Falls Creek dedicates event center & new lodge

by Oklahoma Baptist Messenger Staff, posted Tuesday, February 16, 2016 (one year ago)

DAVIS, Okla. (BP) -- The newest facilities at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, including a state-of-the-art events center and new lodge, were dedicated Feb. 2 by leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, which owns and operates the nationally known ministry, founded in 1917.

BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony L. Jordan noted at the dedication ceremony, "In all, we have completed more than $55 million in revitalization of existing facilities, infrastructure and the construction of new buildings," including the 7,000-seat R.A. Young Tabernacle that opened in 2007 and the new Mathena Family Event Center, Thompson Family Lodge and Jordan Welcome Center.

"Sixteen years after we began this journey of updating Falls Creek, I am thrilled to announce with the pledges and cash in hand, we have oversubscribed our capital campaign goal, and the remaining debt on the R.A. Young Tabernacle has been paid in full," Jordan said. "God did it through us. And this has been accomplished a full year before we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Falls Creek in 2017.

"To God be the glory! We stand in awe of what our great God has accomplished through us," Jordan added. "I do not know how to express to our God how awesome, how amazing, how incredible He is. And, to quote a good friend, I don't know why our God chose to place His grace and mercy and faith in the old Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma in a little dusty place called Falls Creek."

The largest addition, the Mathena Family Event Center, was entirely underwritten by the Mathena family of Oklahoma City. The multi-use facility features multiple customizable meeting spaces, a large hall with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and a commercial-style kitchen that can accommodate formal dining several thousand guests.

The four-story Thompson Family Lodge, entirely underwritten by the Thompson family of Oklahoma City, rivals any upscale accommodations, opening the door to Falls Creek operating as a year-round conference center serving groups of all sizes and all ages.

The 50-room lodge links the Mathena event center to the Jordan Welcome Center, which now serves as the "front door" to the 350-acre conference center, which is approximately a one-hour drive south of Oklahoma City and less than two hours north of Dallas.

Downing Way, also new, funded by the Downing family of Edmond, Okla., is a lighted, landscaped concourse with three walkways providing access from the tabernacle to the event center, the Wynn Center for World Missions and other areas of the campground.

"These facilities are unlike anything that's ever been at Falls Creek," said Jason Langley, the facility's director. "We're known widely for being a place for young people in the summer. With these new buildings coming online, our guests are going to know we're working toward meeting their needs throughout all seasons and for all ages."

The Jordan Welcome Center (JWC), as Falls Creek's new main office and lobby for the Thompson Family Lodge, provides comfortable space, including a 1,800-square-foot patio, for guests utilizing the conference center or checking in for their event.

The BGCO board of directors named the welcome center for Anthony Jordan and his family and extended family in September 2013. Jordan has led the Oklahoma convention since 1996.

Jason Langley, BGCO conference centers director, in a recap of the scope of Falls Creek's ministry, noted, "The Lord has blessed us.... The camp season begins with two sessions of Associational Children's Camp with a combined registration of 6,000. Then Falls Creek hosts eight weeks of Student Camp with a combined registration over 50,000 every year. The camp season ends with the largest Native American gathering in the United States in Indian Falls Creek with over just over 2,000 registered every year. In conference season, Falls Creek hosts three larger retreats registering around 2,500 per event. In total, Falls Creek hosts 70,000 in retreats, conferences and camps every year."

The conference center staff is currently taking lodging reservations for the coming summer and is booking events well into 2017. For information on taking a tour, pricing, availability or any future event needs, contact Falls Creek's guest relations staff at 580-369-2101 or email Jordan Anson at janson@bgco.org.

Reported by the staff of the Baptist Messenger (www.baptistmessenger.com), newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
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