Friendship Christian School – A look back and… into the future

Friendship Christian - The Future

Friendship Christian - The FutureFriendship Christian School has come a long way since 1973 when it was founded with 58 students, in borrowed classroom facilities, at the old College Street Church building in Lebanon. Today, the school has more than 550 students from Pre-K through 12th grade and sits on 50 acres on Coles Ferry Pike.

Over the years, the school has added several student complexes, outstanding sports facilities and a Performing Arts Center and stands as one of the area’s most prestigious Christian schools. Jon Shoulders has been President of FCS since 2002 and couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for the school.

Friendship Christian School has come a long way since 1973 when it was founded with 58 students, in borrowed classroom facilities, at the old College Street Church building in Lebanon. Today, the school has more than 550 students from Pre-K through 12th grade and sits on 50 acres on Coles Ferry Pike.

Over the years, the school has added several student complexes, outstanding sports facilities and a Performing Arts Center and stands as one of the area’s most prestigious Christian schools. Jon Shoulders has been President of FCS since 2002 and couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for the school.

“We are embarking into an amazing time in education,” Shoulders noted. “Our students are at the forefront of it all with our iPad in the classroom technology. Students today no longer learn from outdated text books but instead have the world at their fingertips. And not just information, but photos, videos, experiments, it’s all right there for our teachers to use and to demonstrate, in real time, as it happens, to their students.”

Friendship Christian - The Past
Can you guess who these FCS Alumni are? Go to our Facebook page to find out.

To that end, the students of FCS may be light years ahead of the students who graduated with the Firrst FCS class in 1977. However, in other ways, they are still very similar to them. “While providing the best in education is our purpose, Christian beliefs and teachings still remain the core of our school. It is important to us to not only produce learned individuals, but individuals who are ready to go out into this world and serve God’s purpose. With that, we support our students as they travel the state and the world, volunteering their time and talents to those who may have less than them,”  Shoulders explained.

Join in the Fun at the Upcoming Commander RunIn order to support both these educational and philanthropic endeavors, the school often comes up with creative ways to raise money to help the students meet their goals. In 2012, with the support of many parents and local business sponsors, the school created its Inaugural Commander Run, and this year, the Commander Run is set to be bigger and better.

The FCS Second Annual Commander Run is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, on the Friendship Christian campus located at 5400 Coles Ferry Pike in Lebanon. From beginner trail racers and mud run participants to hardcore warriors, tough guys and marathon runners, there is something for everyone. The Commander Run is actually a series of runs, where each participant can choose their level of endurance with the Extreme 5K, The Mini-Extreme and The Cross-Country 5k.

For those who are up for it, The Commander Extreme 5K will demand every ounce of your strength, ingenuity and animal instinct as those 14 and over will run, jump, climb, swing and slide through the course. For those not quite up to that challenge, there is The Commander Mini-Extreme that offers a 1.5 mile course with obstacles designed to offer an alternative to the Extreme 5K.

And then there is a non-obstacle run, The Cross Country 5K, where participants navigate a 5K trail running course. Different from other 5Ks in the area, this is an offroad 5K, where the runners travel through trails and nature within the FCS campus. “The Extreme Race Series is all about having fun and we have some new, extreme obstacles planned to compliment the course this year,” Shoulders noted.

“Last year, was our first year and it was amazing,” remarked Michelle Scharfman who spearheads the event. “We had adults, children and even families who participated together. It was such a thrill to see people challenging themselves and supporting their friends through the obstacles.”

Corporate and business sponsors are welcome for this event. Anna-Lee Cockrill, another FCS mother who helps run the event, said “that sponsors loved being involved last year. Their names were on all the T-shirts, billboards and advertisements and some even came out to set up banners and tents.” Those businesses interested in being a “Partner in Grime” in an official sponsorship capacity should contact Scharfman at 615- 354-3017.

From 58 students in a church classroom to 40 years later, being a premier learning center, Friendship Christian School has certainly come a long way.

Join in the Fun at the Upcoming Commander Run“And yet, there is more we can do for our students,” Shoulders said. “Technology is breaking down all sorts of barriers and we are determined to ensure our students are at the forefront of this new world. Fundraisers like our Commander Run, help us meet our goals and at the same time, teach our students the importance of hard work, endurance and facing challenges together, head on.”

He added that “last year, we had a lady who traveled from another county to come race with us. She was surrounded by her friends and they supported and encouraged her through each and every one of the obstacles. It was inspiring watching her pull herself up the straight wall with nothing but that rope and her sheer will. Many of our students were cheering her on at the finish line.  That’s what I want our student’s to do, challenge themselves and accomplish things they never thought possible.  That’s what this race is about and that is what FCS is about.”

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