One of the area’s most visible schools overlooks Interstate 75 in Middletown and this year is celebrating a half-century of teaching Biblical-based lessons to thousands of students since the early 1970s.
Middletown Christian Schools (MCS) is one of the largest non-Catholic, pre-kindergarten to 12th grade schools north of Cincinnati that is also a ministry of a church.
Founded in 1972 as part of Grace Baptist Church, Middletown Christian sits high atop a hill on its 40-acre campus on the eastern side of Interstate 75 located just south of the SR 122 interchange at 3011 Union Road.
Veteran MCS Superintendent Brian Williams said the schools longevity and expansion over the decades is a testament to staying true to its faith-based mission.
“It’s our family environment and our mission is to educate students by serving families and encouraging Christ likeness,” said Williams.
“Our vision for the school is to produce disciples of Christ who spiritually, academically and physically prepared for life-long service. What makes us unique in the area is we are a ministry of Grace Baptist Church and have been since we started in 1972.”
Williams credited the hard work of staffers, church officials, donors and school parent volunteers during the decades leading up to this year’s 50th anniversary.
“We are grateful that we can truly partner with families in the education of students but also in their spiritual development as well.”
In 1972, the school had 75 students and in 1973 its graduating class consisted of just two.
Now MCS’ enrollment is 635 students, with 474 students in grades K-12 and 161 presently enrolled in the Middletown Christian Early Learning Center, which is in an adjacent campus building.
The Bible-based curricula includes short prayer sessions to start each class in the school, which also features a full gym, prep sports teams, computer lab and school spirit shop.
Students do not have to be members of the Grace Baptist Church to attend Middletown Christian and students come from families who attend 95 area churches.
MCS parent Christopher Dandoy has two children at the school and said the strengths of the Christian school are obvious.
“There are good values and teachers instilling good values on the kids,” said Dandoy.
“And the education is great … and this is the reputation we had heard about them. The class sizes are small and very reasonable so the teachers aren’t overwhelmed,” he said.
“They turn out good kids and the teachers are very dedicated to them.”
Among the many notable Middletown Christian Schools graduates are former Middletown Police Chief and now City Council member Rodney Muterspaw, who credits the school with much of his success.
Muterspaw, who graduated in 1986 and was a star basketball for the MCS Eagles, said “the school taught me discipline and attention to detail.”
“I had some remarkable teachers there who really looked out for me and who took the time to shape a young kid into something better than what I was,” he said.
“I will always be appreciative of the staff and my classmates for that. Who I am professionally now has a lot to do with that place.”