Stepping Out
by Fonda Cox, Directory of Development & Marketing for Education

After successfully opening and operating a preschool and childcare program for a year, the Florence Adventist church decided to respond to the request for a grade school. After researching the possibilities, securing the funds and donations needed to remodel their church to accommodate a grade school, they opened their doors in September 2012 as Sonshine Christian School with grades 1-8.

Newly hired teacher, Leisa Buller asked her students to write why they liked their school. These letters were posted on the church bulletin board for the church members to read the next week. Here is one written by one of Mrs. Buller’s non-Adventist students.

“I like this school because you have a fun time. The thing I like most about this school is that I have the best teacher in the world! I also have the best schoolmates too. The greatest thing is you get to worship God in any way you want to. I love the Lord and my teacher and schoolmates and my family. My favorite thing to do is draw on Thursday because we have art lessons. One thing we do during the school day is PE. I am here because my family wanted to try something new. My favorite Bible verse is, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (4th grade boy)

With a small church membership, Florence realized that without sharing their school with the community, they would never grow. They currently have 13 students, with just shy of 40% being non-Adventist. They saw the potential to share Jesus and the Adventist message with their community and stepped out in faith to make it happen.