Woodward, Okla. —
The Woodward Christian Academy held its grand opening Oct 29, at which several guest speakers offered words of encouragement to the school, students, and parents.
"Praise God for an establishment like this who'll help raise children up in a Christian manner," said guest speaker Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, which both seek to defend creationism. "I see this as a place to capture the hearts and minds of children for the Lord Jesus Christ."
Mike Wilcox, principal of the WCA, also spoke at the event, praising students as future ambassadors to the kingdom of God. Wilcox took time to thank the board, staff, parents, and donors for all the contributions made to the WCA.
"I like to think that we've not accomplished something," said Wilcox, "but rather that we're continuing to accomplish our goal of providing a quality Christian education for students."
Wilcox also went on to issue a commitment by the WCA to provide Woodward with an affordable alternative education.
"We're issuing a commitment that our tuition will remain low," said Wilcox. "It should not only be the wealthy that receive the benefits of a Christian education."
Later Ham went on to challenge the community to raise their children in a strong Christian way, challenging students and parents to "stand boldly and uncompromisingly on the word of God."
Ham issued warnings that America is losing the coming generations, quoting surveys which claimed nearly two-thirds of children are walking away from Christianity by the time they reach college.
He said that's why he sees WCA as more than just a Christian school, calling it a "rescue school."
"The Christian Academy can help rescue our kids from this present evil age," he said, referencing scripture found in Galatians 1:3-4.
Ham then went on to present the school with a donation from "Answers in Genesis," in the form of 2 collections of Christian books, one for teens and another for elementary grade students.
Pastor Jason Dirks also spoke on the benefits of the WCA.
As a father of 5 children who have attended or are still attending the Christian school, Dirks said, "there are several things I'm excited about the school providing. Namely continual saturation of the word of God, connecting all of life to God, and presence of teacher disciples."
"The WCA is an important tool in raising kids as disciples," he said, noting that his ultimate goal for his children is to be disciples of Christ.
Dirks described the new Christian academy as a miracle.
"I've dreamed of a day when the WCA would have a building of their own," Dirks said.
He was referencing how the school has struggled to find a permanent facility in which to teach, having been hosted by a number of churches since the school began in 1982.
Mayor Roscoe Hill also attended the ceremony.
"Things just seem to be happening for Northwest Oklahoma, and we're truly excited about the opening of the WCA," Hill said.
To mark the occasion, the mayor issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 29 as Woodward Christian Academy day, and the rest of the week as WCA week.
After the dedication speeches, members of the WCA board joined representatives from the Woodward Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting ceremony in the school's new gymnasium. The public was then allowed to tour the school and even enjoy some of the facilities, including the rock wall and racquetball court.