Charlie Gatton

Charlie Gatton says before he was called vocationally to children’s ministry 12 years ago, his hobby was his children and children’s ministry. For the last three years he’s been children’s ministry partner for Oklahoma Baptists and program director for CrossTimbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp.

“If you want to see people come to know Christ and want to have success in sharing the Gospel, children are where it’s at,” Gatton said. “Children trust and believe what we tell them. They believe the Bible and understand ‘a free gift from God,’ that they don’t have to do anything but accept that free gift, repent and turn from their sin. Period. The Gospel is the same for kids and adults.”

CrossTimbers is a camping program for youngsters who have completed third grade, to those who have completed sixth grade.

This summer there have been four-day sessions for up to 450 campers and adults at CrossTimbers in Davis, and four-day sessions for at least 260 participants at Grand Lake Baptist Assembly in Grove, on the opposite side of the state.

“We want to present a missional life to boys and girls, so they understand they’re missionaries where they are,” Gatton said. “At camp, we give kids the Gospel in a clear way and ask if they have questions, but we don’t force anyone. We wait on the Holy Spirit to lead them. They also learn what missions is and that they can be a part of it. Camp is also where they get to do stuff like high ropes, go on the lake, and do stuff they haven’t done before.”

Another aspect of Gatton’s job is leading the summer staff to easily share their faith. “One of the greatest things I get to do is watch those college kids grow in the summer.”

Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.

Charlie Gatton was featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see Gatton’s prayer requests, visit