Winston Salem Christian School will remain at its current location at 3730 University Parkway for the 2019-20 school year, welcome news for families worried that the school would have to leave the site at the end of this academic year.
The school, Wake Forest University and Winston Salem First church jointly made the announcement Friday in a statement.
In late January, Wake Forest reached an agreement to buy the church and its school. Under that agreement, the church will be allowed to stay at the location for at least three years while it searches for a new site.
The school, however, had faced a different timeline and an uncertain future: Church officials had told parents and students that the church could only afford to keep the school open through the end of the school year this May.
Bryan Wolfe, the head of school, said Friday that the school has been able to raise $410,000 and that officials will take steps in the coming months to establish Winston-Salem Christian as an independent Christian school.
The school plans to renovate Woodland Baptist Church’s former location on North Patterson Avenue, Wolfe said. Officials want to move into that location by August 2020, Wolfe said.
“God has truly answered the diligent prayers of our WSCS community,” he said.
Wolfe thanked Wake Forest and Winston Salem First for their willingness to allow the school to remain at its existing location for another year. He also saluted churches, individuals and corporations from around the country that have donated financially and through acts of service to support the school.
“We are excited to move forward with the education and ministry of Winston Salem Christian School, and we look forward to serving families in Christian education into the next 40 years and beyond,” Wolfe said.
Katie Neal, a university spokeswoman, said that Wake Forest officials are pleased that Winston-Salem Christian School will remain in its current location for an additional year.
“We are glad to partner with Winston-Salem First to provide a solution that supports students, parents and teachers as school leaders plan for the future,” Neal said.
The sale is expected be completed this year in the late spring or early summer.
The church and its property, formerly known as First Assembly of God, have a total value of $13.47 million, according to the Forsyth County property tax records. Church and WFU officials have declined to comment on the sale price.
Elizabeth Broughton of Winston-Salem, a high school teacher at Winston-Salem Christian and a coordinator of its student activities, said she was happy that the school will remain at its existing location for another year.
“It’s been really stressful for the few months because we’ve been in limbo,” Broughton said. “We are really excited about it. Now we can make plans and move forward.”
The Rev. Mike Rakes, the senior pastor at the church, said that Winston Salem Christian School has been an important part of the Winston Salem First community.
“Our congregation has covered the school with prayer and financial support for nearly 40 years,” Raker said. “We are thrilled to partner with Wake Forest to ensure that Winston Salem Christian School can remain on the existing property for one more year and continue to serve students in the area.”