Established: Fall of 1978
Started Tabernacle Baptist School
Estimated enrollment in year one: 25
Grade levels provided in year one: K-12
Classrooms used in year one: 1
Reason for the start of a Christian school:Pastor Gunter’s educational background was in education. From the start of Pastor Gunter’s calling to the ministry, he was burdened with ministering to the youth. Prior to his pastoral duties in Sacramento, Dr. Gunter served in the bus ministry and Sunday School for Landmark Missionary Baptist Church.
After two years of service, Pastor Gunter moved to Texas and served as an assistant pastor and bus minister at Canyon Creek Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas. The Sunday School and bus ministry grew by leaps and bounds under the direction of Dr. Gunter. After his three-year stint in Texas, Dr. Gunter moved back to Sacramento, where he would quickly start Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Pastor Gunter’s main priority in Sacramento was to work hard to start the church side of his new endeavor. In the fall of 1978, Pastor Gunter’s oldest son, Brad Gunter Jr., would enter 1st grade. With the emergence of his son’s education and the positive outcry of his church, Pastor Gunter proceeded to start the school.
Student base at the beginning: Main goal of the school was ministering to the church families and their children.
The change from church school to a Christian school that would minister to the community:In 1994 the school had quietly grown and many pastors’ children from local churches began to attend Tabernacle Baptist School (as it was originally called).
With the expansion of the school from the normal church body, Pastor Gunter decided to change the name of the school and broaden the school’s outreach. The move proved to the church that God was ready to expand the ministry into the community. The school name was changed to Valley Christian Academy in 1994.
The four key points behind the philosophy of the school: Valley Christian Academy focuses on the complete make-up of a young person – Spiritual, Academic, Emotional, and Physical. (This is explained in the mission statement.)
The motto for educating today’s youth:Character, Heart, Attitude, Mental Toughness, Persistence, and Spiritual Walk
The expansion of Valley Christian Academysince 1994: Valley Christian Academy has seen tremendous growth since 1994. The existing 6.5 acres is almost filled to capacity. The school has brought in eight new classrooms, built a gymnasium, constructed a baseball field, and has expanded it’s auditorium.
The student population has grown from an estimated 100 students in 1994, to nearly 360 students in 2003. The Ministry has recently purchased the 3.5 acres directly across the street and plans to build a second gymnasium, an elementary wing (which is estimated to house 400 elementary students), and a new auditorium. The new auditorium will house an estimated 450 people and will be used for drama productions, music recitals, concerts, graduations and other spiritual and community outreach programs.
The backside of the property will consist of a 70-yard practice facility to be used for football and soccer, and other outdoor functions. It will be used daily for elementary recess and P.E. time. The property will include a state of the art playground for the use of the school and church.