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Follow, Lead, Impact

Leaving an example worthy of following, Encounter Revival Ministries left their mark on the student body as they spent a week ministering to the preschool all the way through the high school. Meeting sometimes three to four times a day in order to cover the different age groups, the Encounter members fervently shared their testimonies of how God is working in their lives and changing them to be more like Jesus. 

Their impact is never small as they have ministered to students for 27 years. Due to Ardy and Jean Parlin's inability to travel with their ministry team this year, the Parlin's son-in-law, Jimmy Van Dyke, spoke to the students on lessons learned from the life of Jonah. In addition, the Encounter team beautifully sang and signed music throughout the week, shared skits of typical life situations to reinforce Biblical principles for daily living and spent time talking through Biblical truth with the students in small groups.

The students enjoy the personal time of Impact groups with the group of young adults who zealously share what the Lord is teaching them through His Word. One student said, "We could ask questions in small groups, and I appreciated how the team would tell how the Lord had helped them overcome challenges in life."

Over the years, our students have graduated and spent a year or two on the Encounter team before going to college. The Lord has greatly used the ministry of ERM to help our alumni develop a closer walk with the Lord, see life as ministry and live for the glory of God. 

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Giving Love

The sharing love and gifts continues to grow on campus each year on Valentine's Day. For what began as a small endeavor to raise a little money to feed Dominican people, now has reached a $3000 plus project that feeds villages of people on the Seniors' DR mission trip. Parents and students don't think twice about giving generously to the cause, and this year's totals beat all in cake ball orders and donations. Mrs. Sherri Hohneisen coordinates the project as a great way to boost the excitement of a holiday, which gives the students more incentive to give Valentines to their friends and the parents to their children. The cause is so much bigger than will ever be seen and gives the Gospel message to those with great physical and spiritual needs. 

The Seniors are excited to soon see a portion of what the Lord will do with the funds as they share the love from their school family to the Dominican people. 

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Making It Last

The second half of the Senior year comes with flying colors and brings light to the growth and successes of each soon-to-graduate student. This high point serves as a time for the school to make the last impressions and pour on the encouragement before sending off another group of emerging servant-leaders. From the Seniors’ preparing for the life-impacting mission trip to earning scholastic and athletic awards to achieving the role status of campus leaders, the seniors endeavor to make a lasting mark on Faith Christian School by influencing the younger students, through weekly devotional times and taking the time to be a friend to the younger students.

As a special time to honor each senior and acknowledge a character quality, the high school students cast votes, and the seniors were awarded a certificate of recognition on what is known as Senior Recognition Night after the evening basketball games. As the opening theme of "Making a Mark" gave way to a stage of finely dressed seniors, their testimonies were read and their outstanding character qualities announced. Each testimony centered around the call to be arrows in a world that needs a Savior and the reminder that each one is a different arrow to be shot into a variety of places.

One senior, Laura LeGlue gave testimony of how she wants to be used by God to leave a lasting mark. She said, “I want to use the skills that God has given me where they will be the most effective. I just hope to positively impact someone’s life whether or not the world knows my name.”

Attributes such as integrity, loyalty, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, determination, diligence and more were awarded to the Seniors. Another senior, Jordan Lester, who was awarded for his commitment, spoke of how he wants to make his mark as an example of character. He said, “I hope that I will be remembered as someone who tried to do right.”

Others spoke of their desires to be a godly example, a good friend, an encourager, a good teammate and a missionary among so many godly ambitions.

The Seniors expressed thanksgiving to family as their recorded testimonies were played during a video presentation. The enjoyable pictures of family times, school activities and fun with friends represented the Lord’s goodness on their blessed and impacted lives.

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Great Days, Grand Times!

What a grand day! We spent the afternoon with our grandparents. The entire student body came together to honor some of the most loved ones in their lives. Administrators, Todd Daniel and Johnny Reeder led the program with entertaining Powerpoint presentations, and the elementary students sang. Some of the students even shared what makes their grandparents so special - all the simple and kind things they do, the stories and lessons, and all the times shared. Grandparents even shared the testimonies of their own grandparents' influences in their lives after Mr. Daniel told of the spiritual impact of his grandmother. The sweet spirit made a precious time of reflection for the Faith family. 

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Contagious Spirit!

Eagle spirit raged as the students kindergarten though twelfth grade dressed up in their best costumes for a week of school spirit. From Monday's Team Day to Tuesday's Nerd or Decade Day, the students loved the changes. Continuing on into Wednesday, we had a Western or character theme before Thursday, when the students could roll out of bed and go to school in their pajama pants. What fun for the students! Our last day on Friday was none other than Eagle Spirit Day when the campus was robed in blue and gold from all the die-hard Eagle fans. The fun and spirit were definitely outrageously contagious!

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Voices of the Past: Alumni Chapel

What more could a teacher want than to hear his/her former students are living successful lives! Even though graduates are seen all around campus everyday bringing their children to school, we love to hear what is going on in their lives. Administrator Todd Daniel invited alumni to tell their stories. Not only did it give an alternative to the normal chapel services,  but it allowed the students an opportunity to witness God's power in the lives of ordinary people.  Mr. Daniel said, "I wanted the students to hear truth from a different perspective. The goal was to try and help the students see that God is real in their lives even at their ages." 

The graduates told of their salvation and circumstances or school events that the Lord used to draw them to Himself. They told of the importance of godly friendships, the significance of life struggles and how the Lord grew them in and after high school. One of the greatest blessings was to here how they were serving the Lord in vocations that are not often considered ministry professions.

Graduate Kevin Langley told how the Lord had used experiences of driving a service truck to help him study God's Word and be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about his faith. He said, "Look for ways to serve the Lord." 

In addition to his daily job, Langley seeks to minister in other ways. He and his wife, Beth, also a graduate, serve the Lord through an out-of-the-ordinary ministry. They carry construction items at least twice a year to missionaries who are constructing churches or various projects. 

Another graduate, John Avelino told of how the Lord uses his upbringing at FCS as he works in the business world. He said, "No matter what you do, you can share your faith. You must be fully grounded in your beliefs so that you can answer the questions that you will encounter. God will give you opportunities."

From recent graduates of the last five years to graduates of the 1970s, the wisdom shared answered the questions in the minds of students as they realized they too can serve the Lord and be used by God. 

One student said, "I appreciated the different type of chapel where people who serve in our community shared their challenges and how God can and has used their lives. It made me realize that God can use all of us."

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Exemplary Service

What better way to spend our Veterans Day than in school honoring our hometown heroes! Elementary students sang the different military branches' songs, the middle school and high school groups each sang of our God's blessing on our nation, and the Echoes of Faith handbell choir played "My Country 'Tis of Thee." 

Along with parents, grandparents and friends of Faith, Sergeant Major Greg Williams and his wife, Navy Commander Meghan Williams, attended our service and spoke to the student body about their service and missions. Navy Commander Williams kept a captive audience, telling of her presence on the ship with the crew responsible for burying Osama Bin Laden at sea while Sergeant Major  Williams spoke of his experience with the crew who captured Saddam Hussein. 

Most of all, the couple reminded the students of our commission as a good soldier of Jesus Christ - servant-leadership, respecting others as better than ourselves, standing for what is right, and faithfully reading God's Word. All of this emphasized enduring the difficulties of this life as a godly soldier just as a military soldier who perseveres in battle. 

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Rejoice and Sing!

Another night of excellent praise and Christmas celebration came from our middle and high school students. The night began with high schoolers Sarah McLanahan and Jacob Cassell's singing "Let It Be Christmas." The Echoes of Faith Handbell Ensemble, one choir of juniors and one of seniors, played throughout the program ringing out the season carols such as "Carol of the Bells" and "Jingle Bells."

Select students showcased their talents. Senior Laura LeGlue played her violin as the Echoes of Faith choir sang "Gesu Bambino," and senior Kyle Richardson played "Joy to the World." Middle Schooler Jaden Scott sang a solo with the middle school chorus who sang "The Birthday of a King" and "Please Don't Send Me Fruitcake." 

Adding another thought-provoking element to the concert, the Advanced Speech Class performed, "The Lord in the Manger." The class gives a recitation each year to remind of our Lord's glory and His place of worship at Christmas.

Again portraying his talents, Kyle Richardson played for the Echoes of Faith Choir as they sang "Canon in D/The First Noel," and the choir completed the program with "All Is Well' and "White Christmas."

The excellent display of talent gave praise to the Savior for whom we celebrate the season. 

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Oh, What a Beautiful Evening!

Our elementary boys and girls dressed in their Christmas best and sang beautifully for their "packed-out" concert held at First Christian Church. From the elementary chorus, consisting of third through fifth grades to the second graders on their recorders, the kindergarten and first graders singing together and the sweet little preschoolers, the night was a merry reminder of the Christ of Christmas. Mrs. Elaine Bowman has been coordinating the concerts since the 1980s, and Mrs. Melody Humble came in the last 10 years to aide in additional music instruction of band instruments and the second graders' recorders. 

The elementary students enjoyed singing their carols as well as their fun Christmas songs such as "Winter Fantasy." A select group of elementary students, as the elementary ensemble, sang "Hot Cup of Cocoa" and "Christmas Alleluia" while the kindergarten and first grade group as well as the pre-school children kept the audience smiling with their loud carols and praises, including "All Around the Christmas Tree" and "Tell the Good News."

The second graders divided their time with singing and playing music such as "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "Joy to the World."

In addition to the elementary students' pleasurable time of Christmas cheer was a middle and high school concert for the Faith family to also enjoy the following week. 

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Keeping the Faith

How can we begin to thank God for His faithfulness without looking back to remember all He has done? Thus, Lamentations 3:23 became the theme of our 50th school year; "Our God is FAITHful." We ended the year with a celebration banquet, a marked memorial and a night of thanksgiving for all to enjoy.

Graduate Jack Whitley (1977) said, "I am thankful for three things. The friends I made here are great Christian friends for life who encouraged me in my faith. I am thankful for the teachers, their love and care even many years after graduation. I can't help but remember my parents who were poor and sacrificed to put me here."

At the beginning of the school year, the Lord put it in the hearts of the faculty and staff to honor those who have deeply impacted the student body of FCS. This included the North Carolina Christian School Association for being our educational support and continuing education resource, the school's Eagle Club for its patronage and providing for the athletic program, Bob Jones University for its provision of curriculum and faculty through the years and the Christian Scholarship Association for its support and partnership in educating students. Last and most importantly, Faith Baptist Church was recognized for casting the vision of FCS and serving as the essential pillar of support to the ministry. During the school year, the student body honored The Wilds Camp, Encounter Revival Ministries and Nate and Erica Jude with SCORE, Int., all for their influence and help in training servant-leaders for the Kingdom of God. 

During our evening of celebration, the reunion was precious as some of the first teachers and students reminisced of the good 'ole days, but to hear the testimonies of God's goodness made the night an amazing memorial not soon forgotten. Each had a story of God's abundant mercy, amazing grace and never-ending faithfulness. Testimonies of the young and old spoke of how God used FCS to impact their journeys.

Graduate Johnny Reeder (1989) and current teacher said, "I can carry you to places on this campus where I've had conversations with these teachers when I was a student. I also met my wife here. I thank the Lord that I now get to work with the people here. I am thankful for the academics, but these people have taught me so many lessons about life. I am so thankful for the work the Lord has done at this place and continues to do here."

Highlights of the evening include the elementary students' sweetly singing "He's Been Faithful," the faculty and staff giving testimony in the song, "God's Been Good" and the Advanced Speech class' dramatic reading of God's Faithfulness. In addition, Dr. Haas' (NCCSA Director) presented a plaque to the school for its 50 years, and Dr. Bob Jones, III (BJU Chancellor and our keynote speaker) encouraged but exhorted to continue the work of the Lord. He challenged the ministry to look back with intent, an intent of observing God's goodness and provision so that we may be encouraged to keep God's vision and persevere in His ways. He reminded, "This is God's doings; let it be marvelous in our eyes," from the words of Psalm 118:23.

The Lord has brought us to this milestone that we may testify of His goodness. We want to continue, to persevere, to remain stedfast in the faith of our founders and veterans who are living examples of authentic faith. We ask our Faith family to pray with us and to persevere with a renewed strength for the praise and glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

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Click here to read The Courier-Tribune article.