Here in Redlands, we had the first Protestant Reformed School in our denomination. It was called “First Reformed Christian School.”
It all began in 1934…
In 1934, Reverend Gerrit Vos said we needed our own school. Reverend Vos was the secretary of the first school board.
From 1934 through 1941, classes were held in the basement of First Protestant Reformed Church on the corner of Clay Street and Lugonia Avenue in Redlands. In 1942, a school was built on Clay Street adjacent to the Parsonage. This is where classes were held until the school closed in 1954.
After our school was lost in 1954, the members of the church immediately started thinking about starting a new school. They recognized that this was one of the most important decisions they would make regarding the Christian education of their covenant children. The school society pursued many possible properties that would be suitable for a school. Motivated by the need for a new church building and the need for our own school, the property on Brockton Avenue was purchased.
The property had been a chicken ranch – the parsonage today is the chicken farmer’s old house. The property encompassed 5 acres and was considered an excellent location for our church and school for many years to come.
The school was built first, with the idea that it would have at least one room large enough to serve as a meeting place for worship until the church was built. However, the school was never used for Sunday worship.
The school was built by the generous help of many volunteers, who gave their time to see the possibility of having our own school become a reality. Men and women from the church used their talents to draw up plans, lay bricks, shingle the roof, build cabinets and shelves, varnish cupboards, hang chalkboards, organize books, clean desks, wash windows, plant grass, and set up the playground equipment.
The organization of the school was accomplished through the cumulative effort of the men of the school board, both the board of 1975 and the boards of years gone by. These men worked tirelessly to acquire qualified Protestant Reformed teachers, plan the school curriculum, purchase books, and figure tuition and other costs.
On Monday, September 8, 1975, Hope Christian School opened its doors to its first two teachers and 36 students. All present rejoiced in God’s faithfulness to them in providing the means through which their children could be taught in a Protestant Reformed Christian school.