For me to write a personal word to you in this article is rare. This week, I would like to take a few lines to share a very deep and abiding personal word of thanksgiving to the Falls Creek Building Committee and the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) Board of Directors for choosing to name the new Welcome Center at Falls Creek the Jordan Welcome Center.
To say that I am humbled and overwhelmed is an understatement. Through the years, I have resisted having my name applied to anything. My heart has been simple—God has given me amazing opportunity to serve Him, and any accomplishments are to His glory and honor. That is not just spiritual talk, it is honest talk from my heart.
Someone said one time that you should never forget where you are from. I am a boy from Skiatook, born to godly parents of humble means. My family was rich in love for each other and our Lord, but pretty lower-middle class when it came to houses and lands. To have such an honor bestowed on me is beyond my ability to comprehend.
Many have said to me across the years, “The legacy of your time at the convention will be Falls Creek.” I appreciate such kindness, but it is hard to accept such language. Yes, the Lord allowed me to lead the effort, but the vision for a new Falls Creek was His. I just tried to listen and obey. The real tribute lies with the myriad of people who gave generously, and to many people, from the original dream team for Falls Creek chaired by Scott Neighbors to the building committee chaired by Frank McPherson. BGCO staff and lay leaders poured themselves out to see the new tabernacle become reality.
The same is true as we see such remarkable new facilities moving toward reality. Generous donors and a gifted and dedicated building committee, led by Gene Downing, are the people due honor. Indeed, the Welcome Center is because of a gift from a donor asking that it be used to recognize us. It is hard to believe people would be so thoughtful.
Do you remember the words of the Andre Crouch song, “How can I say thanks for all the things you have do for me? Things so underserved…”? This is where I stand today. For a preacher to be speechless is highly unusual, but I am, given the bestowal of such an honor.
Sometimes the most powerful way to express deeply felt emotions is to use simple language. So I conclude this personal word to you with this simple phrase, “THANK YOU, OKLAHOMA BAPTISTS!”