Legacy Christian Academy is a non-denominational, prekindergarten through 12th grade full-service Christian school. We officially began in July of 2016, but the transition and history before that is both rich and filled with challenges as the Lord has led us and provided for our school along the way in each step of the journey.
Our history is full of excitement and sacrifice and we could not have reached the next hurdle without God’s miraculous provision. In celebrating our 50th anniversary last fall we commented that this was our opportunity to place a marker in time as the Israelites did when they crossed the Jordan River. We, as humans, often need visual markers to remind us of God’s faithfulness.
A booklet that was prepared for that celebration is very informative to key events through the years. But no booklet can recognize all the people, all the circumstances, and all the answered prayers as God orchestrated our school to survive, grow, and serve this community in fulfilling the mission of Christian Education.
During this journey we have also wrestled with heartache and pain as people have come and gone. We have lost some through death, forcing us to face our fragility. Others have moved into other ministries or opportunities. While it is good to reflect on our history and gain perspective on what God has done, we also want to strengthen our resolve (Daniel 1:8) for the dreams and plans God lays on our hearts as we participate with Him.
Emmanuel Baptist Church had a vision for Christian education, and started the school with kindergarten in 1967. The school grew year by year and in May of 1983 the first senior class graduated. Hard times came upon the school that put the school’s existence in peril and in 1993 Dayton Christian Schools, led by pioneering Christian educator, Bud Schindler, invited the school to become part of the DCS school system. The school grew in such a way that required a move to the renovated skating rink, but then eventually led the school to our present home on the campus of the former Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphanage in 1999.
The idea of the orphanage for Civil War veterans is a part of history that includes Abraham Lincoln, other presidents, governors, first ladies and politicians who made this property a dwelling for thousands of children over the years. The students cherished and loved the education and training they received here. A key historian and donor to the property has been graduate, William Chavann, of the class of 1955. The rich history of the campus is recorded in a book written by Edward Lenz in 2010 called, A Home of their Own. A museum still resides on the campus today.
The property was unoccupied for several years after a stint of time as a detention center when Dayton Christian Schools became interested in its purchase. The stories around this purchase are rich and filled with God’s provision. A video history archived on our website includes discussion, question and answer with John Burkard and Bud Schindler.
The school had a high-water mark of enrollment that included more than 500 students as the DCS system dealt with old buildings, electrical power plant, tunnels, critters, and lots of asbestos. They had a vision for the 250 acre property to become a “ministry mall” which would include Athletes in Action( AIA). Heart to Honduras, Joni and Friends, International School Project, Strong Tower radio stations and Operation Christmas Child.
Amazing donations and gifts took the campus to significant levels as the property developed, including first class turf soccer fields, ball diamonds, and football/track stadiums, for AIA and the school.
In 2010 the financial strength of Dayton Christian was in jeopardy and the decision was made to sell 150 acres to AIA and 40 acres to the Legacy Village/Legacy Assisted Living, leaving the school in Dayton Christian hands. Even at this time, the way things unfolded may not line up with “man’s plans” but God had greater things in mind. What a joy it is today to be partners with God-centered organizations who share the upkeep and stewardship of this beautiful campus.
Legacy Christian Academy is born!
In 2015 it became a great concern to this administration and several dads in a prayer group that Xenia Christian had fallen in enrollment each year of the past twelve years. In looking at the options available, and in harmony with Dayton Christian’s mission to expand, grow, and serve the Christian school movement, it was determined to sell the remaining piece of property to an independent group of founding board members who started a new 501c (3) organized as Legacy Christian Academy. This group took ownership and created a community focus, keeping the same mission that had always been true for the last 50 years. Dr. Dan Bragg became our first superintendent and with his team of Natalie Demana, Michelle Miller, and an amazing crew of founding board members, Brad Riddle, Mark Combs, Chris McCaskey, Brett Stanley, Marc Sweeney and Kevin Wichman, orchestrated a transition that included raising more than $750,000 with the help of 250 donors. Teachers, parents and students worked together as we moved from being the “Xenia Christian Ambassadors” to the “Legacy Christian Knights.”
It has been exciting to see the enrollment decline turn from the low of 300 students in 2015 to nearly 450 students in 2018. We have seen veteran teachers and administrators joined by fresh faces of professionals who are excited about God’s work in our school. We have had so many amazing students pass through our doors. More than 1000 are alumni and many of them have been part of amazing accomplishments (state championships, scholarship recipients, Para-Olympians, pro-basketball players). Many are strong leaders, with strong families, serving the Lord in significant ways today.
The history is fresh, the excitement is high, but the focus on mission and acting out the values of God’s Word and His principles drive us to a vision cast for the future. With God’s blessing, this school will continue to equip our student to grow and become successful as they live lives that are pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are excited about our future and know that the future of LCA is dependent on the body of Christ for involvement, prayer and support.
Legacy Christian Academy is chartered by the State of Ohio and accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) as well as North Central Association (AdvancED).