Falls Creek runs deep: Lankford has fan base
By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — For many, it appeared that James Lankford had come out of nowhere when he laid waste to a field of Republican primary candidates in 2010 and claimed Oklahoma City’s congressional seat.

He looked like Opie — but spoke with a mismatched deep bass voice — and had no political experience or money to pay consultants.

But the truth was that a lot of people knew exactly where Lankford had come from, and it wasn’t nowhere. It was southern Okla homa’s Falls Creek, the largest youth camp in the United States, where Lankford, the director, was a rock star among 50,000 Baptist kids each summer.

“If you got your picture taken with James Lankford, it made your day,” said one former Falls Creek camper now involved in Oklahoma politics.

When Lankford announced in 2009 that he felt called to run for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Mary Fallin, some of those Falls Creek kids felt called to help him, along with some of the parents. There were others who knew him from the Oklahoma City-area churches he attended.

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