Crossings calls on 'Grandfather' to lead development effort

By Kentucky Today Staff

Published: May 1, 2019

LOUISVILLE—The man known as the "Grandfather" of Crossings Ministry is being called upon to lead a new development effort.

Rusty Ellison, who served as the first president from 1997-2002 and oversaw the successful launch of Crossings at the Creek in 2000 where 1,350 attended, started his new job as Vice President for Development on Monday.

The development program will raise funds to build new staff housing at Cedarmore and to renovate the Cedar Crest facility in Bagdad, Kentucky, to expand camp capacity.

Crossings Ministries photo

Rusty Ellison will lead a development effort for Crossings Ministries. Brooke Burrows is also shown.

When asked about the mission of Crossings and the need to accommodate the growth, Ellison said: "I don't know why [God] uses camps for life change, but I know how. There is something about getting students away from their home routine and immersing them in a Christ-centered environment for a week of worship, prayer, Bible study and just plain fun! … We [want] to provide a camp experience that … appeal[s] to unchurched kids as well as churched."

Ellison brings a wealth of pastoral experience and relationships from his tenure as pastor and interim at multiple Kentucky churches, including the historic Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville.

Crossings' new development program is a fundamental component in Crossings current efforts to expand their ministry. Crossings is currently preparing for over 16,000 students and adults to attend camp in 2019 and hear the gospel proclaimed. The record numbers mean the camps are at full capacity. Crossings started two new camp initiatives in 2019 to help grow capacity and provide the Crossings experience in more places. Crossings On Mission allows students to work with NAMB church planters in Chicago and Cincinnati. Crossings Day Camps in Louisville offers five-weeks of camps for first- to sixth-graders, including three weeks of Urban Day Camps that charge only $15 a kid.

Crossings has high expectations that these new experiences will continue to grow. Nevertheless, Crossings wants to guarantee their two Kentucky camps keep up with the standard and expectations of today's generation.

"Students and adults are used to a different standard than they were even 15 years ago," said Lance Howerton, current president of Crossings "They have so many summer options for their time you have to provide a particular standard of facilities and recreational options. If they can only do one thing this summer we want them to choose Crossings where they will hear the Gospel at everything they do."

Ellison's initial plans for the summer of 2019 are to invite anyone interested to come spend an afternoon and evening at camp with him at Cedarmore or Jonathan Creek. "I want them to feel the experience. I want them to sense the power of the Holy Spirit in our worship centers when hundreds of students offer their praise to God," he said.

Ellison and his wife, Pam, live in Louisville and he has just finished a transitional pastorate at Campbellsville Baptist Church in Campbellsville.

Pastors, partners, or friends of Crossings who are interested in learning more about Crossings development program can contact Rusty Ellison at 502.671.9311 or Ellison is also available to preach in churches and associations across the state. (KT)