We serve a God of new beginnings. This is true for us as individuals. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The Lord has given us all an invitation to start afresh when we accept His free gift of salvation.
There will also come a time when this will be true for all of creation. Peter informs us that everything we know will be dissolved with a fervent heat (II Peter 3:10-13), and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. When John saw this vision in the Book of the Revelation, “he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
Licking County Christian Academy began in 1972. Of course, there were only a few students in those early years of development. The first graduation class, in the spring of 1978, consisted of two. It should not surprise us that a school just starting out would have only a few students from “pioneering” families willing to make a go at something they really believed in.
LCCA is getting a fresh start. We are once again in a situation where enrollment is small. This is the perfect opportunity to hit the “reset” button. This is not a matter of retreat nor is it a last-ditch effort to make things work. This is an open door for us to step forward in technological advancement. This is an opportunity to assess where we are and to make whatever changes are necessary to see this ministry grow to heights it has never before achieved.
Moving forward does have its emotional challenges. We are saying “farewell” to a good number of dedicated faculty members who have poured their lives into this ministry. But the sadness that comes with the end of one era is displaced by the joy that comes at the beginning of the next. As a family member ages and gradually passes off the scene, new life is given with the birth of his posterity. We often hear those who are older talk of “the good old days.” But there are very few of us who would really want to go back to horse-and-buggy days. Due to my high-efficiency furnace, I do not need to rise repeatedly in the night to stoke the fire in order to keep my family warm.
The talk of change may concern some people, but the things that have made LCCA what it is today (the good things that alumni love and cherish) have not changed, and by God’s grace, they never will. If anything has changed concerning the purpose, the philosophy, or the desire for excellence, it is only to strive for even greater heights. When LCCA began, the students studied under the A.C.E. curriculum where they worked through their own self-guided paces. Rather than classroom lectures, there were education centers. Those who remember those early years can attest to the fact that those were humble beginnings. Therefore, we have already seen many changes as the school has grown and developed over the years. But rest assured in the reality that LCCA will always be LCCA.
The biggest changes for next year will be the curriculum, the class structure, and the reduced tuition. The curriculum will be A Beka Book, and that will be a long-term change. The structure, on the other hand, will be video instruction, and this adjustment will be short-term until we can regrow the school. As the enrollment increases, so will the opportunity to enlist more teachers. Some people assume “video school” means that students will sit mindlessly in front of monitors all day without any social interaction. That will not be the case. It is true that Mr. McBride will be teaching US History on a TV screen rather than Mr. Riggs in person, but students will still have classmates and teachers around them all day. There will still be music with Mrs. Nichols and shop with Pastor Dahlke. Sports and other extracurriculars are still on the schedule for this upcoming year. There will still be field trips, Camp Peniel, and Spirit Week. As I have told some of the students, if they are a part of a small class, then capitalize on that reality and plan to do things that only small classes can do. If the class size grows to being bigger than it presently is, make the most of that as well and do something that only large classes can do.
As the sun sets on one generation, a new sunrise dawns upon the horizon of another. There are exciting days ahead for Licking County Christian Academy, and I am glad to be a part of it.
Licking County Christian Academy