Foundation Christian Academy
2014-2015 School Year
39-acre campus on Three Springs Road in Bowling Green, Kentucky
K3 - 8th Grade
National Christian School Association (NCSA)
The mission of Foundation Christian Academy is to provide a strong Christian foundation for students and to prepare them for spiritual, intellectual and social growth while in a Christian setting.
1 to 9
Average Class Size:
Boy's Athletic Teams:
Girl's Athletic Teams:
Clubs and Activities:
Blue and Gold
The idea for another attempt to establish a Christian school in Bowling Green, Kentucky was expressed in a letter from Roger Wood, Administrator of Potter Children's Home, to area congregations in the spring of 1995. He called for a meeting of interested area brethren. This meeting was held April 22nd at the Greenwood Park church building, with an encouraging number of brothers and sisters present. Interest was determined to be such that plans should be pursued toward this endeavor. To take the lead in the project, a volunteer committee was formed consisting of the following: Ralph Brewer (Alvaton), Carl Harris, Howard Frasier, Alicia Sowders, Wanda Knabe and Steve White from Greenwood Park; David Hamilton from Lehman Avenue, and Brad Young and Kelly Young from Richardsville. The Volunteer Committee met on May 1st and June 1st. At the June 1st meeting the Committee decided that an interim Board of Directors should be created and empowered to conduct necessary business for the school. This Board would be in power for only one year, after which a permanent Board should be established.
Other general meetings were conducted May 15th and June 5th. At the latter meeting, David Vester, principal of Mars Hill Bible School in Florence, Alabama, addressed the group and answered a number of questions. At yet another such meeting, a brother from a "for-profit" Christian school in the Louisville-Middletown area came and contributed many good ideas. In order to keep the school from appearing to be a product of Potter Children's Home, Roger dismissed himself from any public part in the formation of the school, and Dr. Steve White became the chairman of the Volunteer Committee.
At some point early in the process, we were advised to form a non-profit corporation which would require a Board of Directors, Articles of Incorporation, and By-laws. Howard Frasier, an attorney, and a member of the Volunteer committee from the beginning, took the lead in getting the legal work done. The intention was to get everything in place for the opening of a kindergarten in the fall of 1995, since the Greenwood Park elders had kindly offered the use of one of their classrooms. The process of getting all the required legal work finished in time to open in 1995 was too lengthy, however, and, although we did have a few who had registered for the August opening, there was money refunded.
A Name for Our School
Several names for the school were suggested, but one that met the greatest degree of approval was suggested by Brad Young: Cornerstone Christian School. Unfortunately, the State ruled against this name because of the existence of another school with that identical name, in eastern Kentucky. The Volunteer Committee, therefore, decided upon the name Foundation Christian Academy (foundation is not far removed from the cornerstone!).
As the legal work took form, the Interim Board became the first Board of Directors, and the Board has served ever since on a strictly volunteer basis. The school's newsletter, The Foundation of January, 1996 lists the following Board of Directors: Dr. Steve White, President; Kelly Young, Secretary; Alicia Sowders, Treasurer; Garnet Baker, Howard Frasier, and Carl Harris. Several have come and gone from the Board through the years. Others who have served include: Marvin Burgess, Katina Cole, Bobby Gilbert, Mike Watson, Mark Woodward, Richard Huffman, Martha Raymer, Wayne Riley, and Marilyn Smith. Some Board members resigned for various reasons such as job relocation, work load, health problems, etc. Two members are now deceased: Marvin Burgess and Martha Raymer. In 2004, members of the Board consisted of: Gil Ray Cowles, President; Kent Guthrie, Vice President; Rick Emerson, Secretary; Blake Fritsch, Treasurer; Jack Ray, Administrator; Garnet Baker, Paul F. Davis, Darrell Dubree, David Dymacek, Howard Frasier, Jr., Louise Goodman, Kelly Jackson, and Andy Wagoner. The above Board members were from Alvaton, Delafield, Greenwood Park, Lehman Avenue, and Mt. Pleasant.
Foundation Christian Academy officially opened, August 15th, 1996, with an all-day kindergarten consisting of 22 students, taught by Mrs. Lee Duff and Mrs. Lucy Mason, in a classroom leased from Greenwood Park Church of Christ. That congregation has ever been supportive of the school and as the student enrollment grew, they went out of their way to locate more room for us within their facility.
Continued growth demanded still more space, so negotiations were initiated with Potter Children's Home to renovate their former cafeteria. This was done at a cost of approximately $35,000, but it afforded space for two classrooms, an office and restroom facilities. This campus opened for our Pre-school Department in August, 2000. The Potter addition enabled the school to offer an all day program for four-year-olds in addition to kindergarten. This was so successful that a second classroom had to be found to meet the increased number of requests for pre-kindergarten. Thus, through the generosity of a Board member, arrangements were made with Potter to move the school office into an adjacent apartment. By the 2003-04 school term, with two four-year-old classes, kindergarten and grades one through six, FCA was leasing from both Greenwood Park and Potter Children's Home, eleven rooms (not counting kitchen space where hot lunches were served) and the office space at the Potter campus.
Foundation Christian Academy has continued to maintain an excellent curriculum, the fruit of which is noted in results from the Stanford Achievement Test, administered annually. The students consistently rank from one to three grades higher than their regular grade level. The majority of our teachers retired from public school systems and came to FCA because of their love for children and their love for teaching. All possess college degrees and most of them have Masters Degrees and Rank One status. The students, therefore, are held to high standards, while small classes assure that no student lacks personal attention. In addition to the excellent regular curriculum, students are instructed in Spanish, art and music. One hundred and six students were enrolled in 2004, but settled to the mid to upper 80's by 2007.
Educators who have met with us in recent years are Dr. Milton Sewell, President of Freed-Hardeman University; Bill Ruhl, of Goodpasture Christian School; and Dr. Phillip Patterson, President of National Christian School Association, of which the school is a member. Each of these men gave us invaluable advice and encouragement.
FCA engaged Andrew Ellis to be a part-time fundraiser and administrator shortly after the beginning of the 1999-2000 school year. His work with us ended during the spring semester of 2001. Since he was from Memphis and was not in a position to move his residence, it was apparent that he would not be able to continue a long-term relationship with our school. We appreciated, so much, Dr. Paul Ford Davis' willingness to step in as volunteer full time administrator. He was "in his element" having retired from lengthy service in the administration of Morehead State University.
By the time Dr. Davis felt the need to be relieved of his duties, the Board decided that the school needed a full time administrator. Board member Jack Ray was retiring from full-time preaching at the Lehman Avenue Church of Christ and was deemed by the Board to be in the right position "for such a time as this". Jack had helped establish a Christian school in Indianapolis, Indiana, several years earlier. That experience combined with his wisdom and dedication to the Lord, proved to be a definite asset to FCA.
We are also indebted to Judith Frasier for her many hours of work as volunteer secretary before the work load consumed so much time that she was hired by the Board. During the 2003-2004 school year, Lori Newcomb was employed to share the secretarial duties part-time.
Steve White resigned his position as President of the Board and as a Board member January 18, 2000. Howard Frasier, who had been serving as Vice President, moved up as President, and served until his resignation in the fall of 2001. Gil Ray Cowles was then elected President.
The annual Spring Dinner has been an important fundraiser. Speakers who have been with us include: Ray Frizzell, Jim Bill McInteer, David Slater, Mark McInteer, Marlin Connelly, Walt Leaver, David Dymacek, Dr. Milton Sewell, President of Freed-Hardeman University, Steve Higgenbotham, Mary Taylor Cowles, head coach for the Lady Toppers basketball team at Western Kentucky University and Sonny Banning, about whom more will said in a later paragraph. The other major fundraiser for FCA is the Chili Supper and Auction which is held annually in October. Besides being an occasion of fellowship and enjoyment, it has proved to be a significant source of revenue for the school.
Seeing the need for assistance in the field of fundraising, in late 2003 the Board employed Richard Huffman, preacher for the Woodburn congregation, and retired insurance executive, as Director of Development on a part-time basis. Although his term of service was short, it was helpful to the school.
The Board attempts each year to take several hours of one day for a retreat for review of the school's status and to plan for the future. These retreats have proven to be very productive from the standpoint of evaluation of progress and setting goals for the future.
A New Campus
A major step toward the advancement of FCA was taken on August 5th, 2003, when President Cowles signed a contract for the purchase of fifty acres of land for the establishment of a permanent campus. The purchase price was $450,000, of which $45,000 was initially paid, with the balance due to be paid within one year. Individual Board members pledged at least $94,000, and they appealed to others for help as well. It was an occasion of joy when the final payment was met on time and the land became free and clear of indebtedness. A prime location, frontage of this property is on Three Springs Road (KY 884). It is bounded on the north by William Natcher Parkway and on the east by Interstate 65.
After the land purchase was completed, raising funds for the school building remained the greatest challenge. The Board, therefore, began formulating plans to launch a three-year Capital Building Campaign. They were advised to secure the services of a Wichita, Kansas firm, Custom Development, Inc., to guide the Board through this process. Representing that company was Sonny Banning, who spoke at the 2006 Spring Dinner. This firm conducted a thorough study of FCA, acknowledging both strengths and weaknesses, offering recommendations as to how to improve the school. Many interviews were conducted with parents of present and former students, faculty, staff, the Board and others. Upon opening the Campaign, before issuing a challenge for others to give, Board members led the way by personally pledging and/or donating more than $253,400 to this project. At that time, the Board was approximately twelve or thirteen members strong.
Thirty-five is the number of faithful Christians having served on the Board of Directors from time to time since the school was organized in 1995. All Board members serve without pay. In addition to the two lost through death, some served out their term and chose to resign; others moved away, while still others found it necessary for one reason or another to resign before their terms expired. Although the maximum number of Board members allowed by the by-laws is fifteen, that number has never quite been reached. In 2007, those listed in the newsletter as Board member were: Chris Young, President; Gil Ray Cowles, Vice President; Becky Painter, Secretary; Lisa Crowe, Treasurer; Garnet Baker, David Cook, Paul Ford Davis, Emerson Dickerson, Bryan Dyer, David Dymacek, Louise Goodman, Kent Guthrie, and Floyd Mosley. Board members who resigned since 2004 include Darrell Dubree, Rick Emerson, Howard Frasier, Blake Fritsch, James Grimes, Kelly Jackson and Andy Wagoner.
Two teachers retired at the end of the 2005-2006 school year. Lucy Mason was one of the two original teachers, decided it was time to have more family time. Gracie Foster, who has been with the school several years, needed more time to help care for her aging mother. Lea Dye, who had taught one of the four-year-old classes resigned to take a position as tutor of infants with special needs. All of these ladies had served FCA with dedication, and everyone regretted their leaving.
Mrs. Phyllis Turner taught French during the school terms of 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. After the completion of her commitment, the school reverted to teaching of Spanish at the request of several parents.
The 2006-2006 faculty consisted of the following: Mrs. Phyllis Roberts and Mrs. Celeste Edwards taught the two four-year-old classes; Kindergarten, Mrs. Lee Duff; Grade 1, Mrs. Shirley Solzman; Grade 2, Mrs. Elaine Burgess; Grade 3, Mrs. Marilyn Smith; Grades 4 and 5, Mrs. Brenda Brown; Grade 6, Miss Ann Lovelady. Mrs. Heather Vernon taught Spanish the first semester and Mrs. Sandy Howell took it in the spring. Art was taught by Mrs. Veronica Cary, and music classes were covered by Mr. Garnet Baker, completing ten years as a volunteer.
Probably the most exciting event of the 2006-2007 school term occurred on Sunday, March 11, 2007 at 2:00pm when approximately 225 people gathered at the building site for a Groundbreaking Ceremony. Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, Jody Richards, joined David Dymacek, Jack Ray and David Cook in offering inspiring and motivating remarks. It was especially exciting to witness many of the students take the shovels and actually turn the dirt, signifying the official beginning of our construction project. The construction firm of Scott, Murphy and Daniel had been awarded the construction contract and had representatives on hand for the occasion. FCA Board member, Kent Guthrie had agreed to serve as project manager and liaison between contractor and the school. A large number of novelty yellow plastic "hardhats" were worn by both children and many adults, making the scene take on the appearance of a field of daffodils. This pivotal moment in the FCA story was an optimistic forecast of a bright future of the school!