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Oklahoma Baptists transform former Assemblies of God youth camp near Falls Creek

by Carla Hinton Published: July 21, 2013

— Children in third through sixth grades are enjoying the new location of CrossTimbers Baptist Camp, owned and operated by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

The camp had been located in McAlester, but its new home is at a former Assemblies of God conference and camp area near Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center.

The Oklahoma Baptist convention bought the camp property from the Assemblies of God of Oklahoma in 2012 after receiving a $2 million donation from Hobby Lobby Inc. to make the purchase.

The new CrossTimbers encampment is off U.S. 77 west of Interstate 35 near Turner Falls. It is adjacent to Falls Creek, which offers summer camp primarily for teens.

The Rev. Anthony Jordan, the state Baptist convention's executive director-treasurer, said the convention spent about $800,000 on improvements since acquiring the new CrossTimbers site. These improvements included a new fence, ropes course, maintenance barn and swimming pool. Jordan said the camp's conference center will be renovated.

The emphasis at CrossTimbers is missions, Jordan said.

James Swain, the Oklahoma Baptist convention's director of conference centers, agreed.

“This camp is programmed nonstop, and everything they do has a spiritual application,” Swain said.

On a recent evening, campers worked in groups to build structures out of cardboard boxes.

Colby Sorenson, the camp's programs assistant, said each group would get an opportunity to attempt to destroy the structures. He said the activity fit the camp's 2013 theme “Under Construction” and the biblical premise the campers were learning about — “building something that will last.”