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Falls Creek donors, staff and leaders gather in the new Jordan Welcome Center prior to a special ceremony on Feb. 2.Downing Way is a lighted, landscaped concourse with three walkways providing access from the R. A. Young Tabernacle to the event center, the Wynn Center for World Missions and other areas of the campground.

Falls Creek dedicates center, lodge

Leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), which owns and operates Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, earlier this week dedicated its newest Falls Creek facilities, including a state-of-the-art events center and new lodge.

Speaking at a dedication ceremony, BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Dr. Anthony L. Jordan said the convention had completed more than $55 million in revitalization of existing facilities, infrastructure and the construction of new buildings.

Jordan spoke about past construction, including the R.A. Young Tabernacle, the 7,000-seat auditorium that has been in use since 2007, as well as recent construction at Falls Creek, which includes the Jordan Welcome Center, Thompson Family Lodge and the Mathena Family Event 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. 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 building addition is the Mathena Family Event Center, which was entirely underwritten by the Mathena family. It is a multi-use facility that 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 for thousands of guests. The unique, monolithic architecture also boasts a major benefit to the Conference Center and its guests.

The four-story Thompson Family Lodge that was entirely underwritten by the Thompson family, links the event center to the Jordan Welcome Center, which now serves as the "front door" to the conference center, and opens the door to Falls Creek operating as a year-round conference center serving groups of all sizes and all ages.

Downing Way is a lighted, landscaped concourse with three walkways providing access from the R.A. Young Tabernacle to the event center, the Wynn Center for World Missions and other areas of the campground.

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