The story of Plymouth Christian Academy’s history is an account of God’s faithfulness, provision, and blessing. PCA opened in 1976 with 50 students in the pre-school and 64 students in grades K-7. A library was started during the second year, with its card file in a shoebox. At the close of the 1978-1979 school year, the school accommodated grades K-9 with a total of 310 students and a faculty and staff of 20 people. PCA began a soccer team and its first junior varsity basketball team.
The class of 1985 had 24 graduates and the library boasted 3,579 volumes. By 1986, enrollment in pre-school through grade 12 had increased to 504 students with a staff of 31. Space continued to be a problem with not enough room for music or science classes. The small gym in the church building could hardly accommodate P.E. classes and necessitated “begging and borrowing” gyms for games. Fields for soccer, baseball and softball were also rented.
In 1988, the PCA secondary school earned accreditation by the University of Michigan.
The church and school began the “Lifetime Stewardship” campaign to fund a four-classroom addition and the construction of a new school gymnasium. In the fall of 1993, the new classrooms and gymnasium were dedicated. When the building was complete, the total construction cost of $1.3 million was paid in full. The school and church families had witnessed God’s miracle of a large, beautiful facility.
In the summer of 1994, the Lord provided four modular classrooms. Designated for secondary usage, the modular buildings were moved to an area behind our gymnasium and were renovated with a great deal of “elbow grease” from staff, board members and parents. The school earned North Central Association (NCA) accreditation in the spring of 1994. The nationally recognized NCA seal of approval is awarded to schools that meet a rigorous set of education standards.
During the 1995-1996 school year, PCA began a six-classroom addition to the elementary wing, an expansion of the library, and the installation of cables throughout the campus for a school-wide computer network. During the summer of 1996, a new playground was installed. The library moved to a newly renovated “Media Center” for the 1997-1998 school year.
The 1999-2000 school year started with the construction of new additions – a weight and locker room were added to the athletic facility along with the multipurpose room (now known as the Activity Center). The large multipurpose room would serve as a much needed second gym and secondary lunchroom and would be flanked by four first floor classrooms.
In the spring of 2000, God opened the door for the purchase of the 19 acres adjacent to the school. A baseball field, softball field, and soccer field have been constructed on the property. In 2002, the property to the south of the campus became available and once again God blessed our school and enlarged our borders with the purchase of that property. The total church and school campus now covers 44 acres.
In the fall of 2009, swings and basketball hoops were installed near the baseball field. The fall of 2010 brought the opening of our new nature trail with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by our first 5K run on Saturday, October 2, 2010. The summer of 2011 was marked by more construction as a new athletic wing and locker room were built.
In March of 2012, we earned Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) accreditation. As stated on the ACSI website, this accreditation is used to validate PCA’s quality and verify that PCA is striving for excellence based on a solid Christian philosophy of education foundation.
During the spring of 2014, PCA received certification from the U.S. State Department to serve as a school for foreign exchange students. This certification allows us to reach out to students around the world who would like to attend Plymouth Christian during their high school years. We are excited about the worldwide reach and ministry that this program brings to PCA.
The 2014-15 school year was marked by a tremendous gift and investment in technology at PCA as we launched the “Bring Your Own Device” program. Every incoming 9th grader during this year received a device from the school. The 10th-12th grade students were required to bring their own device and our teaching staff began to integrate technology into their classrooms to enhance learning.
PCA underwent the reaccreditation process with ACSI during the 2015-2016 school year. The accreditation process is rigorous and required a huge team of administration, faculty, staff, students and parents. PCA received a very strong report and a five-year accreditation certificate, the longest time frame available.
In the spring of 2016, the PCA security system installation began with the addition of security doors in the church building leading to the Frank Smith Lunch Room and the lower level classrooms. In the secondary building, security doors were added, providing lock down capabilities for all classrooms. Staff were provided key cards for entry.
Construction on a new secondary science lab began in the summer of 2016 thanks to a very generous donation from a faithful PCA partner. This space will serve as the biology lab to further prepare PCA students for the challenges ahead during their college years.
During the summer months of 2017, the elementary computer lab was converted and became home to the PCA Elementary STEM Lab. Two elementary computer carts were also purchased, allowing greater flexibility for our elementary computer teacher and classroom teachers. This process has given PCA elementary students the great opportunity to visit the STEM Lab on a weekly basis, expanding their hands-on STEM activities, all taught through the lens of the truth of God’s Word.
The need for a new school logo was recognized and work with a graphic designer and the PCA Advancement Team began during the 2017-18 school year. This project, lasting several months and traveling through a variety of committees, ended with the adoption and introduction of a new school brand for the fall of 2018. New school signage was purchased for the exterior of the secondary building and Joy Road. Signage updates continued throughout both buildings, bringing an updated look with the new school logo becoming prominent.
A vision to remodel our lower elementary hallway and cafeteria was cast during the 2017-18 school year. The work to paint, add brighter and more energy efficient lighting, and create a reading space off the elementary hallway was completed during the summer of 2018. The school year began with brightened spaces and a fresh look.
Security doors with a card pass system, further securing both buildings, were added in the winter of 2018. Staff and students quickly adapted to this increased layer of security.
Truly we have God’s faithfulness, provisions, and blessings during these 40 years! We look forward to seeing how He will lead in the future.