In early June 2000, Kentucky Baptist Assemblies launched a new camp ministry at Jonathan Creek. We called the new summer camp “Crossings at the Creek.” Three years earlier, we had taken responsibility for leading the efforts to save Kentucky Baptist camp and conference centers, and after almost three years of vision-casting and necessary change, “Crossings at the Creek” began with 1,300 campers registered for the summer of 2000.
It was a difficult yet extraordinary summer! God was gracious and, by any standard, the summer was a huge success. It was difficult because all the camp programming was new. The next summer was better, with 2,000 campers attending. Then the third summer came, and 3,000 campers went to Crossings at the Creek.
Soon thereafter, we started the Crossings Camp at Cedarmore. Thus began a long road to the recently completed summer of 2021. We were again blessed by God in the midst of COVID with a great season. We were privileged to see:
• 638 salvations
• 692 called to ministry
• $125,000.25 given to missions
• 13,922 campers attended
I am often asked, “When you started Crossings, did you ever believe that you would see such numbers?” My answer is usually, “No, I likely did not. But neither am I surprised. Because all of us involved with the start of Crossings, including the board, believed God was not through changing lives at Cedarmore and Jonathan Creek.”
And we were right! God’s favor and blessings have continued, even through the challenges we have faced during the 20 years of Crossings. For 20 summers we have had the remarkable experience of being right in the middle of His work. We have seen:
• 9,388 salvations
• 8,441 calls to vocational ministry
• 177,073 campers
• $1,897,407 given to missions at home and around the world
To God be the glory and all the glory — our team has simply been the team that God put in place to carry out His plan over the years.
However, while the glory is God’s, we owe words of gratitude to all the team members, campers, camp pastors and churches who have supported our ministry.
We have reached these numbers together.
Without all of the above team members and partners, we would have come far short of what God wanted for Crossings. We have learned a consistent lesson: We are positively better together than we are singularly or individually. Thank you, Kentucky Baptists — all your support over the years enabled us to reach these lofty numbers together. The recently completed summer saw two-thirds of our attending churches come from Kentucky. Together we witnessed God’s working in the hearts of students and children across our state. Together we got to see God work as 500-700 students or children gathered together with unbridled enthusiasm in worship every night of the summer. There’s nothing like it if you love students and children! Our mission statement is simple: “We create experiences to proclaim the gospel.” All we do every day is toward that end.
We also owe thanks to Kentucky Baptists for faithful giving over our 24 years of existence. Our Cooperative Program often promotes the theme of Better Together. There is no better example of this than our ministry! The willingness of Kentucky Baptists to remain faithful and generous in giving to their churches and the churches’ continued support of CP enables Crossings and other Kentucky Baptist agencies and institutions to prosper together for the glory of God. The current efforts of Ron Crow and our Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief teams are real-time examples of working together in areas of unimaginable pain and personal loss.
So, today we make the case based on what we have witnessed over our 24 years: When we work together for God’s glory, we see tangible evidence that we are truly better together than we are separate. Together may we continue to proclaim the gospel to a world in desperate need of life-transforming good news!
Rusty Ellison is vice president of development for Crossings. He can be reached at email@example.com.