PERSPECTIVE: The fire did fall
It was a long, hot summer at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, but the fire from Heaven did fall. It is hard to place in words the tremendous blessings showered upon those who attended during the youth weeks. When examining the statistics, we are humbled and feel a sense of need to fall on our faces before God and express thanksgiving and joy!
Each night I attended, my heart was deeply moved as I watched young people declare their faith in Christ and others publicly declare their call to ministry and missions. It is clear that the Holy Spirit worked powerfully this summer. I admit my eyes became moist and my spirit was moved during each invitation as my mind went back to the dramatic moment 48 years ago when the Lord placed a call on my heart to ministry. My heart was strangely warmed and the loud voice of God was but a whisper—I would never be the same. Hundreds of young people will never be the same after this summer.
More than 10 years ago, we started a journey to restore a tired and worn camp. Oklahoma Baptists did something no one would have imagined possible—more than $30 million was raised and an indoor tabernacle was built to seat 7,200 people. With state-of-the-art sight and sound, the tabernacle has provided a place where young people mightily experience the Gospel. Worship is heavenly and every word of the preaching can be heard . . . and seen. And best of all, when it is 110 degrees outside, it is a cool 70 degrees inside. When the tabernacle is filled with the worship of young people, I am absolutely certain the Lord is smiling and is blessed.
This hot summer set temperature records as well as attendance records. Previous records were exceeded for full-time attendance and total attendance topped 57,000 for the first time ever reaching 57,543. Remarkable!
It is amazing to watch a quiet camp become a large town in only a few hours on Mondays during the summer youth weeks. It is even more fascinating to watch the buses flood the camp on Saturday mornings and within a couple of hours, Falls Creek becomes a ghost town.
Last week, Indian Falls Creek filled the conference center. It is the largest gathering of Christian Native Americans to be found in America. Indian Falls Creek is a family camp. Each night, music includes native hymns and special music from a different tribe in their native tongue. Just as in the youth weeks, I expect many came to Christ and others responded to the call of God to missions and ministry. God is at work among the Native People of Oklahoma and our nation. Falls Creek is a vital part of the spiritual move of God among Native Americans.
I have heard John Bisagno (former pastor of Del City, First Southern and, for more than 30 years, pastor of Houston, Texas, First) declare the marvelous grace of God in giving Falls Creek to Oklahoma Baptists. We are not the largest convention or the most powerful, but we are the most blessed. Praise His Name for giving us this wonderful place.
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.