“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.– Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)
Grace Bible Academy didn’t come about overnight. The idea for GBA was conceived after much prayer over several years. Since 2006, our director, Brandon Pence, knew that his desire was to serve children and families and did that as an afterschool director at the former Fannie Bush Elementary for five years, in various roles at the Child Care Council of Kentucky for eight years working with child care workers, parents, and those receiving child care assistance. Mr. Brandon’s wife, Tanya Pence, is the director of Clark County Christian Preschool and Daycare located on First Church of God’s campus in Winchester, Kentucky. Their desire is truly to serve the children of Clark County.
In 2012, Mr. Brandon began praying about a work he could do to serve children in Clark County. They looked at several buildings and began moving toward opening a preschool, but didn’t feel the Lord wanted them to continue in that direction. In March of 2017, that desire was becoming stronger and stronger, but he still didn’t feel like a preschool was the answer. In May of 2017, the Lord revealed to Mr. Brandon to start what is now Grace Bible Academy. That same month, the board of Grace Bible Church gave approval to begin the process of starting our programs, beginning with a summer program in June of 2018.
The plan for Grace Bible Academy was simple: To create a learning environment that centered around the truth of Jesus Christ and built children up spiritually and academically. Mentoring Mr. Brandon is Grace Bible Church’s pastor Lee Cruse, who served as an educator and principal in the public school system for over 30 years including principal of the former Fannie Bush Elementary.
“We did not want to just slap the label ‘Christian’ on this school and make it like a glorified VBS,” said Mr. Brandon. “We wanted the children that attended this school to receive an education that was better than what they would receive in the public school system, but also an education that centered on the truth of God’s Word. We also wanted to try to do things differently. We wanted this school to have a unique atmosphere when families walked through the door.”
To instill this vision, we needed the right people in place to make that happen. As we began searching for the staff that would serve in this ministry, Mr. Brandon knew that he wanted teachers that loved the Lord and had a passion for children. The Lord has blessed us with incredible teachers that are dedicated to serving the children at Grace Bible Academy. All of our teachers have multiple years of experience and most our staff have at least their Master’s degrees.
But the work hasn’t stopped there. Grace Bible Academy is still growing. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” We’ve tried to plant the seed and tried to water it, but we trust and believe that God has caused it to grow. We are in awe of how He has blessed us since 2018 and the blessings He continues to pour out on us. We appreciate your continued prayers as we continue to serve the Lord in Clark County.