Augusta Christian Schools in Martinez begins a yearlong celebration Thursday in honor of its 50th anniversary next year.
The school will begin celebrating with a convocation ceremony at 7 p.m. in the Baston Road campus gymnasium. Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page, whose children attended Augusta Christian, will be the keynote speaker.
Augusta Christian has come a long way since its inception as a kindergarten-only program in 1958, said Headmaster Joel Woodcock.
The school moved from a church on Druid Park Avenue in Augusta to Martinez in the mid-1970s. What started as an eight-pupil kindergarten class has swelled to a 600-plus pupil K-12 program, with an elementary campus on Furys Ferry Road and a high school campus on Baston Road, Woodcock said.
"The journey hasn't been easy, but I think God has seen fit to enable us to keep going through the years," he said. "I think Augusta Christian has impacted the community significantly over the years with graduating classes since 1978 through this past year."
Alumni of the school continue to enroll their children at Augusta Christian, he said, and many of the school's 100 staff and faculty members are former pupils.
August was actually the beginning of the 50th school year for Augusta Christian.
Woodcock said 2007 will be another year of expansion.
Within the next few weeks, the school will hold a grand opening for its new athletic field house and a green-space memorial for Sarah Christen Renfro, a pupil who died in a 2004 car wreck.
This follows the opening of the elementary school campus in 2005.
Thursday's ceremonies will include recognition of school founders Leila Havird, Jennings Murphy and the late Charlie Whitney. Woodcock said the school also plans anniversary events during the school's homecoming in October and again in the spring.
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