ELIZABETHTOWN — The Elizabethtown Rotary Club heard from Ronald Montgomery, headmaster of Elizabethtown Christian Academy, during its meeting Wednesday.
Montgomery told the group the seed for a Christian school in Bladen County was planted in the 1960s when Jerry Wallace shared his vision for a school with the members of Elizabethtown Baptist Church. Montgomery said that in 1966, the church began construction of a children’s education building that was completed in October 1967.
Montgomery said that a day-school was started to reach ages 2 to 4 years old. In 2010, Montgomery said the need for an after-school program was noticed and a survey was sent out. Montgomery said the top three needs identified in the survey were a need for an after-school program; an Upward Sports program; and a Christian school.
He said the decision was reached to begin an after school program in 2010 and the education building was inspected and the church received bad news. There had been many code changes since 1967, said Montgomery.
“They told Rev. Chris Carroll and the education committee that in order to house an after-school program that facility would have to be torn down to its foundation and rebuilt to the current code,” said Montgomery.
Two days after receiving that news, the tornado of April 16, 2010, struck and the building was damaged to the point it had to be torn down and rebuilt. In the meantime, mobile units were brought in and set up to house the day-school and after school programs, said Montgomery.
He said that after some discussion the decision was made to move forward with establishing a Christian School and the education committee chose the ram as its mascot. The choice of mascot, according to Montgomery, was based on the story of Abraham and Isaac.
Montgomery said “with faith and a belief that God will provide,” a second modular unit was brought in and set up to house the Christian school and it began with Kindergarten through second grades and a total of 27 students.
“From the modular units, they could watch the new building being built,” said Montgomery.
Finally, on Aug. 19, 2013, the school began it second year in the new building with grades K-5 and Montgomery said that last year, the school served grades K-7 and this year the school will serve grades K-8 and has more than 100 students enrolled.
“We’re running out of space,” said Montgomery of the school. An audience members remarked, “That’s a good problem to have.”
He added the school is accredited by the state of North Carolina and by the Association of Christian Schools International.
Montgomery said that there are scholarships available for the school and the cost to attend is $4,000 per year. Students are exposed to arts, music, computer classes, and Spanish language to name a few things. Montgomery said the school also uses the A Beka Curriculum in grades K-2.
To learn more about the school go to its website at http://www.elizabethtownchristianacademy.org/.
—Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.