Celebrating 50 Years of Friendship Christian School
Written by Ric Nelson, Friendship Christian Head of School
On Sunday September 8, 2019, Friendship Baptist Church celebrated her 54th anniversary. If you have never heard about the history of FBC, it is worth a read. We certainly do appreciate the faith and commitment of the charter members. This year was special for FBC. Its ministry, Friendship Christian School, is celebrating her 50th Anniversary!!
During our special Sunday morning service, several people were honored. We were privileged to have five of the school’s eight administrators, including the first administrator Pastor Eddie Peterson. It was great to see several former faculty and staff members gathered with the current FCS faculty and staff. A wonderful video tribute was viewed that showed God’s hand at work in the history of Friendship. The day concluded with a lunch where everyone enjoyed looking at former yearbook pictures used as place mats.
Friendship Christian School 50th Anniversary Video
Friendship Baptist Church 50th Anniversary Video – Celebrated in 2015
Thoughts from Mr. Nelson, Head of School, on his 14th year at FCS
I knew very little about FCS when my family moved from the Baltimore area 14 years ago. We were excited about where God had clearly led our family, but still a little nervous about a new school. I had served 11 years at my previous school and was quite comfortable. Ultimately what led us to FCS was the leadership of Pastor Vradenburgh and the church. While yes I needed employment, we really were looking for a new church to call home. Little did we know that after one year as serving as Athletic Director that the Lord was going to move my position to Head of School.
When I look at the history of FBC and the start of FCS, I stand amazed. It is clear that it has been God that has led in these areas and not men. As I met the charter members, I sat in the presence of some of the most Godly, humble men and ladies that I have ever known. They were always interested in not just how the school was doing, but how I was doing. I feel a certain level of accountability to their legacy to make sure that God is always first here at FCS.
The school has undergone several cosmetic changes and upgrades since I have arrived. While awesome, those are not the most exciting things to me. With four young children and not fully knowing what their interests would be when they grew up, we were looking for a school that our children could increase socially, athletically, academically and in fine arts with Christ preeminent in all things. FCS had and continues to have a rich heritage in athletics and fine arts. We continue to emphasize them now. I did feel we had room to grow socially and academically.
One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Revelation 7:9-10.
“9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”
We are given a view of what the “church” will look like in heaven. I do not see any division based on intelligence. I also see all people gathered together in one place. And then the obvious, all attention is given to the Lamb and to God.
How have these verses affected decisions made here at FCS?
- The Gospel does not separate based on academics. We started the SLC program in 2008 for students with learning needs. We expanded it to the FLC program in 2012 and added the Occupation Track for students that need more help. We also added a full Dual Credit program in 2014 for students that are ready for college work. It is truly our goal to meet the academic needs of all students. We also became regionally recognized by achieving accreditation in 2011.
- The Gospel does not separate based on finances. In 2010, the board approved a tuition assistance program to help needy families. Since then we have provided over 1.2 million dollars to allow students to come to FCS. What a blessing to make Christian education accessible to all that desire it.
- The Gospel does not separate based on nations or cultures. In 2011, we started to admit International Students to our school. It has been a blessing to see the Gospel literally presented around the world through FCS. It has also been a blessing to see FCS reach out to all people and cultures in the Raleigh area.
As I look towards the future of FCS, may we continue to share the Gospel with all people. May we continue to see God glorified and all praise going to Him. May we be faithful to what He has called us and see lives changed for eternity.