The Early Years
The formation of the United Reformed Churches in North America in the mid 1990’s increased the feasibility of starting a new Christian school for families who belonged to these and other churches seeking to remain faithful to the historic Reformed faith. After many informal and unrecorded meetings, a group of concerned parents in these churches sent a letter to 22 area church councils and sessions explaining their interest in a new school and inviting each church to send a representative to an exploratory meeting on February 3, 1998. At this meeting a steering committee was formed. The focus of this new school would be: teaching every course from the perspective of biblical authority, infallibility, and inerrancy; teaching a Reformed world and life view; creating a school culture that encouraged sincere student piety.
It was the general consensus of this committee that, since parents of younger children still had a number of acceptable educational options, this new school should begin with high school grades and eventually add lower grades. Over the course of several months, these parents prayed often, sought instruction and inspiration from Scripture, and consulted local pastors, parents, and other Christian education professionals in order to craft a mission statement, bylaws, and a philosophy statement. In October of 1998, Dr. William Dennison spoke to a group of potential supporters on the subject, “Recovering Reformed Christian Education.”
Articles of association were also drawn up and on November 4, 1998, Zion Christian High School held its first official association meeting at which time the steering committee was named the Board of Directors Pro-Tem.
Throughout that first winter and spring, approximately $41,000 was raised to form an initial pool of operating funds. On April 22, 1999, the association met duly and elected the first official Board of Directors. On September 7, 1999, Zion Christian High School held its first classes at the Home School Building in Wyoming, Michigan for fifteen students. The school then relocated to Hudsonville, Michigan in January of 2000 and leased portable classrooms adjacent to Cornerstone United Reformed Church. Three new students were added here.
In the fall of 2002, grades 5 through 8 were added thanks to the requests of many families. This year proved to be a successful one, despite increasingly crowded facilities including the basement of Cornerstone United Reformed Church.
Phase 1 (The Move)
The Lord richly blessed Zion with more supporting families and in the summer of 2003, the school relocated once more, this time to its current and permanent locale on the corner of 76th Street and Byron Center Avenue. Also at this time, grades pre-k through 4 were successfully added. Since this time, the school has enjoyed the Lord’s blessing of significant enrollment growth and teachers who remain faithful to God’s Word.
In the summer of 2004, tiered parking was added, as well as baseball, softball, and soccer fields.
In the summer of 2005, Zion broke ground on a large addition, nearly doubling the size of our facility. Included in the expansion was a gym, classrooms, computer lab, library, science lab, music room, and kitchen. This beautiful addition was compled in time for the fall of 2006 and has been utilized to the fullest.
The summer of 2009 marked the addition of three classrooms as well as new offices and a teacher lounge. All of these areas have been put to good use, including the classrooms where enrollment growth has again dictacted the need for more space.
Zion welcomed two sections of kindergarten for the first time in the fall of 2012. To accommodate this growth, the school added two new classrooms and expanded two others in the summer of 2012. Today, our kindergarten classes enjoy these two new rooms while our growing preschool and pre-kindergarten programs enjoy the expanded classrooms.
In June of 2014, the Board of Directors introduced a plan to expand the elementary wing once again. The next month, a local Christian school closed resulting in a spike in enrollment for Zion. The need for more space was suddenly very evident. As is Zion's policy, we would not break ground until we had the necessary funds to pay for the project. With God's abundant blessings, Zion was able to break ground on the new elementary wing on November 1, 2014! The plan was to just finish the shell of 5 classrooms and a set of restrooms with only one classroom finished however the money came in and we were able to finish ALL five classrooms, the restrooms, regrade and install a new playground, AND install a new set of restrooms for the gym! The new elementary wing now serves our 3rd - 6th grade classes.