Andre Crouch is one of my favorite songwriters. Many years ago he wrote a song titled “My Tribute.” The opening line expresses my heart, “How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me.” When I reflect on our celebration of 100 years of ministry at Falls Creek, I must say, his words only need the pronouns changed to “we” and “us” to perfectly reflect our cooperate celebration.
The time of celebration was a grand event! More than 11,000 people visited Falls Creek during the Labor Day weekend to remember, share stories of days gone by and lift our hearts to God with a flood of thanksgiving and praise.
We also had more than 26,000 online views from across the USA and the world, from such faraway places as Australia and the Philippines.
Baptists are better at doing than celebrating, but this weekend may have broken our corporate affinity for doing over celebration. Joy and unfettered praise filled Falls Creek. We came to honor and give thanks to our Lord, and we did!
On Saturday evening we celebrated the recent past and present through contemporary music. To watch and participate with this generation of youth as they praised the Savior, with no reserve or restraint, brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I stood among these youth and reveled in the moment. God is at work among young people today.
I know that we often find fault with the younger generation, but a night with them at Falls Creek will cause anyone to change their perspective. This generation is in love with Jesus, and they are willing to give their all to share His renown with people all over the world no matter what the cost.
On Sunday evening the tabernacle was filled with sounds of the past. A 500-voice choir and full orchestra led us in worship with songs that once filled the old open-air tabernacle. “Victory in Jesus” and “Saved, Saved, Saved” soared as choir and congregation alike lifted their voices to the One who alone is worthy of our praise.
I was humbled and pleased to be asked to preach the message for the Sunday evening Homecoming Service. As I sought the Lord, it became infinitely clear to me that I could find no better text than I Cor. 2:1-5. For 100 years, the central truth proclaimed at Falls Creek has been the message of the Cross and resurrection of our Savior.
Like Charles Spurgeon of old, Falls Creek preachers have taken their text and “made a beeline to the Cross.” For me it was an opportunity to rehearse for us the precious story of Jesus and His love. Preaching this message also gave me the privilege of challenging us to keep the Gospel the main thing as we begin a second century at Falls Creek.
We have no message greater to share, and no other message that has the power to transform hopeless sinners into hope-filled saints. The preaching of the Cross is ageless, and it never goes out of vogue. Until Jesus returns, we would do well to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Over the weekend, a thank offering was taken both nights. The total thank offering in the amount of $32,000 will be used by Disaster Relief in Houston for Hurricane Harvey relief.
Our celebration was a weekend for the ages. It was everything and much more than we could have dreamed. I wish I could express to every person who came, and to all of our Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma staff and volunteers, my deepest thanksgiving for them. I discovered one undeniable truth this weekend—Oklahoma Baptists know how to throw a party! Happy 100th Falls Creek!