Salem Christian officially opened its doors to 9 students in September of 1996. In it's first year of operation, Salem began two pre-school classes and one kindergarten class. The school's staff consisted of Sandy Wilcox (Preschool Director), Ginny Balthaser (Kindergarten Teacher), Susan Brooking (Teacher's Assistant), and Todd Brooking (School Principal). Salem Christian has grown to over 115 students and we now employ over 20 staff members. God has truly blessed our school in unbelievable ways.
The following is a brief history of God's moving at Salem Christian School during those beginning years:
The faculty and staff of Salem Christian School owe a great debt of gratitude to Pastor Ed Carmichael. God used Pastor Carmichael as the spark to get our school started. It was his willingness, experience, and foresight that God would use to set a foundation for Salem Christian School.
Little did anyone know how quickly God would work. Just about a month later, Sandy Wilcox walked into Pastor Carmichael's office with a burden. Just about two weeks later, Ginny Balthaser walked into Pastor's office with a burden, "I want to start a kindergarten at Salem." Ginny came to Pastor with 6 years of experience in education. God had worked out the circumstances in her life that she too was willing and available to start a kindergarten. Thus, now there were four in Pastor's office praying for God's direction and a decision was made to start a kindergarten. Yet God was not done.It was Pastor Carmichael to whom God would lead a prepared staff to begin His work in Goochland County.Years earlier, a young seminary student, Todd Brooking, sat down at the lunch table with a professor discussing his future ministry plans. Todd responded, "I have a burden for young people and having seen the many problems and struggles with our teens and families today, I think that we have to get to these young people earlier. So I would like to start a Christian School one day in Goochland County". Graduating two years later, Todd had forgotten those words and planned to teach in a college or become a pastor of a church. God, however, had other plans. He directed him to be a principal of Carmel Christian and later a part of Fredericksburg Christian School as a substitute for all grades. During this time, Todd was also working with Pastor Carmichael as his Youth Pastor. In January 1996, Pastor Carmichael asked him to come to work for the church full time with the hopes of one day starting a Christian school.
In 1993, Susan Mauney (Brooking) graduated with a degree in business thinking she would work in the business field. However, God opened up a teaching job as kindergarten teacher at Carmel Christian. Susan worked at Carmel two years as a teacher before going to Fredericksburg Christian as a teacher's assistant for a year. During this time, God burdened her heart to work with children. Susan was hired to be an assistant to the teachers and now there were five praying for God's direction for a brand new school that would begin that same year just 6 months later.
The history of Salem Christian School is truly His-Story. We thank God for His special moving at Salem Christian School.