History of Seventh-day Adventist Education In Greeley, Colorado Est. 1916
Jodie Aakko authored and assembled this History Book to record the very special past of our school. The staff and students are grateful for her dedication as prior principal, teacher, and school historian. She also produced and directed at ACS, a play titled "Lest we Forget" based on the History book.
<To download a printer friendly version of the history, click here for the PDF booklet.>
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Adventist Christian School: Educating Children for a Better Life With Jesus
To my grandparents, who proudly sacrificed to support Adventist Christian education, and who set before me a strong faith in Jesus’ soon return for His children.
Until then, we are all God’s good and faithful servants.
And to my many relatives who helped build this school, attend this school, teach at this school, and serve as committee members.
Determining the accuracy of Greeley’s Adventist School history was at times challenging. Every attempt was made to verify each detail with a secondary source. When sources provided conflicting information, further investigation took place in order to reach an accurate, credible conclusion.
The beginning dates of each new Greeley school location was determined by receiving identical reports from several reliable first-hand witnesses (former students). Many clear-minded former students remain living today who attended the two thirteenth avenue school locations. In addition to those witnesses providing separate identical reports, the conference attendance records of student grades and teacher names supported the former student’s reports.
As for the date of the first year for Greeley school, 1916 is declared such by Hazel Graham in her booklet, “100 Years Closer Home.” It is also listed as 1916 by the Weld County Genealogical Society. Perhaps an investigation into the first school’s property’s abstract may provide a third source of information to confirm the date of 1916. The conference education department’s information is limited to former school registers, which only states student names, grades, and teacher name. A school address is not listed in early registers.
The earliest Greeley register found in the conference archives is 1921-1922. It is a mystery as to why five consecutive registers would be missing from the conference archives. Nonetheless, it is likely that the Greeley school began roughly at the same time Briggsdale/Grover and LaSalle/Beebe Draw schools began. Furthermore, Hazel Graham’s information pertaining to the 1916 school was quite extensive. In addition, the Weld County Genealogical Society lists each earlier teacher names. Therefore, one may conclude it is quite clear the Greeley school began in 1916.
Information in this booklet was obtained from “100 Years Closer Home,” complied by Hazel Graham in 1993; “Around and About La Salle, BeebeDraw, Big Bend, Peckham, Colorado,” by the LaSalle History Book Committee, 1988, each section submitted by local family members; Weld County Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 34, No.2, by the City of Greeley Museums; Interviews with Dan Oster Jr, Dale Bohlender, Ginger Bell, Jim Oster, Lelia Oster, Bill Anderson, Geraldine Redmond, Stanley Paddock, Alice Paddock, Ethelyn Pierson, and David Orr; Gerry Valley SDA Church record books; Greeley Tribune archives; and former school registers stored at Rocky Mountain Conference.
Special thanks to Lelia Oster for reading the photocopies of the old registers, and typing the student list for this book.
To submit additions or corrections to this booklet, please speak with the school to request contact information for the author. The author of this book welcomes suggestions, in order to continually improve the accuracy of the content.
Our School Today
Currently, 45 students enter these halls, cheerfully greeted by four full-time teachers and many volunteers. Time is spent completing Bible-based curriculum studies, plus field trips, weekly chapels, buddy reading groups, music classes, Spanish classes, overnight canoe trips, outdoor school excursions, weeks of prayer, ski trips, church programs, family socials, Bible studies, sports activities, and lots of hands-on science labs. Most importantly, ACS students learn of Jesus’ love, and are trained to become leaders—tomorrow’s teachers, preachers, missionaries, doctors, nurses, engineers, parents, and community leaders.
“ACS believes that all arts, sciences and disciplines find their balance and ultimate purpose in God, the study of whom is the greatest of all sciences. As a result, ACS does not view its academic studies as an end, but as a means to a healthy relationship with God and people. This extends into eternity and is expressed now through loving service… The mission of the ACS is to empower students and their parents for a life of excellence in holistic, Christ-centered service.” --from ACS’s 2011 brochure.
Today, ACS is 95 years strong. We would not be here today if it weren’t for God’s leading, and for the teachers, principals, parents, grandparents, pastors, church members, and school volunteers who have faithfully served God’s children.
First ever SDA school established
Sept First Rocky Mountain Conference school opens, location Delta
Sept Campion Academy begins
Sept La Salle SDA School begins (Beebe Draw)
Sept Greeley SDA School begins, 16th Avenue and 14th Street
Sept Gerry Valley SDA School begins (Grover/Briggsdale)
Sept Greeley’s second school location at 13th Avenue and 9th Street, basement of new church (relocation)
May La Salle SDA School (Beebe Draw)closes (school held every year except 1921)
May Gerry Valley SDA School closes (held at church site or “home school” site, had not operated every year)
Beebe Draw German SDA Church (La Salle) disbanded to join the Greeley English-speaking
Sept Greeley’s third school location at 430 13th Avenue (relocation)
Sept Greeley’s fourth school location at 600 23rd Avenue (later labeled 612 23rd Ave), in a Quonset hut (relocation)
Gerry Valley SDA Church (Grover/Briggsdale) disbanded to join the Greeley SDA Church or
Cheyenne SDA Church
Purchase of adjoining lots at 600 23rd Avenue
1964 or 5
Gymnasium/Fellowship Hall added, Quonset replaced with brick building
Classroom and library added onto south end
Community Service and Dorcas Center added onto east end
All asbestos materials removed from building in early 1990’s, under Dave Walker’s principalship
Outdoor basketball court added, playground red curved ladder installed, new school sign added
of rock and brick
December vandalism/arson in school building resulting in remodeling of interior: new carpet,
ceiling tiles, paint, floors, school furniture and equipment, drinking fountain, gym floor repair
Community Monday preschool gymnasium playgroup, “Imagination Station,” started by
Adventure Church and later managed by school
Barrier added to driveway sidewalk, traffic caution signs added, new stage curtains installed,
new matching blinds installed throughout, red spiral slide added, two playground spinners added, tall metal slide removed, four metal child-shaped silhouettes added on south exterior wall, library moved to former Dorcas room, southeast classroom used as a classroom for the fourth teacher.
Community Service and Dorcas Center remodeled to school’s music rooms, library, and
pathfinder rooms. Gymnasium floor refinished. Parking lot improvements: paved pitched entrance, lot grated and rocked, drainage improved, hill blocked-off, former CS shed removed.
----- History of Greeley SDA School
The Greeley Seventh-day Adventist Church’s school began the fall of 1916. Located on 16th Avenue and 14th Street, school was held in a small frame building owned by G.R. Williams, with every window on the north side. The teacher was Ms. Daisy White.
Life for students at this 1916 school was quite-like the pioneer days. Students fetched water in a pail from a neighbor’s well. Recess was spent playing in a nearby haystack. One of the students who attended this school house was Don Hay, who was a member of the Greeley Church for many years. As he recalled, he started in the fall of 1922, with Ms. Lilly Woodman as teacher, and a total enrollment of about sixteen students. Don Hay’s father, Roy, E. Hay, became the first resident minister for the Greeley Church, in 1922. When comparing Don Hay’s memory to that of the conference attendance records, it is noted his first year was most likely 1921, and the attendance records for the 1922-1923 upper grade students was not found in the conference office archives. Don Hay was a younger Greeley classmate to 8th grade Alonzo Gaede, a deceased uncle of Dale Bohlender, current member of the Greeley SDA Church. Alonzo Gaede appears as a young student in the 1913 picture of the La Salle SDA School (Beebe Draw).
According to the Weld County Genealogical Society, the early Greeley school teachers include: Daisy White (1916), Edith Dorman (1917), Helda Neilson (1918), Ruth Ramsdel (1919), and the teacher’s name for 1920 is missing.
On August 24, 1925, the church voted to build a new church, and to re-house the school in the new church building’s basement. The current church and school buildings were too small for the attendance. The church had decided in 1924 that a fire-proof brick building seating 300 people could be built for $9,000.00 including a full cement basement suitable for school rooms. Some church members offered to double pledges in order to raise money for new construction. The lot on 13th Avenue and 9th street was purchased for $2,000.00. The conference office advised the church to keep the building costs within $5,000.00 limit. The building was completed in March 1930, with many donations from church members. A sister of the church said she would pay the water bill for 1930, amounting to $15.00.
A second teacher, Mr. Vandevier, was hired for the 1930-1931 school year, according to Hazel Graham’s research (The conference attendance records for the 1930-1931 school year are not found, so this fact is not reflected in an archived school register). Mr. Vandevier was hired for $40.00 per month, plus room and board, plus travel expenses to drive three families to school and back each day. Yet later in the 1930’s, a female teacher was hired at a salary of $35.00 per month plus room and board, or $55.00 per month total.
In the early 1930’s, a Brother Ness was hired for one year at $5.00 per month to manage the school’s wood burning stove and the school’s furnace.
Due to crowded conditions and poor circulation, the school location was moved to a two-story house at 430 13th Avenue for the 1946-1947 school year. The teacher, Mr. Neisner, lived in the upstairs portion. Mrs. Oster’s grades 1-4 students met in the west half of the first floor, while Mr. Neisner’s students met in the east half of the first floor. A fence was built to keep the school children out of the neighbor’s garden, a wall was removed in the basement, and curtains were hung.
Again, due to crowded conditions, a new school location was needed. In mid-1946, the church began plans to build a Quonset hut as a school, with an equipment expense of $8,060.80. Not many lots were available for a new building site, except the 9 lots between 7th and 8th streets on 23rd Avenue. It was voted to purchase the lots at a cost of $2,700.00, and to dispose of the 430 13th Avenue property when necessary. At that time, 23rd Avenue was the western edge of Greeley. The lots were between the city dump and a large cabbage field.
By September of 1947, the Quonset was completed with all expenses totaling to $10,000.00. The Quonset was separated into two classrooms, and the back fourth of the Quonset was a rock-floored gym. Concrete was poured onto the gym floor by the end of the first school year.
Mr. Neisner lived in a trailer on the 23rd Avenue property. Mrs. Frita Neisner sold fresh, mouth-watering homemade doughnuts to the students every Friday for $.10 each. Students explored the city dump during recess. At times, the school was temporarily evacuated when the smoke from the city dump’s burning intruded. In later years, when the city transformed the dump into a baseball park and a bicycle park (now an empty field), the school’s property lines were modified, resulting in a trade which increased the school’s property.
In 1953, the church was in the process of building their current 21st Avenue location, so the church sold their 13th Avenue and 9th Street building to the Jewish Beth Israel Congregation for $15,000.00 cash. The church improved the Quonset building by installing acoustic materials to the walls, so that worship services could be held there for at least three months while construction was completed at the new church site.
Students who attended the 23rd Avenue school in the late 40’s and 50’s recall happy memories. As a field trip, the entire school would walk the railroad tracks to Island Grove Park, or walk southeast to Glenmere Park. Individual students would often leave school mid-day to walk to a nearby hamburger stand for lunch. Students would spend many school hours ingathering in neighborhoods or farm areas. The Junior Missionary Volunteer program was completed by students each year. A parent purchased a large used yellow school bus to shuttle students who lived outside Greeley. In following years when the bus needed replacing, a church member’s spouse won a new GMC yellow school bus, and donated it to the school.
Again, classroom overcrowding became an issue. In February of 1963, the church voted to build a new school at the present Quonset site. Additional adjacent lots were purchased, the Quonset was sold and removed, and the church sold some property (locations unknown). A three-classroom brick school building was constructed where the Quonset had sat. No school days were missed during the transition. Today, the Quonset is located in northeast Greeley and is used as a welding shop and garage.
The neighbor to the east of the school, presently a white wooden house, offered the school free use of its well, in which to water the new playfield to the south of the school building. This arrangement continued until the neighbor’s water was changed to city management.
In late 1963, to pay the remaining balance due on the school, it was voted to borrow $7,000.00 from the Greeley National Bank.
In August, 1964, a partial donation was accepted to add a gymnasium/fellowship hall to the school. On May 21, 1966, to pay off the building debt on the gymnasium, elder Everett announced “Operation Pay-Off” to the congregation, which was a plea for real sacrificial giving. The gym was paid in full in 1968. To this day, a dedicatory plaque hangs on the school’s gym wall, listing names of church members to whom sizeable donations were made in memory of.
In September of 1967, the school enrollment totaled 58 students, who crowded into three classrooms. In 1969, construction began on a new classroom and library, onto the south end of the school building. Lastly, in 1978, the Community Service Center and Dorcas Center was added onto the east side of the gymnasium.
In the early 1980’s, the school operated a daycare center, called Sunshine Lane. In the 1990’s, all asbestos materials were removed from the building. In 2006, Adventure Church started a weekly Parent-and-Toddler-Playgroup, called Imagination Station, which was later managed by the school board and is still meeting currently. In 2007, the Dorcas Center and the Community Service Center closed and the school remodeled that addition as a music hall, library, and pathfinder rooms.
In December of 2005, the school was vandalized and partially burned, resulting in a major school remodel of new carpet, paint, ceiling tiles, floor covering, etc. The school has experienced nearly a dozen break-ins since then, although an alarm system has been installed.
The school has also experienced a full lock-down when armed police were called to a scene at a house across the street. As an ongoing security policy, the school doors remain locked during school hours, and a buzzer system has been installed at the front door allowing parents to enter.
In the years 2006 to current, the school has completed many improvement projects, such as refinishing the gym floor, installing new gym curtains, upgrading the parking lot, maintaining groomed grounds, purchasing new playground equipment, and much more. To keep up with technology, the school utilizes high-speed internet and provides a laptop to every grades six through eight student, and many new desktop computers to grades kindergarten through fifth. The school also owns a computer projector and a projector microscope/camera.
Names used for Greeley’s Adventist school include: Greeley SDA School, Greeley Junior Academy, Greeley Adventist Christian School, and Adventist Christian School.
What will remain unchanged at Adventist Christian School? First, we love teaching children about Christ. Every student is encouraged to daily explore the most important question: Who is Jesus, and how does He affect my life? Second, as a tribute of our patriotism to our country, the wooden flagpole at the 23rd Avenue location is the same flagpole used at the three prior school locations. The flagpole was originally donated and constructed by Stanley Paddock’s (former Greeley student) father, Jess Paddock.
History of La Salle SDA School (Beebe Draw)
Due to their interest in keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, a group of Beebe Draw famers attended Bible studies and held baptisms as early as the 1890’s. Elder Henry Westphal, a returned missionary from South America, met with the group in the Box Elder School House.
In the late 1890’s the Beebe Draw families saw the need for their own county church. The first SDA church building was located near Milton Reservoir, and because of seepage, the building was moved in 1910 to the corner of John and Katie Oster’s farm (now Dan Oster Jr.’s), at the corner of Weld County Roads 42 and 43.
At this new location, the church building was enlarged by ten feet. Mr. and Mrs. John Oster, La Salle farm owners and members of the Beebe Draw German Seventh-day Adventist Church, donated the ground for the church relocation, and also later donated land for the Beebe Draw Cemetery.
Soon, a second congregation split off and built a church ½ mile east, then later this building was moved and attached to the original farm church, and used as a school, and the two church congregations joined as one again.
For the school’s first year of operation, 1913, Mr. Friesen taught sixteen children, ages five to sixteen or seventeen. One year, all of the school children were cousins to each other except one and he, Ben Dupper, was the uncle to all of them. In addition to regular classroom duties, each teacher was required to complete the janitor work and manage the heating stove.
Each La Salle SDA Church School (Beebe Draw) teacher, except for teacher Elsie Beltz Oster (nearby farm resident), boarded at nearby farmhouses, mostly John Oster’s. Other nearby farmers who boarded teachers include Edna Oster, Betty Oster Koke, Ray Oster, Talitha Oster Werner, and Evelyn Oster Werner.
La Salle SDA Church School (Beebe Draw) teachers include Henry Friesen (1913), Ethen Griese (1914), P.W. Peters (1915, 1916, part of 1917), Anna Meyer (rest of 1917), Helen Richards (1918), Esther Kraft (1919, 1920), No School (1921), Dan Schmidt (1922), Esther Kraft (1923, 1924), Bertha Ortner (1925), Fields (1926, 1927), Elsie Oster (1928, 1929), Arvalda Kraft (1930 till sick), and Elsie Oster (1930 finished year).
Students were taught German as well as English. Most students walked or rode a horse to school. A small horse barn was located at the school. Basic classes were taught, as well as penmanship, drawing, woodwork, and sewing. In 1918 the boys and girls each made quilts and woodworking projects, which were auctioned as a fundraiser for the Red Cross.
By spring 1931, many families had moved nearer to town, or had secured faster-moving transportation for the improved roads, so the school discontinued operation.
As reported by Edna Oster and Elsie Oster (verbatim or summarized)
History of Geary Valley SDA Church School (Briggsdale/Grover)
On May 25, 1918, the members of the Briggsdale Church of Seventh-day Adventists voted to build a 24x36 school house with a moveable partition in the center. The school was located on three acres on the southwest corner of Richard Hallock’s homestead. To pay for the school building, each able bodied male church member was assessed $35.00 or ten days labor. Belle Orr donated funds for two diamond shaped windows to be installed. On October 5, 1918, an all day service was held with the dedication of the Gerry Valley School in the afternoon. The school doubled as the church building on Sabbaths.
The first teacher was Alice (Iva) Baird. Since this teacher became ill during the school year, in all probability the year was 1918, a year in which many people died of the flu. The school closed for the remaining school year when Ms. Baird became ill. Florence Stout was the teacher the second year. The school was not heated, so during the severe winters, the children completed school work at home. After two to three years, as enrollment decreased, students were taught by Lulu Hallock in a separate “home school building.”
The original school building remained in use for church services and many social events well-attended by church members and oftentimes community members. During the latter 1930’s, there were more young people in the Briggsdale SDA Church than in the Greeley SDA Church.
Many were dissatisfied with the name Briggsdale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, so it was voted to change it to Geary Valley Church of Seventh-day Adventists.
Meetings continued until 1953, and on May 7, 1953, a public auction was held and the church building was purchased by Lester B. Orr for the sum of $700.00 which was now on the property he owned.
--excerpts from “100 Years Closer Home,” by Hazel Graham
Author’s Note: Although Hazel Graham uses the term “home school building” in her report, some may not consider it traditional “home schooling.” As teacher of three students, Ms. Lulu Hallock still completed and submitted a conference school register for attendance, used the conference curriculum, and was paid. Today at least two of those registers are still stored at Rocky Mountain Conference with all other conference school registers. Can one classify these school years not as a “home school”; but as a regular conference school?
“Life at Gerry Valley SDA School”
The following is a letter written by Ethelyn Pierson, and mailed in December, 2010, as a submission to this history booklet. Ethelyn Pierson attended grades 1-6 at Gerry Valley SDA School (called the “home school”), grades 7-8 at HMS Richards, 9-12 at Campion Academy, then Union College. She later taught at Greeley SDA School. She is the oldest living Greeley SDA School teacher (most likely), and the oldest living former Gerry Valley student (confirmed).
Three happy years were spent going to school with Aunt Lulu teaching my brother, sister and me. The first year I was in the fourth grade and Ronald started school. They moved a little “shack” into our yard among some trees which was our school house. We were happy having a school house all to ourselves. Outside it was a “shack” but inside we had it fixed up nice. We had regular desks, a stove, curtains, a globe and pictures of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Over the blackboard was the alphabet written in Palmer Method. We never felt the loss of attending a bigger school as we were happy and content. We could go home for dinner which our mother always had ready for us.
Aunt Lulu was an excellent teacher, having taught for many years. Her salary was $25 a month which she was glad for as it paid most of Howard’s tuition at Campion Academy.
Our school hours were nine to three, with a half hour at noon because “if we worked hard, we could get our work done in that time” and if we got through all our books we could get out early in the spring.
We had a regular schedule with recesses and vacations. Every morning for opening exercises we repeated a text or chapter for the Bible till we knew it by heart. We learned Psalms 23, the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, John 14:1-3 and more. Often we repeated something we had learned in our little Sabbath School. Then Aunt Lulu read to us form a big red covered book that had Bible stories about the history of the world, starting at creation. She’d show us the pictures as we went along. I still have that book… Then we checked a little card of health habits. Had we done those ten things the day before? One was Take ten deep breaths, and other Brushing teeth, Bathroom needs, helping with some task, not eating between meals that I remember. We got a star by each that we had done and were very conscientious and honest about answering them correctly. We did some exercises along in here too.
Then we started school and the first subject was Bible. It was my favorite subject. Next came reading. We used the True Education series. I had kept most of the set till I left the farm and had to cut down. They had wonderful true stories and poems. We memorized many of the poems and often recited them at our Sabbath School. I think I developed my love for poetry back then.
We worked on penmanship, the Palmer Method. We had booklets of sample writing of words and sentences. We’d practice and practice, then copy in our best style into the text booklets. From eleven o’clock to noon, I had to do arithmetic of which I was not fond. I learned the times tables, sometimes asking my mother to drill me so I would get them down pat. Then came long division and that was tedious. Aunt Lulu would put problems on the blackboard and I would have to work them out which sometimes took a long time. Time went by so slowly. Seemed like noon would never come. I remember sometimes Lois would look in through the window.
We wrote our spelling words over and over on the blackboard. Hardly ever did we miss a word on the test. Tests were very important to get right.
Geography was long and tedious. Not very interesting. But we had to get clear through the books if we were to get out of school early in the spring.
The next year, when I was in the fifth grade, Ronald the second, and Lois started to school, they moved the shack back to Aunt Lulu’s home place and we three walked “cater-cornered” across the pasture to go to school. We walked single file with me leading since I was the oldest and would watch for cactus. To mark out the path we gathered up clods of dirt and what-not to “blaze” the trail. When we got close to Aunt Lulu’s, Old Spot would come to meet us and show us the way to our school house. That’s Spot in the picture with Aunt Lulu and us three children, in front of the school shack.
I don’t remember that we were ever unhappy about having to go to a little home school. Days were filled with happiness. Now I know it was because of wonderful parents.
We had to carry lunches which our mother put up for us. I remember peanut butter or hard-boiled egg sandwiches and home-made brown bread. I used to think white store-bought bread would be wonderful! We wore long cotton stockings for warmth and I don’t remember disliking them probably because we didn’t have peers who complained.
At recess especially Lois and I ran to the corrals and loved up the two half-Shetland ponies. Micky had a black three year old colt named Lady who we gentled-down and later got on her back and rode her around. Uncle Richard said that we “broke” her well. Lady was our favorite. Recess was never long enough.
After lunch, Aunt Lulu read out of a good book to us. We loved the story about Tiny Cottontail, a little bunny rabbit. We had a few bunnies around but mostly the big long-eared Jack rabbits. They were everywhere and were often run over on the road.
We had no homework that I remember. We were free to play and play we did. When the weather was nice, we spent most of our time outside. Lois and I love the horses. Ronald liked his tractors, cars and trucks and would make noises that sounded like their engines, revving up then stuck and running smooth when going down a highway that he had constructed. He made sounds like a John Deere tractor or a big truck or an airplane.
Lois and I loved horses and gravitated toward them. On long summer evenings we played like we were a team, named Kate and Belle. We’d rig up something to pull and toss our head like horses do, even learned to whinny to each other. We’d pull tire rims around the soft dirt and make neat paths. And stop when tired resting one “hind leg” like horses do. Sometimes we were beautiful saddle horses prancing and galloping around with heads held high.
We loved to go barefoot in the summer time. On warm spring and fall days when going to school we would walk “around the road” to school which was farther than cutting through the pasture, but so enjoyable to go barefoot. By the end of the summers the soles of our feet became I guess like a sole of a shoe.
I don’t remember Aunt Lulu ever getting upset at us or scolding us. She must have but did it in the right way or we’d have remembered it. Once I do remember we all three go the “giggles”. We couldn’t stop giggling. Everything was extremely FUNNY. She quietly got up and left the room for awhile and when she came back all was well.
Our last day of school was April 16, 1937. The Hallocks were moving and my folks had bought a place at Campion Academy where we children could go to church school the following year. So we had a school and farewell picnic on Willow Creek down by Briggsdale. I wrote about it in my autobiography in 1941 that we “had a swell dinner and a good time. After dinner we rambled around and found different grasses and pretty stones. We went through an old deserted house too (which I don’t remember). We found an old tree that had fallen down and climbed all over it.”
Soon after the picnic, Uncle Richard had a farm sale. He didn’t sell his work horses as he needed them to pull wagons full of “stuff” to the place they were moving to close to Greeley. We watched when they pulled out. I knew every horse’s name and hated to see them go.
The two ponies that we were so fond of were in our pasture and our dad told Lois and me to go get them. We did and rode them slowly home thinking that would be the last time we would ride them. We liked Lady the best. A truck was waiting for them when we got there and they loaded Micky. My dad saw how bad we girls felt in losing Lady and he asked the truck driver to wait a bit. He went to the house and called Uncle Richard and told him we would buy Lady. He came back out smiling, and told us. We were so happy!
About a month later was Lois’ birthday and one night when she went out to turn Lady out of the barn, there was a note around Lady’s neck that read: “Happy Birthday, Lois. Take good care of me and I will be a good pony!”
On the last day of school, Aunt Lulu gave us children the red-covered book of Bible stories and on the fly leaf, my mother had printed in her beautiful printing the following poem. I have that book yet today. Following is the poem written by our beloved teacher Aunt Lulu.
In Memory Of:
The days we spent in the little home school,
The shack, the studies, the Golden Rule-
The dry land with all its wind and dust,
And the lessons we learned. (Don’t let them rust!)
May you each work for Him in His vineyard here,
Serving the cause held by Him so dear.
And then at last in the school above
May we meet once more-made perfect in love.
Your Teacher and Auntie
Lulu L. Hallock
April 16, 1937
Post Script to School Days
We also went through the “dirty thirties” during this time. I remember dust rolling toward us, making the school room dark. It scratched at the window in gusts. Sometimes Aunt Lulu hung a damp towel up to the window. But we survived the depression well, thanks to good parents who didn’t want us to worry. I remember asking my mother, “Are we poor?” and she’d say, “We have enough.” Uncle Richard ran out of cattle feed and burned the stickers off of cactus which the cattle then ate. It was a hard time I’m sure. I don’t remember ever going hungry as we had milk and eggs, chickens we ate once in awhile, and jars of food in the cellar that our Mom had canned.
History of SDA Schools
The following information is summarized or quoted from Dr. Conrad L. Gill’s presentation, “Our Seventh-day Adventist Educational Journey Through History,” as presented at the 2011 Mid-America Union Education Summit.
Why did God raise up Seventh-day Adventist Schools? Seventh-day Adventist schools are ordained by God because “The great work of parents and teachers is character building—seeking to restore the image of Christ in those placed under their care,” –Counsel to Teachers, Parents, and Students, by Ellen G. White.
In 1853 the first Adventist school began at Buck’s Bridge, New York, in the home of John Byington, who later became the first President of the General Conference. The teacher was his daughter Martha Byington.
In 1858 a progressive educational program for the church began in Battle Creek, Michigan. The first teacher was Goodloe H. Bell. Willie and Edson White, sons of James and Ellen White, were among the students.
In 1872 Ellen White had a vision regarding Christian education. In that vision the functions and objectives of SDA schools were outline. The Bible must be the foundation of every course. The building of character is the first and greatest work of the Christian school. Regular calluses in Bible should be taught in all schools. Industrial and agricultural training should be combined with scholarship. Stress must be placed on labor and missionary work. The scholastic training should be thorough. The school administration must be democratic not autocratic. The school should produce men and women who not only know what is right, but who will do it.
In March of 1873 an action was passed by the General Conference to establish such a school and its establishment was placed in the hands of the General Conference. $54,000.00 was set aside for the purpose of starting a school. Other funds came from God’s people. In January of 1875 the school building was dedicated. The first faculty were James White, Sidney Brownsberger, Uriah Smith, and G.H. Bell. The name of the school was Emmanuel Missionary College.
In April of 1882, in Healdsberg, California, the next school was started. The school was named Healdsberg Academy; and after only three months of operation it became a college. Professor Brownsberger was invited to become President. During the first twenty-five years of the school’s establishment, 2,000 students, including four hundred church workers, were educated. This school, Healdsberg College, later became Pacific Union College.
In 1882, South Lancaster Academy was opened in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, with Professor G.H. Bell as the principal. The growth of the school was slow and enrollment was never large. This school was the forerunner for Atlantic Union College.
In 1890, Union College was established. In 1892, Walla Walla College was established. In 1894, Keene Academy was established in Keene, Texas. It was later named Southwestern College and Southwestern Adventist University. 1896: Oakwood College (now Oakwood University). 1897: Avondale College. 1904: Columbia Union College (now Columbia Adventist University). 1910: Loma Linda Medical School (now Loma Linda University). 1916: Southern Missionary College (now Southern Adventist University). 1919: Canadian Union College (now Canadian University College). 1927: Southern California Junior College (now La Sierra University).
What about elementary schools? Ellen G. White, after many schools had been established, thought there should be more elementary schools in different places. In 1897-1900, 200 elementary schools were opened. By 1905, 417 elementary schools were opened. By 1910, 594 elementary schools were opened. By 1995, we had 600 educational institutions, 47,000 teachers, and 858,000 students worldwide. By 2011, nearly 1,000 Adventist K-12 schools and 15 colleges and universities with over 55,000 students exist in Bermuda, Canada, and the United States.
Dr. Conrad L. Gill states, “In places where church schools are vigorously supported the work of the church expands. It is natural for those who have received their education under the guidance of Christian associates to become staunch members of the church dedicated to the task for which it was established.”
Ellen G. White described the transition our schools would experience; and we’re feeling it even as I stand before you today: “Our schools of learning may swing into worldly conformity. Step by step they may advance toward worldly conformity; but they are prisoners of hope, and God will correct and enlighten them and bring them back to their upright position of distinction form the world.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 290.
Dr. Condran L. Gill continued, “Perpetuating distinctively Adventist God-centered schools of excellence in the future should be the natural outgrowth of our rich inspired history. We, His people, must simply listen to His voice and obey!”
Looking back to see the future…
“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and his teaching in our past history.”—Life Sketches, p. 196.
Bible Promises and Texts about Children’s Education
English Standard Version
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.” (Deuteronomy 4:9)
“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Genesis 17:7)
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”?(Proverbs 22:6)
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalms 127:3-5)
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”?(2 Timothy 3:14-15)
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:2-6)
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14)
May 2011 School History Play, “Lest We Forget”
On May 5, 2011, the current ACS students presented a play that depicted the school history. The fictional storyline of the play featured two students, Destaney Bohlender and Garrett Gaines, who played their own role during an interview by a Greeley news station, to tell of their school’s 95 year celebration and time capsule ceremony. A walk-through of the school’s history was revealed. The production commemorated the vision, faith, and hard work of our previous school leaders. With such a strong heritage, ACS can look to the past for wisdom, stand strong in faith today, and answer the Lord’s calling in every tomorrow. We have no fear for our future, lest we forget our past.
To download a printer friendly version of the history, click here for the PDF booklet.
God has a purpose and plan for me that no one else can fulfill. You are inscribed on the palm of His hand. Isaiah 49:16