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Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby gives state Baptist General Convention $2 million to buy camp

A $2 million gift from Hobby Lobby for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma is designated for the purchase of Newburn Conference Center, on U.S. Highway 77 west of Interstate 35 near Turner Falls. It formerly was used as a summer camp by the Assemblies of God.
BY KEN RAYMOND Published: September 26, 2012

Hobby Lobby Inc. has donated $2 million to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma for the purchase of Newburn Conference Center, a youth camp near Davis, from the Assemblies of God.

Anthony L. Jordan, executive director-treasurer for the Baptist organization, announced the gift on Tuesday.

“We'll be closing on the property very soon, within the next few weeks, I think,” Jordan said in a phone interview. “We'll begin the process of retrofitting the camp for our purposes. But it's in very good condition already.”

The Baptist convention operates Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, home of the largest youth camp in the nation. The new campsite is “just over the hill” from Falls Creek, Jordan said.

“It helps us because we get a camp that's close by,” he said. “It also helps the Assemblies of God because they get $2 million for a camp they were trying to sell.”

Newburn is off U.S. 77 west of Interstate 35 near Turner Falls. Honey Creek runs through the wooded property.

Jordan said the convention's board of directors has authorized plans to relocate the CrossTimbers Children's Missions Camp from McAlester to the new location. The McAlester camp will be put up for sale, he said.

“With this (new) camp, we'll be able to eliminate a lot of redundancy of resources and personnel,” he said. “This gives us a chance to double capacity from what we were able to do in McAlester. The camp there is far larger acreage-wise, but the housing is half the size” of Newburn.

Falls Creek camps are mainly for teenagers, he said. The Newburn site will teach children in grades 3 through 6 about Baptist missions work worldwide.

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