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First Baptist Concord begins high school talks

First Baptist Concord reportedly has approved adding a high school to the existing kindergarten through eighth grades at Concord Christian School.

No representative from First Baptist returned phone calls, but a pamphlet distributed to congregation members in February answers common questions.

“I strongly support the idea of adding the high school grades,” a letter from FBC’s pastor the Rev. Doug Sager said.

“Last November, the Lord stirred my heart regarding this matter … I met with the Weekday Education Committee and shared my vision. After prayer and study they agreed to move forward with the motion,” he added.

According to Sager’s letter, the church began Concord Christian School in 1996 and “we have seen it blossom into a strong Christian ministry to students and families.

“Every weekday, over 400 students are taught God’s word as well as academic disciplines,” Sager said.

The church vote apparently was held Feb. 8, and according to Sager, “If the church approved this, [FBC] would add a ninth grade in the fall of 2009, and an additional grade each year through the twelfth grade.”

According to the pamphlet’s question-and-answer sheet, Concord Christian School completed a school-wide survey in 2008.

“The survey results showed that 97 percent of CCS parents saw a need for a high school and 84 percent indicated that they would send their children to the high school if one was available,” the pamphlet said.

According to the Q-and-A sheet, FBC has considered adding a high school in past years, first in 2001 and again in 2006, but decided against it because “we still did not have the facility space to add a high school.”

“… We now have the addition of new classroom space in the FBC student building and the soon-to-be-completed preschool and children’s building and due to the additional flexibility provided by the addition of the WestLake campus,” the pamphlet stated.

“Initially, the high school will be located on the FBC Kingston Pike Campus. If the FBC WestLake Campus growth demands expansion, we could have the option of using that space or staying on the Kingston Pike Campus.”

The pamphlet also addressed possible community feedback on the addition of a high school.

“During our 2007 public meetings about our Master Plan, questions were raised to the church about our plans to build a high school. The fear that was being expressed … [was about] a football stadium with a lighted field.

“As we said then and continue to say now, we do not see that occurring at the Kingston Pike campus,” the pamphlet stated.

“We were very careful, however, to not commit that we would never have a high school. … The space that we are building is church space that is also used for CCS and other ministries.

“There are people who will choose to spin our decision to initiate the expansion of our Christian education ministry … as ‘going back on our word’ or reneging on what they perceive as a ‘commitment,’ but we do not believe that perception is based on fact.

“More importantly, fear of negatively spun publicity should not deter us from doing what we believe God would have us do,” the pamphlet said.


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