Growing in favor with God refers to His spiritual growth. Faith Christian School emphasizes the spiritual truths found in God's Word. Each class begins with prayer. Each day, students receive Bible instruction. Each week, students gather to participate in a worshipful chapel service. The curriculum used for each class is centered around the truths and principles of God's Word. Students are taught what is right and wrong, based upon the careful interpretation of God's Word. Every teacher is a born-again, Bible-believer who is active in his/her home church. These teachers act as spiritual counselors and guides and truly seek the spiritual growth for each one of their students. Faith Christian School believes in superior academic attainment, but FCS desires salvation and sanctification of every student enrolled in the school.
You Walk Talks and Your Talk Talks
No one ever gets out of Mr. Bruce McLanahan's Bible class without hearing this saying: "Your walk talks, and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks." Affectionately known as "Mr. Mac," this twenty-one year FCS veteran emphasizes to his Bible students that it isn't enough to merely talk "Christian." It is not enough to be "hearers of the Word;" we need to be doers of the Word as well. This class is designed to be practical for the adolescent existing in a sin-sick world, and Mr. Mac teaches principles that will enable these teens to overcome the influences of a post-modern culture.
Shortened morning classes on Thursdays enable an hour to be carved out for high school chapel which is held each week. This is an opportunity for many area pastors and, occasionally, a former student or missionary to come and challenge FCS students in their walk with God. Elementary students come to chapel on Fridays. Many times different classes prepare a short program for chapel.
Not the usual yearly encounter, the middle and high students sat under the preaching of Matt Herbster for a morning chapel service. After receiving the call to missions in Hong Kong, the Herbster family recently left The Wilds Camp and continues on deputation in hopes of leaving for Hong Kong later this year.
Because of Herbster's over 20-year impact on FCS students, the administration and the middle and high school student body rallied to quickly raise funds through a pizza roll lunch and snack to give the Herbster family a gift to aid in traveling or setting up their home in Hong Kong.
The student body gratefully received Mr. Herbster and was blessed by his message on Psalm 119 concerning hating sin and valuing God's Word. He left the student body with two truths to never forget: Be faithful in God's Word as He will continue to grow a greater desire for it, and be convinced that God will give you grace to become more like Him.
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."
An Earned Respect
Another big day on campus each year, Veterans Day means celebrating our heroes with a special time of recognition. The student body welcomed parents, grandparents and Sergeant Major Greg Williams with his wife, Navy Commander Meghan Williams, who shared Veterans Day Chapel with us again as last year. Unlike Commander Williams' previous message and sharing of experiences from the capturing of Saddam Hussein, he read a heartfelt narrative of the American Flag's origin. He told of each color's significance and all that the flag represents. Sergeant Williams read, "I [the flag] stand guard over my nation's school ... I am displayed in every school yard. ....I am a symbol of their country. I symbolize their birthright, their heritage, their liberty purchased in blood..."
Sergeant Major Williams gave testimony of training which prepared him and other soldiers to always defend the flag. He remembered friends who gave all for their country and said, "I hate that I had friends who did not make it in Iraq and Afghanistan, but if they were here today they'd tell you, 'I died doing what I wanted to do.'"
In addition to Sergeant Major Williams' message, Chris Joyce, an FCS grandparent, told of his experiences and of his need for a service dog at this point in his life, as he experiences some health difficulties. It was interesting that the dog stood in front of Mr. Joyce, as if to protect him from any impending harm.
An opportunity for the students to perform, the elementary chorus as well as the middle and high school chorus groups sang. The handbell choir played a stirring rendition of The National Anthem. The Advanced Speech students also performed a recitation, reminding of the extreme sacrifice of ordinary but heroic people who were devoted to their country.
The celebratory service concluded as the students shook the military men and women's hands and thanked them for their sacrifices in making our nation free.
The Wilds Camp
With great testimonies of God's work in the lives of the middle and high school students, the spiritual revival continued on The Wilds trip the first week of September. The Lord used Travis Shelton, youth pastor of Beulah Baptist, in the opening chapels of the school year, and the Lord continued the work as the students were challenged to walk closely with their Lord through Bible study instruction on their Wilds trip.
Encounter Revival Ministries
A Few of the Things We Learned under the influence of the ERM Team:
Monday: Brother Ardy Parlin talked about how to recognize what are invisible giants, and how to conquer them. "This message helped me because I have an invisible giant. It helped me see how I can overcome it. Mr. Parlin said, 'If you don't get rid of an invisible giant fast, then it will start to control your life. But with God's help, you can overcome it." -Kylie Gaines, eighth grade
Tuesday: Discussing how to be a good friend, Mr. Parlin also dealt with choosing a good friend. "I have learned that being a good friend is more than just being there for someone. Sometimes you may have to tell them things that will make them upset but will be better for them in the long run." -Samuel Daniel, junior
Wednesday: Concerning a relationship with the Lord, Mr. Parlin taught on how to keep from stumbling in one's relationship with the Lord, and how to move forward from there. "This day helped me realize that I do stumble, but I have to be in God's Word so that I stumble less. The more time I spend with Him, the less I struggle." -Kenlyn Scott, sixth grade
Thursday: Brother Parlin explained the steps to an effective quiet time with God. "This day spoke to me the most because that has been such an emphasis this year. Mr. Daniel had really emphasized time spent with the Lord, and then in basketball practice, he said that he most of all wanted us to be men of God. I really think God has been pushing this in my life and speaking to me about being more committed and better with my devotions." -Cameron Smith, junior
Friday: Wrapping up the week, the students learned about how to make a difference in other people's lives and what is holding people back from sharing the Gospel. "This day really helped me. I haven't forgotten the drama about the guy hiding under the blanket. He was too scared to tell the life-changing news he had because someone might look at him funny. God helped me realize that we have this free gift of salvation that can save lives, but we are to afraid to share it." -Zackery Hughes, junior
The elementary through high school classes spent one to two hours a day being taught biblical truths through listening to music, skits with biblical purpose, impact group discussion and also playing games and watching video clips. The student body was truly blessed and challenged from spending the week with the ministry team.
Senior Missions Trip
St. Croix Mission
Our Senior Class visited YWAM in the Virgin Island of St. Croix where they ministered in a project community and held a Bible school for the children. In addition, the mission team of parents, sponsors and students were able to assist two local pastors in sprucing up their church facilities, The group was able to see the work of last year's mission group and visit the community soup kitchen, sponsored by the local pastor, where they sang to those attending worship and spent time with a veteran pastor who encouraged them in their mission efforts. This was the second year of ministry in St. Croix, and plans are anticipated for the 2023 Senior Mission trip.