Lancaster Seventh-Day Adventist School History
by Freda Shultz
The Lancaster S.D.A. School is the product of much faith, hard work, and perseverance--not only to get it going but to keep it going. It has also taken a large financial commitment by several people and much prayer. It had been a dream for several years to have a school here in Lancaster, Ohio, where our children could be educated in a Christian environment.
In July of 1995 Pastor Rick Remmers became our new pastor. Under his leadership, a campaign was begun to pay off our church building. A day of fasting and prayer was held with the church debt as one of the needs that was presented to the Lord. God was faithful in answering that prayer.
With the church debt no longer a concern, we were able to begin the planning of a new church school, so that our children could get a Christian education. In September of 1996 our first church school in Lancaster was opened with Mrs. Jalyn Morrow being the first teacher. There were six students. All of the students were new Adventists or non-Adventists. It was a thrill to the new teacher to teach the children the Bible stories that most of them had never heard before.
Jalyn was with us only one year and she and her husband left, so that he could continue His education at Andrews University.
Jenny Giles spent countless hours doing office work and assisting the teacher in other activities during that first year.
There was the usual -- a concern about finances for operating expenses for our school. Two of our members, Larry LaFollette and Milana Stump began to make plans for a church yard sale. Two such sales were held, with wonderful results. The idea of a thrift store was born and Freda Shultz and Mikki Fields began to work on finding a building suitable for a store. After many miraculous answers to prayer and much hard work, especially by Mikki and George Fields, Freda Shultz, John McBride, and Ralph Aldenderfer, The Good Neighbor Thrift Store was opened on October 24, 1996. The store was a success from the beginning. Because of the store, the school has been able to operate without accumulating debt.
Because The Good Neighbor Thrift Store pays $2,500 a month, we are able to operated the school with far less money coming from the church than any other church school in Ohio.
In September of 1997 our school began its second year with Carol Buhler being our teacher. Enrollment grew from 6 to 10 students. A kindergarten program was also started under Carol’s leadership. Ann Schwalbach and later Mikki Fields were the assistant teachers who helped with the kindergarteners.
Our school continued to grow, and by the third year we had 16 students. We were then faced with the need to hire one full time teacher and another half time teacher. It was at that time that Al and Bonnie Schone joined our church family. Al became the full time teacher and Bonnie the half time (in name only) teacher.
In 2000 the school became fully chartered by the state of Ohio for grades K-8.
2006 marks the beginning of the eleventh year of the school’s existence. We are enjoying another great year with the 13 students currently enrolled.
Many donations that have come into our school from the church family and even from those outside of our area who believe in our school here.
Much gratitude also goes to the Ohio Conference of S.D.A. Education Department for their support and encouragement along the way. In the beginning the comment was made that had the conference been aware of how little support was really available to our school, they would not have allowed us to begin. But as time went on, the attitude changed and the comment was made that our school is the one that operated on faith -- "The Faith School“.
Several of our students have graduated from Mt. Vernon Academy, an accredited Christian S.D.A. high school located near Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
God has truly rewarded the faith of the people. We believe that God also will reward His people for their prayers, sacrificial giving, and hard work that have kept the school going.
We rededicate our lives to the children as they are preparing their lives for service for God.