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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. 

 


 

Reflections of God’s Faithfulness

What a precious evening, and we knew the end of our year was near! Our spring concert led by music teachers, Elaine Bowman and Melody Humble, always blesses the hearts of parents, grandparents and friends as we wrap up the last couple weeks of school. In honor of our 50th anniversary, Mrs. Bowman chose to continue the theme, "God Is Faithful," for the music program, since our banquet was just a few days before the last concert. All ages from First Grade to Twelfth Grade, the students sang, played instruments and performed for their appreciative audience. First graders smiled through their songs, including "Jesus, My Savior Will Love Me" and "Let Brotherly Love Continue."

Also sweetly entertaining their audience with Godward praise, the second grader sang "Hallelujah, There's No Night There" among others, but ended with the cute sounds of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." 

The elementary chorus sang a couple of times throughout the concert. From "Fifty, Nifty United States" to their 50th banquet songs, "He's Been Faithful" and "You Are Always Good," and listeners were blessed. 

Our middle school chorus added "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone," and among others, "Precious Memories," while being accompanied by stringed instruments.

Also playing different times throughout the program, the Echoes of Faith Handbell Choir beautifully played songs such as "Holy Manna" and "Theme from William Tell Overture."

Near the end of the program, The Echoes of Faith Ensemble guided their audience to praise our faithful God through songs such as "How Great Thou Art," “The Power of the Cross" and "Give Me Jesus" for the Advanced Speech Class to end with their dramatic presentation called, "The Power of One." 

The audience sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" to end the program, and administrator Todd Daniel closed with prayer and testimony of our Lord's faithfulness. 

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Eagles Take Flight

 What an honor to graduate in the school's 50th year! "God Is Faithful" continued to encompass and wrap up the school year at the 46th commencement. From the first speech given by Salutatorian Ashley Avelino until the recessional of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," our God received the praise. Avelino gave her address and emphasized the eagle and its learning to fly. She also incorporated her salvation testimony and her family's Eagle heritage as Faith graduates and Faith Baptist charter members who helped to build the school fifty years before. She said, "One could say I was destined to be an Eagle before I was even born."

She moved toward her conclusion, reminding her classmates, "Most of all, the people of this school have taught us to have good values, morals and to keep God first in all that we do to prepare us to go out on our own, leaving our safe nest, preparing us to take flight...now, we start our journey to soar as Eagles with courage, honor, power, freedom, determination, strength, bravery, beauty and grace."

As the commencement ceremony continued, seniors gave testimonies, Todd Daniel, administrator, and Lydia Daniel, class sponsor, sang "Christ Is Sufficient," before Will Dinsmore gave his valedictory address humorously comparing his 14-year "ride" at FCS to a roller coaster. He concluded that FCS had greatly changed his life for the better and said, "Faith has been a place where I am challenged to grow in my walk with God, and I will be forever grateful for the teachers who encouraged me to continue to pursue God."

After the presentation of academic awards and affirmation of scholarships, the class presented their gift of a boulder placed at the school's entrance as a memorial of God's grace and faithfulness in the school's 50th year. 

In addition, parents were recognized and honored, and Brian Smith, another class sponsor, and Mrs. Daniel recited the senior parents' humorous sayings given by the seniors. Pastor Sam Hicks prayed for the Lord to use and bless the class, a photo retrospective was shown, and teachers, Gary Jones and Cris Brunson, sang "But Continue Thou" based upon II Timothy 3:14. 

As the seniors received their diplomas, many of the males stopped to hug their administrator, Mr. Daniel, who had invested his time in getting to know and love them. The recessional, unlike any other year, was sung by the audience for all to acknowledge God's great faithfulness to this little school where God continues to grow servant-leaders for His Kingdom. 

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A Job Well-Done

As each year comes to its close, coaches and teachers take the opportunity to give honor to whom it is due. From academic awards of the A-B Honor Roll, All-A Principal's List, highest achievements per class awards to the athletic awards of Most Valuable Player, Best Defensive or Offensive Player, Team Before Self and Most Improved awards but also the American Association of Christian School's Athletic-Academic Awards for senior athletes who maintain exceptional grades, a large amount of trophies, certificates and medallions were given to deserving students. The banquet was a time for the middle and high school students and their parents to come together in the last days of school, while the elementary parents shared their children's awards ceremony on the last day. 

One of the most humbling awards given on this night was the Christian leadership as voted on by the student body. Eighth graders, Jacob Avelino and Kayleigh Shimp received the award while seniors Sarah Gregg and Will Dinsmore were also awarded for their leadership. 

One teacher on behalf of so many others said, "It gives us great joy to award our students for their hard work because it encourages them to continue developing good work habits. Awarding students for Christian leadership is also a reminder to all the students that we as Christians are little Christs who serve one another in love and good works. It's always a blessing when there are many who could be chosen, but also a reminder that no one is innately good. It is God working in us."

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Labor of Love

What a LOVEly day is Valentine's Day at FCS! Our love spreads all the way to the Dominican Republic to feed villages. Each year Mrs. Sherri Hohneisen, the mission trip coordinator, organizes a fundraiser for the students and parents to send balloons, candy, cake balls, and even singing Valentines at school to as many loved ones as possible. After expenses are met, all the proceeds go to feed church villages on the Seniors' mission trip to the Dominican Republic. The Senior Class cleared over $1600 this year to feed families, and what a blessing it was for the Seniors to share God's love to those who needed help. Their labors were not in vain in the Lord!

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God's Been Good

What an exciting night for the Seniors, their families and friends! Instead of a homecoming king or queen, what better way could we honor our Senior Class than to award them a certificate signifying an attribute voted by the high school student body? The Seniors were honored for attributes such as loyalty, kindness, supportiveness and the list goes on. Each Senior was recognized with his/her parents, and each testimony was read.  As the night was themed "Blessings," the Seniors reflected on God's blessings in their lives through their testimonies, and a slideshow of pictures further portrayed how blessed they truly are. The memorable evening ended with a circle of prayer over the Seniors to lead our student body with grateful hearts, praising their God for His blessings. 

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Honoring Our Heroes

As one of our few schoolwide chapel services of the school year, Veterans Day includes the assembling and honoring of our local heroes. Relatives and friends joined us for a music concert, a time for reflection and a time to show our respect and honor those who serve our country's military. From war vets to reservists and even present military officers, our students shook the hands and listened to the testimonies of service men and women committed to upholding our country's values and defending her freedom. The Advanced Speech Class recited the testimony of a soldier, the Echoes of Faith ensemble and handbell choir performed, while the elementary chorus and middle school students also sang of our great God and country. 

Middle school teacher Johnny Reeder led the program and took time to reflect on our nation's heroes. He said, "These veterans here today had to be dependable in their work."

He continued, "The people who have chosen to be a part of our military have a desire for something much greater than themselves. They wanted to defend this country whose core values from the start were based upon God's Word." 

At the close of the service, just before the students showed their respect by thanking them and shaking hands with the veterans in attendance, the high school ensemble sang "I'm Proud to Be an American." The memorable service impacted both the students and veterans. One parent said, "I always look forward to this day. I know most schools do not have school on this day, but I believe our students are educated in a very special way. They see the importance of honoring those who serve, those who greatly deserve our gratitude and respect."

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Serving, Loving and Praising Our God

What an amazing day! Is it not a blessing to serve the Lord by serving others? Our great God loves to use us to accomplish His work, and we are blessed to have such willing students and supportive parents. The weather was perfect today for so many outdoor jobs, like cleaning windows, raking leaves, pulling weeds, painting, construction - so many different things. Our younger students enjoyed their time singing, visiting, and giving out cards to the nursing home residents. According to Mrs. Tamra Moger, our CSP coordinator, "A lot of our jobs were hard work for older students. Including on-campus work, we were able to accomplish 55 jobs, and at least a third of our jobs were with agencies or homes that we usually visit." 

As always, the Lord blesses in ways that we are able to see now, which gives encouragement, but we also know that He does the unseen, and we trust that to reap benefits for His Kingdom. One blessing for which we are truly grateful was having so many fathers who came out to help with the big jobs. Mrs. Moger said, "I always pray for a lot of men to be able to help, and the Lord supplied all that we needed."

Upon returning from her group's job at the Family Crisis Center in Asheboro, teachers' aide and parent Melody Humble said, "One of our jobs required us to purchase flowers to make the Family Crisis Center look more attractive.  Mrs. Moger gave me $20 to purchase the flowers. We were surprised when the manager at Lowes Hardware told us that we could get whatever we wanted for $20." The group was excited to make the center look nice with flowers, and the personnel were very grateful for the all the work and the generous donation.

After visiting the Soup Kitchen in Asheboro, parent Heather Shimp said, "I was humbled and reminded of the song 'People Need the Lord.' I was glad to spend this time with my daughter, and we were able to see some of the parents of children who are bussed to our church."

Parent Chris Vaughn commented to Mrs. Moger upon returning to school, "The organization of this day was wonderful! It took a lot of deliberate action."

We are all very grateful for Mrs. Moger's diligent efforts in planning this event. She starts during the summer months, and once school begins, the work is on. Also, we cannot forget to praise our prayer partners who have spent many hours in prayer for God's provision, His watch care, and His power to make this effort a success in His eyes, as we seek to train our students to be servant-leaders. 

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Giving Back

Since the 1970s FCS students have received great benefits from The Wilds Christian Camp ministry, so impacting that we could never repay the debt or give an adequate thank you. However, in our 50th year as FCS, the Lord put it in the heart of the administrative staff to express their gratitude to each organization that has come alongside of Faith to fulfill its mission of educating and training servant-leaders for the Kingdom of God. The Wilds Camp has not only evangelized our young people, but they have exhorted and encouraged our students to live God-centered lives and live victoriously in this present world.

In our humble attempts to give The Wilds staff the honor they so deserve, our students and alumni wrote letters to express their gratitude and give testimony of the Wilds impact. While at camp the first week of September, the students treated the staff on Thursday evening by serving the meal and giving out cards with the letters and testimonies, while administration presented a money gift and plaque of honor to the camp staff. The night was encouraging for all. Mrs. Sherri Hohneisen, who helped with the celebration, said, "The students were so excited to honor The Wilds staff.  The young people know Matt, Willie, and Joe--the speakers--but we had an opportunity to honor the men and women who do the behind-the-scenes jobs, which are equally important."

On top of the pleasure of celebrating with the Wilds, the Lord powerfully worked in hearts to save and give salvation assurance to several of our students. Thus, it was worth every mile of the tiring trip! To keep the week lively and entertaining, the middle and high school students not only sat under the preaching of powerful messages and spent much one-on-one time with God, but they braved the falls hike, road the scenic ziplines as well as the tree-top land trolley, a free-falling giant swing, then rowed or peddled boats, jumped from lake towers, and some pounced the lake blob pillow or even soared from it into the cold lake waters. If that was not enough, they rode inner tubes down the river or slid down a choice of two different water slides. In addition, games and skits kept the students in the competitive spirit or just plain laughing at the staffs’ willingness to do the crazy things and actually enjoy it! But the sincerity of The Wilds ministry was clearly seen as program directors shared their hearts and gave direction to the students on many issues of our day, such as hopelessness and suicide, anger/malice/wrath and bitterness, loving God with a wholehearted devotion, what a living sacrifice looks like, and our greatest need - Christ, who is truly enough. The whole Wilds experience framed memories for the students to look back on, but it also revived their hearts to follow wholeheartedly after Christ this school year. 

Senior Sarah Gregg said, "I greatly appreciated this trip. The lessons brought me closer to my God, and my friendships grew."

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