Falls Creek Tabernacle

This undated photo shows the interior of Falls Creek Tabernacle near Davis, Oklahoma. 

DAVIS, Okla. (BP) - Oklahoma Baptists announced May 18 that Falls Creek Youth Camp and CrossTimbers Children's Mission Adventure Camp would not hold any camp sessions this summer. Factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellations. In April, Oklahoma Baptists had announced tentative plans for a delayed start and revised schedule, with the provision to continually evaluate the plans and make a final decision by May 18.

Hance Dilbeck said, "We have made the difficult decision to cancel all Falls Creek and CrossTimbers-Davis and CrossTimbers-Grand Lake sessions for 2020." Dilbeck is the executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists. He said that pastors, lay leaders and public health information guided the decision.

The Executive Committee of Oklahoma Baptists' Board of Directors unanimously approved the decision. Oklahoma Baptists' President Blake Gideon, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Edmond, Oklahoma, leads the committee. "In light of the fluidity of COVID-19," Gideon said, "I affirm wholeheartedly the recent decision of the Oklahoma Baptist Executive Committee to cancel summer camps for 2020. During this time of uncertainty, safety and caution are of supreme importance. It is better to choose wisdom over desire."

Plans for Indian Falls Creek and LifeWay Collegiate Week, scheduled for late July and early August, also were canceled. Responding to the cancellations, Dilbeck said, the convention's staff was "producing a ministry curriculum and localized event strategies" to help churches share the Gospel with young people during the summer. He said Todd Sanders, Falls Creek program director, and Charlie Gatton, CrossTimbers program director, will lead the alternate summer outreach plans. The convention will release the plans in early June. For information about Falls Creek and CrossTimbers, visit oklahomabaptists.org.

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