Lancaster Christian Academy was founded in 1997 providing parents and students in Smyrna with an opportunity to receive a first-rate, Christian education. Keith and Sherry Lancaster began LCA in a small house on Maple Drive with ten students. There wasn't really a vision to grow beyond the initial ten students until parents and community members began to call and inquire about this new Christian school in Smyrna. With Keith's advertising background and Sherry's educational degree the two set out on a journey that has impacted thousands of lives in the Lord. Strong Biblical leadership, a commitment to academic excellence, and opportunities for cultural growth marked the first five years of the academy.
By 2002, the Academy had outgrown the Maple Street home and plans for a new school building were unveiled. The school, located at 150 Soccer Way, was opened with great acclaim in the fall of 2003. The school had grown from an elementary school to an institution serving students up through grade 9.
In 2004-2005, the next step in the vision for growth at LCA was undertaken---the foundation of an early learning center for children ages 2-4. The 1.1 million dollar state-of-the-art child care center opened in the summer of 2005 and quickly has become one of most successful child care services in Rutherford County. At the end of the 2005-2006 school year, LCA's enrollment had grown to nearly 400 students!
The coaching staff at LCA began to plot a vision and course for the school to build a gymnasium to house athletic competitions. In 2008-2009, LCA parents and community members raised funds to begin construction on a 1.8 million dollar gymnasium and high school. The high school had grown into a full-service academic institute with our first class of seniors graduated in 2007.
In 2011, we opened our Elementary Honors School followed by our K-2 magnet program in 2012. Students in the honors school published their first book in the latter part of 2012. Also in 2011, LCA became a testing center for the National ACT company administering the ACT test to over 500 students per year both to students at the school and to students in the community. We believe that administering this test on site gives our students the opportunity to excel by being in a familiar environment with familiar teachers. With our daily ACT prep coursework, students average 22-25 on the ACT, which is above the current state average score.
In 2013, LCA added over $30,000 in technology with plans to add more in the years to come. Having won 8 National Championships in LCA's athletic department and over 4.5 million dollars in scholarship monies offered to fewer than 150 graduates, LCA continues to set the standard in athletic and academic excellence in the greater Nashville area.
In the summer of 2013, Keith and Sherry Lancaster retired and turned the helm of operations over to Kevin O'dea, LCA's current Headmaster. Kevin O'dea has been a part of building LCA's program for the past decade, and has set ambitious goals for the future.
In 2014, Mr. O'dea opened LCA's state-of-the-art Babies Only Center on Mayfield Drive. Members of the Chamber of Commerce along with the Smyrna Town Council attended the opening ceremony of the new center.
In 2014, the school built a restaurant and coffee bistro called the Knight's Cafe. Students are able to purchase a wide variety of delicious entrees and snacks as well as smoothies and coffee-type drinks. LCA also opened its first science lab equipped to facilitate dissection and chemical based labs.
In 2015-2016, the school renovated and outfitted a new multi-media center with over $40,000 in technology for students to use. LCA began offering courses in web-site design, multi-media, computer applications, and has aspirations to begin robotics classes in the near future. The academy began a JROTC program as well as a revamp of the current elementary magnet school with its own teaching staff and classrooms. Due to growth, the middle school grew to include 6th grade with its own administrative and teaching team.
In 2016-2017, the middle school has grown to over 80 students with a relocation to the academy's east wing. Our elementary magnet classroom was outfitted with new technology and became all-inclusive of students through 5th grade. Our high school curriculum includes a new Christian foundations course and students are able to earn Dual Enrollment credit through both Lee University and Bryan College. Major renovations in the main entryway and gymnasium have taken place, and every student 3rd grade through 12th will enjoy a subscription to Office 360 as we advance in the area of technology.
As we enter into our 20th year, LCA represents over 700 students between our Early Learning Center and main Academy. We have expanded to include four facilities: ELC, ELC Babies, LCA, and our Central Office. We will open our new Early Learning Center of Murfreesboro at the end of February 2018. In our 2018-2019 school year, we will begin to slowly replace paper textbooks to the digital platform, magnet school will include grades K5-8th grade, and we will continue to expand our offerings for exceptional learners.
Lancaster Christian Academy's legacy is not possible without the strong foundation of faith and belief In Jesus Christ. Lancaster Christian Academy believes that Jesus Christ was God, is God, and God's only Son. LCA believes Jesus was born of a virgin, lived, was crucified, died, buried, rose again, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and that salvation and eternal life comes only through Him.
Our traditional doctrine includes many denominational lines. Our criteria in hiring teachers is a personal relationship with and belief in Jesus Christ as God's only Son. Currently, teachers' spiritual backgrounds include: Nazarene, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Non-Denominational, and Evangelical. While we provide children with Biblical knowledge, our number one desire is to: PROVIDE A CHRIST-LIKE ENVIRONMENT AND PROMOTE CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER.
LCA will continue to grow and continue to fulfill our school's mission to make Jesus famous in the lives of our students and for our students to make Jesus famous within their realm of influence in the city, the state, the country, and around the world.