Good Steward Awards 2013: Facilities

CHILDREN’S / YOUTH SPACES

OK_youth_camp_dining_hallOklahoma Youth Camp (Sparks, OK)

An Assemblies of God facility, this youth camp has 16 modern cabins — each spanning 6,000 square feet — with four large bunk rooms surrounding a central commons area. Each cabin houses 64 campers and staff. A large dining hall with a modern kitchen can feed 1,000 campers.

Outdoors, the camp has five basketball, sand volleyball and “high-five football” courts. Its ponds offer fishing, swimming, paddle boats and the “blob” water feature — a large, air-filled inflatable rubber tube floating on the water. Campers can jump onto it from a 20-foot tower.

“This camp was needed because the church dropout rate among young people is highest just after high school graduation, and second highest during junior high school,” says Shannon Smallwood, assistant marketing director at Churches by Daniels Construction (Broken Arrow, OK), the project builder.

The dining hall feeds as many as 1,000 campers at once.
(Photo courtesy of Daniels & Daniels Construction)

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RELATED RESOURCES:
Good Steward Awards 2013: Food service
Good Steward Awards 2013: Technology (Special Needs)
Good Steward Awards 2013: Innovative Outreach
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FOOD SERVICE

FBCORlando_Italian-1First Baptist Church of Orlando (Orlando, FL)

Last year, the food service ministry at FBC Orlando — including a 4,000-square-foot kitchen and 25,000 square feet of dining space, along with a full-service café and meetings/small event spaces — served more than 250,000 meals and generated more than $1.6 million in self-sustaining revenue.

While some churches prefer only to charge the food cost to the ministry and cover labor and other expenses from the main budget, Hospitality Director Marcus White takes a different approach. “With our church and the size of our food service ministry (and our potential for even more growth), our goal is to cover all expenses for the entire ministry, including equipment, facilities and administrative costs, and the rest of the overhead — all from the revenue gained from hosting events,” he says. “Each year, we get a little closer to that goal by slightly raising our prices and increasing our services and events.”

Most important, many guests at these events are coming to the campus for the first time. “Then, they consider coming to church on Sundays,” White says. “That makes the food service ministry another doorway into the life of our church.”

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