ANDERSON — After months of uncertainty, Anderson Christian School has found a new home at Southern Heights Christian Church, and classes will begin on Sept. 8, Tom Snell, school administrator, said on Tuesday.
Snell said he contacted the church earlier this month after plans to buy and renovate the former Layman Life insurance building at 1100 Broadway from Aspire Indiana fell through.
At a congregational meeting on Sunday, members of Southern Heights Christian approved the arrangement on a 40-1 vote, said Steve Lane, pastor of the church.
The church at 5401 S. Madison Ave. has eight classrooms, a large field for sports and a smaller playground that will be filled with equipment the school already owns and will move, Snell said.
"Our new space at Southern Heights Christian Church presents a wonderful learning environment and continues our tradition of leasing space rather than owning, so those dollars can be focused on our student,"
In addition to its K-12 program, the school will continue to offer its before- and after-school programs at the church as well.
"We are already seeing the blessings of this move," said Steve Cash, president of the Anderson Christian governing board. "These are church members who see the power in a faith-based, 360-degree education and are already pitching in to make sure this is the perfect home for our students and will be totally ready by opening day."
Lane said he didn't know Tom Snell and the church didn't seek out Anderson Christian Academy, but has been concerned for some time that the church wasn't being used to its fullest potential.
"Some of us spent time praying on it off and on," Lane said.
After the initial phone call, members of the church leadership showed show Snell the facilities, which include a gymnasium and large commercial kitchen. They spent a couple of hours talking about the opportunity on a Saturday afternoon. The next day, Aug. 10, Lane and other leaders presented a plan to the congregation giving members a week to think it over.
"Everyone we talked to was enthusiastic and favorable," Lane said. "And all of us think this was orchestrated by the hand of God."
"We're proud, we're excited, we're thrilled to death that this partnership could be reached with Anderson Christian Academy," Lane added.
In 2013, it appeared likely that Anderson Christian School and the Lindberg Road Church of God would have to relocate when the church went bankrupt. the bankruptcy ruling came after a court battle with Star Financial Bank stemming from a line of credit in 2007 that was used to renovate the church and school facilities.
A proposed $2.5 million debt restructuring plan proposed by the church's attorney was rejected by the bankruptcy court judge. After that ruling, the church moved to another location. The school's lease with Star Financial Bank expired on June 1.
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