Mansfield Christian School began as a vision of a small group of people who began to walk the current property, asking the Lord to raise up a ministry that would become a light for Christ to this community and county. God has and is still answering those humble prayers.
In the fall of 1961 the ministry of Mansfield Christian School began in the lower level of Marion Avenue Grace Brethren Church. The school started with thirty-five students and three faculty members. For a little over two years, the school operated at this location. These first parents and staff members held to the conviction that parents have been given the responsibility by God to teach and train their children. They also held to the principle that education should result from a Biblical philosophy and the next generation should be taught a Christian world view.
In 1963 the school was given forty acres of property on Logan Road. The first building was constructed and the school moved into the new facilities. In subsequent years, the school experienced four building expansions that included additional classrooms, a gymnasium, athletic fields, and a radio station, WVMC. By 1972 the first graduating class with nineteen students received their diplomas.
The legacy of Mansfield Christian School spans over four decades. Each time period has been clearly marked with the Lord’s hand of providence as He has moved to bless the ministry. Through the years school personnel worked diligently to legitimize school programs and establish local and state-wide credibility. MCS received its charter for the State of Ohio, became an accredited member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), earned accreditation through North Central Association, joined the Ohio High School Athletic Association, and obtained federal licensure for its radio station from the FCC. Students can be part of the Pre-kindergarten thru 12th grade program by being on campus five days a week or educated through our independent studies program (home schooled).
With a solid academic program meeting state standards in place, the Lord opened the doors to expand our outreach opportunities in the 1980’s. Mission trips and service projects became a focus for MCS. Students and families set a world’s record washing cars in 1981 in an effort to fund the starting of a Christian school in the Dominican Republic. This was accomplished and Logos Christian School is still in operation today. Spring practicum trips were also created at this time to give students the opportunity to serve Christian agencies across the country. Locally, WVMC continued to expand its ministry as the school cultivated community support. Consequently, the student enrollment reached its highest peak, 715 students, at that time.
In the 1990’s, the Lord stirred the hearts of our people toward a closer walk with Him. Spiritual Emphasis Weeks distinguished by periods of revival encouraged an unparalleled display of student faith. Chapel times were redesigned to address student interests and promote large-scale participation. The face of corporate worship was never the same and honesty before the Lord became our priority. As a result, admission procedures were rewritten to attract interested Christian youth from supportive Christian homes.
The new millennium brought unmatched optimism regarding the future of our school. The Lord moved the attention to critical matters of finance and blessed the school beyond expectations. Solid relationships and honest research challenged an understanding of stewardship. As the financial responsibilities were reorganized, the Lord used many people who gave to the school to eliminate a debt of over one million dollars in only three years. The new financial stability allowed the Board and Administration to develop a master site plan in order to grow the school’s enrollment and facilities. Our first project was an Early Childhood Wing that enabled MCS to offer more classes for the students beginning their educational journey.
With the advent of the Ohio EdChoice program in 2006, the pace of building expansion became accelerated. Enrollment spiked as several local public school buildings and their students became eligible for vouchers. The school added almost 150 new students over just two years and was nearing building capacity for extracurricular services. Modular classrooms were purchased to alleviate crowding and maintain reasonable student-to-teacher ratios. Earlier than anticipated, the Board voted to build the new Early Childhood Wing and open its doors in the fall of 2008.
Left vacant by the Mansfield City Schools, the Ranchwood Elementary school building became available to purchase in the summer of 2007. Desperately needing space for our early childhood program while the new addition was under construction, the school entered into a lease-to-own agreement in August, 2007. The very night before the first day of school that year, volunteers were loading and unloading trucks of supplies for classrooms at the Ranchwood building. The Ranchwood school property was used by MCS for three years for instruction in the primary grades, PreK-2. With completion of a new building addition on the main campus and a decline of total enrollment, the Ranchwood school was vacated by MCS in 2010 and sold to a local charter school in 2011.
As planned, the new Early Childhood Wing opened in the fall of 2008 and the expansion has been a tremendous blessing for the school. Specifically, the addition of offices, storage rooms, and a legitimate cafeteria/multipurpose room has opened new avenues for meeting space, chapels, banquets, and classroom restructuring. MCS is committed to eliminating the building debt and remains in the center of its building campaign. A short-term note of $1.2 million was paid off in December of 2011 and a long term note of $2.2 million extends over twenty years. Aggressive strategies are in place and fundraising is now a primary focus of the Board and Superintendent.
MCS celebrated its 50th year anniversary in 2011 and it was an amazing year. On the first day of school, we took pictures, opened the time capsule, gave speeches, and dedicated the year to the Lord with prayer as a school body. The Lord was faithful to meet our most pressing financial needs amidst an uncertain economic time in which enrollment dropped annually, and He provided $1.2 million for MCS over a three year period for the short-term building note. This was a miraculous answer to prayer!
Over the past 50 years the Lord has been very faithful to our parents, students, and staff. Mansfield Christian School has remained true to our mission and purpose of “assisting the Christian home and church by teaching solid academics rooted in a Biblical worldview”.