Two members of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) celebrated 50 years of Christian education in the communities of Guelph and Stoney Creek last month.
In Guelph, three former principals joined current principal Bob Moore and a host of revellers to share an evening banquet following an alumni soccer game and open house at Guelph Community Christian School.
“It was really a celebration of God’s faithfulness,” says Moore, “and it was so important for us to realize that we stand on the shoulders of these people that sacrificed in the early years to get this school started.”
He recalls stories of early pioneers saving their hard-earned dollars to ensure they had $2 a week to donate to the building of the school.
“They’d put their $2 in for the church and their $2 in for the school and live on what was left over,” he says.
He can relate as his school looks to the future acquisition of a new building and is currently striving to raise the necessary capital.
Bonnie Desjardins, principal at John Knox Christian School in Stoney Creek, says though her school has had its share of ups and downs over the years, the weekend-long celebration last month brought out the best of hope for the future.
Four of the five Grade 8 students from the first graduating class were part of the celebration, she says, as was the original board chair, whose great grandchildren attend the school today.
“It’s a real testament to God’s faithfulness through the generations,” says Desjardins.
“Even though we’re entering uncertain times in terms of enrolment; in terms of where Christian education may be going, we can still know that it’s God who’s leading us and guiding us and directing the way of the school.”
OACS executive director Hugo Marcus says these milestone anniversaries, and the many more to come, demonstrate stability and the fortitude to carry forward with the vision of Christian education.
“Our schools have a stable history,” he says, “and because they have a stable history that was rooted in the dreams and aspirations of the pioneers, they are able to move forward based on that and re-kindle the dream and the aspiration to a new generation.”