Azalea Park Baptist Church opened its School in a newly completed building in 1961. From the beginning, the school’s co-founder, Rev. James S. Raskins, was determined to offer a quality education superior to that offered by the public school system. More importantly, the School would have the freedom to meet its responsibility to teach children the Bible so they might know Christ and follow Him.
Church members were appointed to form the new School Board; they found very little experienced counsel and even less Christian curriculum materials. Ethel and Lloyd Fishbaugh, the School’s first Directors, brought both experience and materials from a Kindergarten/First Grade they had sponsored. At that time, the only curriculum available for basic studies came from secular publishers, however, teachers were able to supplement with Biblically based lessons. Eventually, the School Board elected to adopt the A Beka Curriculum which resulted in academic and spiritual benefits, and the school began to grow immediately.
In 1973, the School faced a serious financial crisis. At the same time a neighboring church closed its school. As School Board members and church Deacons discussed the future of the School, interested parents gathered with them to pray and to seek a solution to the problems. Out of those meetings there emerged fresh parental support and administrative improvements. God had answered their urgent prayers.
Today, 53 years after opening its doors to welcome its first students. Azalea Park Baptist School continues to provide a high quality education to a new generation. Using an outstanding back-to-basics curriculum taught from a Christian perspective, tomorrow’s leaders are learning to excel today. The curriculum emphasizes the worth of every child and provides opportunities which challenge and develop each child spiritually, academically, physically and socially. Alumni often return to thank School faculty and staff for the academic, moral and spiritual training they received at APBS. Many alumni return to enroll their own children, the highest form of praise and a testimony to the quality education that students receive.
As the Prophet Samuel once said, “Hitherto (thus far) hath the Lord helped us.” With God’s help, the best is yet to come.
— Linda Wolfe, School Director
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