By LIBBY CLUETT
Gospel Light Baptist Church is sprouting a new school in the community.
As do others areas schools, the church’s fledgling Gospel Light Baptist Academy starts on Aug. 26. Staff and church members have put on the finishing touches and the schools is ready to greet students.
“Gospel Light Baptist Academy is a ministry of Gospel Light Baptist Church,” explained Paster Caleb Shipman of the church and school located in a historic Fort Wolters’ church building – just west of the old swimming pool and north of the vacant base hospital.
Shipman, who came to Mineral Wells in 2007 to help open the church under the authority of Fairview Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan., said as the church has grown, its need for a school has developed.
“Our church has come together, collectively, to unite together to start a Christian school that would build the character of our children as well as provide academics that would ... bring children up to a high level of academics.
“It’s not a church school only,” he noted. “It doesn’t just exist for our church kids, although we did start it because there was a need that we saw, a need from our families, and our church wanted it. But we’ve tried to open it up to everybody, kindergarten through sixth grade, and tried make it as affordable as possible, so that everyone that wanted to could put their children in school.”
The school features a small, but experienced staff, with Lenora Peddy Morgan helping the academy get started by teaching first and second grades. She said she worked at Community Christian School in the past and, long ago, substituted in schools throughout the county in music. Also on board are Diane Chambers, who has taught alongside Morgan on many occasions and will teach the youngest students, and James Meierdierks who will help older students who need assistance. Shipman will serve as the school administrator.
“Our goals are to build the character of our children, not just of our church but of our community and have good moral character and integrity as citizens of the United States, as well as of our community in Mineral Wells,” Shipman said, adding, “Also to provide a standard of high excellence in academics and to provide an academic level, using the ‘A BEKA’ curriculum, from kindergarten to second grade and then, as we grow, continue to use the A BEKA curriculum in third and fourth grade and fifth and sixth grade.”
GLBA will have an open house on Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.. While it is for enrolled students and families, Shipman said it’s “open to everybody,” especially anyone “thinking about putting your kid in school and haven’t yet and” want to see what the school is about.
For anyone interested in enrolling, call the church and school office at 940-325-5100, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The academy is located at 601 Country Club Parkway. Information about the school is also available at gospellightmw.com.