In the mid-1990′s, studies and historical assessments commissioned by the Kentucky Baptist Convention concluded that the conference and camp ministry/business could not survive due to certain facts of operation – limited off-season market demand, deferred maintenance, and the like. These studies also revealed that current financial distress and high liability exposure of camping facilities were risks too great to incur. Camping would become a thing of the past due to declines in interest and the youth population, studies said.
In light of these studies, the Kentucky Baptist Convention formed Kentucky Baptist Assemblies, a separate entity that would take on both of their retreat facilities – Jonathan Creek and Cedarmore. The goal for KBA was to survive, maybe even to close Cedarmore and focus on the Jonathan Creek facilities.
But in the spirit of those who shared the vision for the two properties decades ago, closing was not an option. Instead, the new leadership of KBA decided to refocus, asking, “What do we do that produces measurable spiritual change and how do we afford to do it?” In 2000, the answer to this question drove the ministry to be reminded of its purpose, and out of that came a name that more encapsulated their hopes and passions – Crossings.
Having been given the charge of saving Cedarmore, the greatest opportunity to infuse significant money into Cedarmore would be from building a camp at Jonathan Creek. Jonathan Creek, a smaller, newer camp, presented an easily marketable opportunity for immediate growth. During KBA’s first five years, most efforts were directed to implement and launch “Crossings at the Creek.”
Crossings at the Creek proved to be a great success. Over the next five years, the Creek saw growth from their starting summer of 1,305 campers to over 3,450 campers in 2006. During these years of successful camping, over $1.4 million was invested in Cedarmore for upgrades and renovations. KBA began to prepare for a major programming shift from KBC-based events to KBA-programmed events such as Crossings. Timelines were set, and Crossings at Cedarmore was scheduled to begin the summer of 2006.
The Lord began the next chapter of Crossings in 2012 as we entered into a formal transition with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and was charged to become the source for training, providing resources for, and equipping youth workers throughout Ketucky Baptist Churches.
In the present we find ourselves absolutely amazed – but not surprised – at God’s faithfulness and work at Crossings. We could not have anticipated or imagined what God had in store for Crossings over 10 years ago. Our goal is clear: proclaim the Gospel and equip the Church. Our prayer is that we would be steadfast and relentless in this pursuit, seeing students and adults impacted and transformed by Christ.