Creek.
God has been abundantly good to Oklahoma Baptists. I think it is because we invest in the business of eternity. God sends resources, and we do not let much of it stick to our fingers. We pass it on to places and ministries that focus on changed lives. Falls Creek stands at the top of the list.
I want to quote the following verse one more time. This verse is a clear expression of my heart. “Now to Him Who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you—to HIM be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. AMEN!”