Tuesday, March 30th David Walsworth, administrator of Gracepoint Christian Academy, spoke to the Kiwanis Club. Tony McManus, board member of Gracepoint Christian Academy, introduced Mr. Walsworth. He related how he met him when he came to speak about the school at New Jerusalem Baptist Church and how he believed that this type of schooling is needed in our word.
Walsworth is also the pastor of First Assembly in Jonesboro. He related how he ran from ministry by playing drums for Bass Pro in Branson, Mo. Walsworth believes that the mission of Kiwanis is the same mission he is on. He believes that you can’t help others if you are not a believer. Walsworth quit school in the 7th grade because he hated school but yet God put it in his heart to start a school.
Gracepoint Christian Academy began its 7th year this year. They started with nothing and Walsworth’s prayer was that God give them a building and that it would not cost them a penny. The building and property was donated by Teddy Ray Price and a lawyer he did not know donated the legal work and paid all the fees, so it cost them nothing. Everything they have needed has been donated to them.
The school began in August of 2015. It is a non-denominational ministry. They teach the Bible not doctrinal issues. This year they have 50 students and 32% of them are from Winn Parish. The tuition is $3800 per year per student which doesn’t bring in a lot of money. The teachers make very little and some of them work for nothing. Pay for teachers is around $1000 per month.
They use the Bob Jones curriculum which is academically rigorous and also Biblically based. They want the children to view the world through the lens of God. They teach right and wrong through the word of God. The students get 16,000 hours of a Biblical world view based education. They seek to change children from the inside.
Next year the school will be from K3 through grade 12. They want the school to be strong and healthy and would like to limit class size to 12. Other ideas for the future include a Bible School for after graduation and a Christian trade school. They would like to be able to pay teachers a living wage and provide continuing education for them. Walsworth would like to see a Christian school in every community. Public schools are government schools and they have to teach what the government says.
Ways to help are to make donations(money and other needed items), monthly contributions, or sponsor a child for one year.