Why it All Began

School Website/FCS Steel structure.jpgThe year was 1968 – Vietnam was raging, students were protesting, cities were burning and America lost two of its brightest young stars in Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. To say that the 1960s were a turbulent time in America is to grossly understate the obvious. But in a small southern conservative county in central North Carolina, 1968 marked the year that one of the state’s first modern Christian day schools opened its doors.

An August 1968, edition of The Courier-Tribune declared that Randolph County sees the opening its first private Christian day school – Faith Christian School in Ramseur. The idea for the modern day Christian school movement was born as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions to remove prayer and Bible reading from the public schools in 1962 and 1963. Under the leadership of Pastor Richard Gray, Faith Baptist Church in Ramseur sensed the leading of God to establish a Christian day school where the Bible would be at the core of the instruction. Faith opened its doors in the fall of 1968 with an enrolment of eighty students. Its first graduation class in 1973 had six students. Faith presently has 328 students and will graduate its 570th student on May 28. The graduates of Faith include teachers, lawyers, business owners, pastors, missionaries, research scientists, college deans, managers and workers who faithfully serve all over the county, the state, the country and the world.

On Saturday, May 17, 2008, friends, parents, students, alumni and neighbors gathered on the campus of Faith Christian School, located on a thirteen acre tract just outside the town limits of Ramseur on NC Highway 22 South, to celebrate the school’s fortieth year of operation. Administrator Bill Hohneisen, along with his wife Sherri, has served at Faith for thirty nine of those forty years. Bill Hohneisen states, “The most amazing aspect of the ministry at Faith is God’s grace. God has met every need over these forty years in so many fantastic ways.”

Because Faith Christian School is a private school, it receives no financial help from any government agency. All funds to operate the school are generated by tuition, donations and fundraisers. Bill goes on to say, “in actuality, Faith has sustained an approximate operational deficit of $1.5 million over its forty years of operation, but by God’s grace, the total funds generated from donations and fundraisers is also $1.5 million.”

Philosophically, Faith Christian School is conservative, traditional, God-centered and very serious about its education. In order to assess the educational quality at Faith, every student takes the Stanford Achievement Test each year. Many of the students also compete among other Christian schools in the state in fine arts and academic competition. During the 2008 school year FCS students placed first in state academic competition in the areas of physics, algebra and chemistry. The school also operates a Talent Development Center where students can get help for any subject through individualized curriculum development. The school’s curriculum also includes speech and drama, journalism, Spanish language instruction, advanced math and sciences, and a full complement of athletics. The school competes in the western conference North Carolina Christian School Association. Because of the small size of the school, virtually any student who wishes to participate in a sport is afforded that opportunity.

The small size of the school has also allowed it take advantage of new educational developments. The President of the school, Pastor Gary Moger, states, “To introduce a new concept at a small independent school such as Faith is like steering a jet ski as opposed to a steering a battleship.” Because of this, Faith has been able to quickly incorporate new tools and technology into its educational scheme. For instance, the class of 1983 donated the first computer to the school at graduation. That fall seven more computers were added to produce Faith’s first computer lab where the students began to learn programming and develop computer skills years before PCs became popular. In 1986, through the generosity of a school donor, the school bought one of the first laser printers ever developed and became the first school in the state to produce camera ready pages for its annual through desktop publishing. Today via the internet, the parents and school have unprecedented daily communication including the ability for the parents to order lunch for their students up to a month in advance. Presently the school is in the process of placing flat screened HDTVs in each classroom in order to allow the teachers to use power point presentations in their teaching. Pastor Moger adds, “All of this has been accomplished by God’s grace through the generous donations of those who believe is what the school is doing. Without our donors, there would be no Christian school here.”

Through of the years of change, one thing stays constant at Faith Christian School – it’s God-centeredness. Every teacher and administrator will say that the purpose of Faith Christian School is to “glorify God by educating and training servant leaders for God’s kingdom”—the school’s mission and purpose statement. Each student has a Bible class each day and there is a chapel service once a week. Even though the sponsoring church is independently Baptist in doctrine, there are over one hundred different churches represented in the student body. Peace among the divergent religious beliefs is maintained by the embracing of a common doctrinal creed that each family agrees to before enrollment. Teachers are also instructed to steer clear of non-essential religious controversial topics.

The heart of every teacher and staff member is to glorify God. Veteran teacher Sherri Hohneisen sums it up best: “Our true hearts’ desire for these students is that they grow to love the Lord with all their heart, and that they in turn will raise a family that loves the Lord. Having this purpose in their lives will give them a single focus worthy of dedicating their whole life to which will result in their full enjoyment of life.”

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