The History of Grace Christian School
Grace Christian School was formed on the foundation that school, family, and church, with Jesus Christ at the center, are all essential in the education of children. In the spring of 1973, area pastors began meeting to discuss their vision for a non-denominational Christian school. They formed a study group adding parents and experts within Christian schooling. Over the course of a year they became convinced that Southwest Michigan needed a Christian school to serve the needs of parents . After much prayer and hard work, Grace Christian School began. 40 years later Grace continues to educate children on that same foundation.
The Purpose of Grace Christian School
Grace Christian School is a private, non-profit Christian school which offers high academic and spiritual standards to the families of Southwestern Michigan. The purpose of the school is to give Christian training, along with a solid academic foundation in the basic principles of learning. This purpose will be accomplished through the use of a faculty committed to the Christian philosophy of education. Christ is the center of our entire curriculum.
Grace Christian officially opened on September 4, 1974 at Midway Baptist Church, educating 64 students with four certified teachers and Brian Mayfield as the first administrator. Over the next 35 years the school grew in facilities as well as enrollment, maturing with the needs of the student body. In 1976 a permanent facility was opened on M-140 in Watervliet, Michigan. In 1978 a high school wing was constructed. In the fall of 1996 a ten year labor of love was completed when the multi-purpose gymnasium was inaugurated. Our varsity girls’ team beat Calvary School of Holland in the first basketball game played in Grace Christian School gymnasium.
The most recent program additions are the creation of Grace Christian Preschool in the fall of 2007 and a Young Fives program in the fall of 2009. Grace Christian School sits on 24 acres in rural Bainbridge Township in the heart of the fruit belt serving students from fifteen communities and three counties. Our facilities consist of two academic wings, a central library, a multipurpose gymnasium, a cafeteria, and three outdoor athletic fields. Grace Christian has a current enrollment of 198 students in grades preschool through 12, our largest enrollment since 2001.
The school’s philosophy is built on five pillars: the supremacy of Christ, the learner’s need for a relationship with God, the primacy of the parent-child relationship, the commitment to a non-denominational evangelical theology, and the importance of an excellent education.
With Christ at the center, Grace Christian serves parents in fulfilling their responsibility of educating their children with a Biblical worldview. Consequently, Grace Christian School supports the ministry of more than 50 area churches whose families attend our school.
God took a humble tomato field and produced a fruitful Christian day school, harvesting hundreds of graduates and still educating children’s hearts and minds in Michigan’s great southwest. Graduates are serving in many leadership capacities locally, across the United States and around the world, including serving as pastors, teachers, business owners, service men and women, missionaries, engineers, artists, teachers abroad and completing doctoral work. Some have returned to Grace Christian School as faculty, coaches, board members, and, what we are most proud of, parents of current students. Grace Christian stakeholders consider being entrusted with the education of the children of alumni to be the most significant indicator of the school’s success.