First Baptist Academy exists to assist parents by providing an excellent Classical education that fosters a biblical worldview, striving to equip students to impact the world for Christ.
FBA holds the deep conviction that the Lord Jesus Christ is to be preeminent in everything (Colossians 1:13-23). This commitment calls for all faculty and staff to be faithful followers of Christ and seek to integrate a true Biblical worldview in every subject taught and in all activities at FBA. We seek to establish a foundation which ultimately results in a firm commitment to Christ and His Kingdom. We seek to build a culture where students are introduced to an understanding and appreciation of God, His creation and grace, and to humanity’s accountability to Him in all things. A Christ-centered school requires intentional worship and service that seeks to develop a generation of students who will impact the world for Christ. FBA’s driving motive is Soli Deo Gloria.
Excellence is a distinctive quality that marks every Christian who takes seriously the command: “and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23). The evidence of this conviction is seen in an individual’s character, respect for authority, work ethic, and motivation. It is our desire that all we do is for the glory of God alone.
A Biblical worldview is the governing conviction that God is the authority and source of all truth. God is both transcendent and immanent, revealing Himself through the Scriptures. God’s word is complete and inerrant and provides perfect instruction for His children (2 Timothy 3:16-17). FBA’s conviction is that all truth is God’s truth and that there is no contradiction between God’s truth that is made known to us in Scripture (special revelation) and that which is known through creation (general revelation).
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is a command to intentionally cross cultural, language, geographical, and socio-economic barriers to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are committed to providing FBA faculty, staff, and students the skills and opportunities to personally participate in the fulfillment of that command.
FBA is a family involved school. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved, whether it be at a high school basketball game, having barbecue at the fall family picnic, or attending an awards chapel. Family is an integral working part in the functionality of FBA. Not only does the school involve the family, but the students themselves function as a family. When major events or celebrations occur in the life of a student we gather as a school to pray for them. The students are involved in the lives of one another; from kindergarten to senior year, FBA students live and breathe as a family.
The founders, faculty, and staff of FBA desire for every student to achieve their greatest potential in the acquisition of the knowledge of truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Maintaining high academic standards requires unyielding diligence to this effort. We believe academic achievement is best accomplished when all activities are intentionally geared to help students acquire the facts and skills needed to meet the challenges of the classical model of Christian education. We are committed to seeing every student grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).
First Baptist Academy is an ecclesial school, meaning it operates under the headship and authority of First Baptist Powell. In every area, from financial support, to athletic development and academic achievement, First Baptist Academy is wholly intertwined with First Baptist Powell, existing as the largest ministry of the church. As an ecclesial school, FBA affirms the following:
Confessional - FBA reflects the theological and doctrinal identity of FBP.
Covenantal - Christian education should be formative morally.
Classical - A classical model provides the rigor to systematically develop the student to understand the world from a biblical perspective.
Liturgical - The worship practices and rhythms of the church calendar frame the worship practices and rhythms of the school calendar.
Accessible - Just as the church is accessible to all, so should Christian Education be.
Pastoral - The pastoral care and accountability of the church is extended to the faculty and students.
At First Baptist Academy, we offer a classical Christian education. This is a centuries-proven learning model that recognizes students are more than their standardized test scores, aiming to develop them in a holistic way. The classical model of education focuses on three key stages, aligning with the developmental stages of children: grammar, logic, and rhetoric, known as the trivium. In the grammar stage (Lower School), children actually find memorization fun! We focus on rote memory & repetition as methods of learning that will build the foundation for the logic stage (Middle School). In the logic stage of the classical model, students are naturally more argumentative and begin to question authority and facts. They want to know the “why" of something - the logic behind it. During this stage, students learn reasoning and how to argue with wisdom and eloquence. This leads to the final part of a classical education, rhetoric (Upper School), in which students are encouraged to become independent thinkers and communicators with the goal of going on to be godly, productive leaders in their families, churches, communities, and careers. The classical approach teaches students not only how to learn but also how to think.
First Baptist Powell’s former Senior Pastor, Phil Jones, was convinced that First Baptist Academy was God’s idea and not his. God began to place a burden on his heart for a school between 1997 and 1998. He did not share the burden with anyone for a while, but it kept getting stronger. In 1999, Pastor Phil began to talk with others about this ever-growing burden for a Christian school. Early in 2003, it became clear to Pastor Phil that First Baptist Powell was missing the Lord’s will in some way. Though there was very little opposition to the school, things were just not coming together as they should. Everything was put “on hold” in mid-2003. In early 2004, Pastor Phil was very discouraged about the Christian school and wondered where he had missed the Lord’s guidance. After a Sunday service, one of the church’s prayer warriors said something to him in passing. “I don’t know details,” she said, “but I believe God wants our school to be different from other schools.” “When one of the prayer warriors speaks, I listen!” said Pastor Phil. As Pastor Phil began to earnestly seek the Lord, he sensed that He wanted us to have a school marked by academic excellence, but one that would rule out no one because of financial circumstances. He began to understand that God wanted us to have a school that would always be supplemented by special gifts and the church budget (in increasing amounts). A percentage of students would pay tuition that would be in line with their family income, and the balance would be supplemented through donations and the church budget. Soon after, a new task force was drafted and they immediately began the painstaking work of organizing our school. As we got closer to the projected start date, it was obvious that our school would also be different from most in that it would feature a classical approach to learning. The “revised vision” for the school was shared with the congregation to an amazing response. The members of First Baptist Powell began to give generously and in August of 2006, First Baptist Academy became a reality. The school has grown from 43 students to over 500, with our enrollment growing steadily each year. We look forward to continuing to follow the direction God has planned for First Baptist Academy!