Hobby Lobby helps Okla. Baptists buy camp

Posted on Sep 26, 2012 | by Staff

The covered tabernacle at Oklahoma Baptists' newly acquired Newburn Conference Center can seat hundreds at children's camp. The facility has been obtained by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma through a $2 million designated gift from Hobby Lobby, Inc.
DAVIS, Okla. (BP) -- Hobby Lobby, Inc., has donated $2 million to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma designated for the purchase of a youth camp located near its Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center at Davis.

The convention's board of directors has approved the relocation of Oklahoma Baptists' CrossTimbers Children's Missions Camp to the Newburn Conference Center that formerly was a summer camp owned by the Assemblies of God. CrossTimbers has been based in McAlester.

"This gift from Hobby Lobby and the Green family is an answer to prayer," BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony L. Jordan said of the nationwide chain and its founders. "We have sought the Lord's leading as to how we can further expand our impact and reach in the Falls Creek area, and we are grateful beyond words for their generosity which makes that possible." The Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center is the largest youth camp in the nation.

Hobby Lobby CEO Steve Green, a Southern Baptist, said in conjunction with the Sept. 25 announcement, "Throughout the years, we have been privileged to invest in the work of the BGCO through Falls Creek. The opportunity to help the Falls Creek ministry through this gift brings us great joy. We see this as a win-win for everyone involved."

Jordan said the Newburn Conference Center "has the potential to more than double the capacity for children. Because the new camp is well-maintained and in very good condition, CrossTimbers is able to shift to the new location for summer 2013.

"One of the greatest advantages is the proximity to Falls Creek," Jordan added. "Co-locating the camps enables our conference center staff to serve both facilities with an economy of scale."

Jordan said the BGCO has been "in consultation with Hobby Lobby and the Green family for a number of months regarding this incredible gift. The nature of this gift and its timing couldn't have been better, and the camp property will mesh perfectly into the long-range development plans for our conference centers as a whole. This is more evidence that God always knows what He is doing and has a plan in place."

Jordan described the Newburn facility, located on Highway 77, west of I-35 near Turner Falls, "as a beautiful wooded site, with Honey Creek from Turner Falls running through the property."

With this new gift, Hobby Lobby becomes the leading corporate donor in the history of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, a nonprofit organization. The Green family and Hobby Lobby previously donated more than $3 million to the BGCO's capital campaign for construction at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center.

For more information on BGCO's camps and development plans, visit www.bgco.org.
--30--
Reported by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's communications staff. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).