A Brief History of Grace Academy
Grace Baptist Academy was founded in 1985 as a ministry of Grace Baptist Church. In 1978, Dr. Steve Euler assumed the pastorate of a small church in a suburb of Chattanooga. The East Brainerd area, in which the school was located, was one of the largest and fastest growing areas of Chattanooga. The church grew quickly and soon the young families expressed a need for a Christian school for their children and the expanding East Brainerd area.
In 1984 the congregation voted to open the school in the fall of 1985. The school started with Kindergarten through eighth grade. Dr. Bill Summers was employed as an assistant pastor and principal of the school. The school’s first year began with a surprising 242 students and grew the second year to over 400. In 1986 the church voted to refinance the church properties and building expansion began.
In 1997, Dr. Summers retired and Mr. David Patrick took on the leadership of the school. With continued growth, the school added a high school, daycare, middle school and in 2007 a new elementary facility. In addition to classroom facilities, a great deal of landscaping and athletic facility construction was needed to provide for an ever enlarging athletic program. Property was purchased and a soccer field, baseball field and football stadium were added. In 2006, the Screaming Eagle Booster Club started a new project to add a plaza around the football field and much needed lighting. In 2012, a restroom facility was added to the plaza area. Currently funds are being raised and some progress has been made toward completing other capital improvements.
Strides in the academic realm can be noted as well. Joint enrollment classes are now offered though a partnership with Chattanooga State Community College, as well as Bryan College. Advanced placement courses are also included in the high school program. The vocal music program has enjoyed significant success in a variety of competitions. The Discovery Center has allowed a good number of students who have had certain learning challenges to experience good improvement and advancement in their education.
In 2011, Mr. David Patrick resigned as Headmaster and Dr. Bill Summers came back as interim Headmaster. During the next two years of transition, Dr. Summers led some exceptional volunteer efforts including renewed parent involvement represented in the Grace Community Council. The school board established a search committee to take on a comprehensive process of securing a new Headmaster. In March of 2013, Mr. Matthew Pollock agreed to take leadership of Grace Baptist Academy. He joins an experienced faculty and gifted staff, many who have served at Grace since the earliest years of its existence.