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Ohio Conference, Columbus Adventist Academy Expands, Eastwood Pathfinders Drum Corp, Marvin C. Brown, III, Joel E. Johnson,

Columbus Adventist Academy Expands

Story by Valerie Lee, Former Columbus Adventist Academy Board Member

“How does a church school grow from only two classrooms, two teachers, and 37 students to a K–8 school with 150-plus students, 12 classrooms, nine full-time teachers, a principal, instructional and administrative aides, and many volunteers?”

Delaina Cox, Finance Committee chairperson for  Columbus Adventist Academy, cuts the ribbon to celebrate the school’s expansion.This was the question Valerie Lee, member of the Ephesus church in Columbus, Ohio, posed earlier this year when giving the church’s history of education during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Columbus Adventist Academy’s (CAA) expansion celebration.

The Eastwood Pathfinders Drum Corp opened the ceremony with a bang, followed by remarks from Grace Brown, school board chair. Lee then shared the account of moving in the 1940s from a small church basement known as the Ephesus Elementary School to the more expansive 19,000-square-foot facility where CAA stands today.

William T. Cox, executive director of the Regional Conference Retirement Plan and under whose leadership CAA was built, shared his joy of having grandchildren attend the school. Marvin C. Brown, III, AWC president, congratulated the church and school for their ongoing commitment to Christian education, giving special accolades to DeLaina Cox, Campus Development Committee chair, and committee members Jadon Nious, Don Cantrell, Elaine Crawford, Elethia Dean, James Lee, Kim Upchurch and Reggie Wells. This team carried out the tedious job of working with builders, architects and zoning officials. Special thanks was given to Lincoln Construction, the team that completed the project almost two months ahead of schedule and within budget. Violet Cox, conference education superintendent, expressed her delight in the conference’s forward momentum in advancing Christian education.

The CAA choir and step team added their talents to the program. Afterward, Keith Goodman, Ephesus pastor, invited guests to the school for the ribbon cutting. CAA was pleased to use the same scissors that were used to cut the ribbon for the grand opening of Hale Hall, a building on the Ohio State University campus that was named after Frank W. Hale, Jr., longtime Ephesus Education Department leader and former Oakwood University president.

Conference officials believe that because of Evelyn Fordham-Goodman’s leadership as CAA’s principal, along with a devoted and strong slate of teachers and other personnel, CAA has a vibrant, multi-ethnic student body who proudly lives out their mission: “Christ-centered Evangelism, Empowerment, and Excellence.” CAA has ongoing plans to add grades 9–12. 

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