Remembering God’s faithfulness through the years…
Belize Christian Ministries was incorporated in Belize as a non-profit corporation in 1991. The activities of the organization included vacation Bible schools for children, revival services, home improvement projects for the poor, medical and dental clinics.
The vision of Belize Christian Academy began in 1992, as Charlie Williams went on a prayer retreat seeking the Lord and listening for a direction of ministry in Belize. When he returned from this time of seeking the Lord, Charlie told his wife, Judy, that he believed God was telling them to start a private Christian school in Belmopan. The enormity of this task caused them to take a deep breath and acknowledge only God could do this.
They soon invited spiritual leaders of the community to join them for a meeting in which the idea of starting a private Christian school was presented. In that group were Joel Westby, Pastor and Educator, Glenda Johnson, teacher, Kent Fuller, Pastor/Missionary, and others. These people affirmed that starting a Christian school in Belmopan would be a positive contribution to the community. Though these individuals did not feel led to become directly involved in planning and developing the school, they were supportive. In the months that followed, Charlie and Judy found others who shared the vision and burden. Jeff and Fabian Keilly, a couple from Australia working with YWAM, and a former Peace Corp Volunteer, Claire Joya, joined Charlie and Judy often to pray and seek God’s guidance in every detail of the school. Though they had many more questions than answers, they continued toward the goal. Time after time they saw God provide – often in ways that so clearly showed His hand. Each decision about curriculum, uniforms, schedules, teachers, etc. was bathed in prayer. There was a constant knowing that God was creating this school.
The Ministry of Education approved BCA to be a licensed private Primary School, and in September 1993, Belize Christian Academy opened its doors in a rented building on Forest Drive in Belmopan. There were 38 students and 4 teachers. Fourteen nationalities were represented in the student body. It was clear that God had done this! After the first year was completed and the 8th grade graduation took place, it was determined that BCA would be extended to include 9th grade and each year another year of high school would be added until a complete high school was in existence. At such point, the Ministry of Education granted a License for Belize Christian Academy High School. The first high school graduation was a real landmark in June 1998. There were 10 graduates – eight of which went on to colleges in the U.S. Three of those graduates have since taught at BCA.
An excerpt from Judy’s writings:
“Perfect Timing Reaching the 20-year milestone at BCA, our prayers for successors became more frequent. Charlie used to say, “What if a dump truck runs us both over and there is no structure for continuing the vision for BCA?” We knew God had a plan for the day when we would step away and let others carry out the vision. In 2015 we heard about TeachBeyond, an organization that manages Christian schools across the world. Our first conversations with them brought affirmation that God had led us to them. Each individual with whom we spoke had a heart for God and a heart for Christian education. They also had a spirit of humility and respect that was so appealing to us. Many conversations later, we had a plan to turn BCA over to TeachBeyond and our thought was that we would continue to be involved working along with TeachBeyond for several years to make the transition as smooth as possible. But our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. That was not His plan. In May of 2016 we had a celebration in Belmopan. The community was informed of the transition. In September Charlie was diagnosed with leukemia. On the 6th of November 2016, the Lord took Charlie to his eternal home. His work on earth was done. He was a good and faithful servant. TeachBeyond is God’s answer to our prayers for His school. Praise Him for His wisdom and faithfulness!”
The governance of the school from the outset has been the responsibility of the Founders, Charlie and Judy Williams, and those who were called in to give counsel through the years. During the period of obtaining the current property of BCA and making the transition, the first additions to the BCA Board of Directors were Tony Chanona, BCA parent, Johnny Roberson, BCA parent, and Bonnie Adolphus, BCA teacher. They were valuable partners in bringing BCA to the next level. The current BCA Directors are Andy Palm, John Carr, Shirley Middleton, Rita Acevedo, Alida Sharp, Joe Neff, and Cheryl Stirm. Minerva Blancaneaux is Principal and non-voting member of the Board. Each year BCA has grown in cultural diversity and currently has students from 16 countries. Over the years BCA has had students from over 40 different countries. Its teachers have been from Belize, other Central American countries, the U.S., Japan, Trinidad, Canada, South Korea, Scotland, Jamaica, Taiwan, Africa, and other countries around the world. Teachers and students come and go, but the presence and power of God remain.