Church officials cited a decline in hotel rooms in Anderson as a factor. Sounds like more of an excuse. While two major motels no longer operate, others have taken up the slack.
The real reason, along with demographics of church constituency, is a change in lifestyle. Far fewer people are wont to plan a vacation around a church convention, pay for hotel rooms for several days, stay in AU dorms or bring a motor home halfway across the country. And there are many more counterattractions vying for the attention of laypersons as well as ministers.
I suspect the presence of another church-related college in Oklahoma City, Mid-America Christian University, is a factor with available low-cost facilities. As for future years, we shall see how plans for the 2014 convention and beyond work out in motivating people who have never entered the city limits of Anderson.
Jim Bailey’s reflections on Anderson’s past appear on Sunday. His regular column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.