One of my favorite television shows is “Antiques Roadshow.” I am fascinated by the incredible finds people make at garage and estate sales. Many times, items are found that someone else has discarded, and these items turn out to be treasures.
Four things impact the value of an item tremendously: age, condition, provenance and uniqueness. If an item is 100 years old, in mint condition, and has a prominent history of people who have been involved with it, the item often has an extraordinary value.
One year from this last weekend (Labor Day weekend), we will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. If the conference center were shown on “Antiques Roadshow,” this sacred place would be assigned the value of “priceless!” The people who have been a part of the rich history of Falls Creek and its present condition would send the appraisers’ heads spinning!
Yes, Falls Creek will be 100 years old in 2017. It has been 100 years since the first group gathered for the first encampment. They camped in tents, studied and worshipped under brush arbors, and that first camp had 273 in attendance. J.B. Rounds and W.D. Moorer, the founders of Falls Creek, prayed that in this first camp at least one person would profess Christ as Savior and Lord. Their prayer was answered and beyond. Two young women were saved, and Rosalee Mills Appleby was called to missions. Miss Appleby would serve for many years as a missionary to Brazil.
Rounds and Moorer had a big dream of one day seeing attendance top 1,200. I think they would be overwhelmed that in the summer of 2016, almost 53,000 people attended just the youth weeks at Falls Creek, and 2,369 came to faith in Christ. Another 809 lives were committed to full-time missions or ministry.
The story of Falls Creek is a remarkable testimony of the mighty works of God. The millions who have attended and the tens of thousands of decisions that have been made in this Arbuckle Mountain encampment boggle the mind. The facilities have moved from tents to humble cabins to million-dollar cabins—from a brush arbor to a 7,253-seat tabernacle filled with the latest technology and sound. The Kannady and Thompson lodges have set a new standard in hotel accommodations, and the Welcome Center and Mathena Family Event Center provide the best in meeting space.
So, now it is time to celebrate God’s great work. Now is the time to call out the people of God who have been so blessed on these grounds to come and rejoice over 100 years of Falls Creek!
On Sept. 2-3, 2017, we will have the biggest party in the history of Oklahoma Baptists. On Saturday evening, a Night of Praise for youth will be held. Some of the favorite worship leaders in America have been invited to lead in worship. Sunday evening will be the Homecoming for everyone, and we will worship, praise, and celebrate. A reunion choir, testimonies, and stories of the transforming work of God will be the center of the celebration. This night will feature people and events that have shaped the storied history of Falls Creek.
Mark your calendars now and plan to be a part of the Falls Creek 100th Anniversary Celebration Sept. 2-3, 2017. We intend to fill the tabernacle Saturday and Sunday nights with people, praise, and thanksgiving. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Be there!