Editor’s Note: Enrollment is currently ongoing for K4 and kindergarten through fifth grade.
With just a few weeks before the start of the academic year, Vandalia Christian Academy found itself without a school.
But through a lot of faith, students at the private school are now able to continue their studies at the First Presbyterian Church, 1221 W. Fillmore St. in Vandalia. The first day of class for the students was held on Tuesday.
For more than 20 years, VCA has been housed at the First Baptist Church on South Sixth Street. Enrollment had dwindled over the years, and supporting the school was a big financial undertaking.On June 30, the Baptist Church community informed the VCA board that the ministry was ending and the school would close or find another location by the end of July.
“We decided we didn’t want that to happen,” VCA Board President Casey Leidner said. “So we did everything we could to not let that happen.”
Vandalia Christian Academy is a nondenominational church dedicated to the philosophy that a Chrstian education and its values and roots provide the best kind of education. It was started in 2000, when former principal Rod Deem believed Vandalia was in need of another educational option for children. The school only contained kindergarten through second grade at the time.
The hunt for the new school began in July, and Vandalia Christian Academy became its own nonprofit in hopes of finding a place before classes that fall. The task was not so easy, and Leidner said there were several rejections before someone brought up the idea of the First Presbyterian Church.
Board treasurer Staria Smith said the church kept coming up as a suggestion. Because the church has an older congregation with mostly adults in attendance, many of the Sunday school rooms were not being used.
“We just want to come there and be a blessing,” Smith said. “We want to hopefully help grow their church. It’s such a beautiful location.”
Another tie to the Presbyterian church was Leidner’s uncle Mike Kopp was an elder at that church. Leidner was at her uncle’s visitation when she received a text that a meeting had been scheduled for VCA’s future at the church.
Pete LeDuc is the new administrator at Vandalia Christian Academy. While the school had to downsize due to available resources but the school board and the administration intends to grow in the
It seemed meant to be, the board members say.
“We believe there was a little extra effort to get us there,” Leidner said. “One moment we think: are we going to fail at this? We don’t want to let people down. And then the next morning you wake up and you get a phone call and everything is right again.”
Smith agreed, adding: “God has been on our side in every hurdle that has been in front of us.”
Anyone who is interested in volunteering can contact the school at 618-283-9901. Enrollment is ongoing for kindergarten through fifth grade.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the school at 618-283-9901. Enrollment is ongoing for K4 and also for kindergarten through fifth grade.