Two couples who desired a strong Christian education for their children dreamed of starting a Christian school. Immersed in prayer and emboldened with research, they discovered a willing pastor who had passion and experience starting private Christian schools. Thus, in the fall of 1995, Bethany Christian School opened its door on the campus of Bethany Community Church with one class of 21 first grade students.
Sensing God’s leading the school embraced the model of independence in 1999. The Arizona Corporation Commission recorded our Articles of Incorporation as a 501c(3) on December 21, 1999. Our nonprofit corporation, Bethany Christian Schools, Inc., was launched.
Having no experience or funding to accomplish the task of moving as an independent school to its own location, the leadership of the school reached out to capable consultants who helped launch a capital campaign, “Embrace the Vision.” A quote from the 1999 campaign stated: “We believe God is moving in extraordinary ways to build the ministry of Bethany Christian School (BCS). Further, we believe that it is God’s will that the perfect new location is waiting for the school and that God will raise up an army of supporters who will give and do what it takes to Embrace the Vision.”
In May 2003 we were able to purchase what was then known as the Price Plaza facility, and were blessed in that a most capable project director facilitated the completion of the construction project on time and on budget.
On August 21, 2003 the school celebrated the first day of classes in its new facility. On October 2, 2003 the school hosted a public dedication ceremony with over 400 in attendance. Charting our course into independence felt at times as though we were sailing against the wind, but we trusted God as our anchor. Throughout the entire process, from the decision to become an independent school, to the completion of construction, the school continued to function with excellence.
Once settled into the new facility, the school board and administration began the process of accreditation as a private Christian school through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). The desire was to obtain external and independent validation of the school’s claim to be a school that strives for excellence in all areas and one that provides high-quality education. An exhaustive self-assessment occurred throughout 2005, culminating May 1-3, 2006 when an expert ACSI team thoroughly evaluated all aspects of the school.
In the fall of 2006, we were pleased to receive our certificate from the Regional Accreditation Commission acknowledging our accreditation term of seven years. The Commission unanimously agreed to this term, which was the maximum term allowable – no small feat for entering into the accreditation process the first time.
From 2007 into early 2009, the school embarked upon a major expansion that added roughly 4,000 sq. ft. of building space for a new library, a fine arts building, and two additional classrooms. The computer lab was upgraded with state of the art equipment and SMART board interactive whiteboards were installed in the classrooms. Improved landscaping, new fencing, and an installation of an outdoor high-performance, shock-absorbing sport court rounded out this extensive effort.
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