When we opened our doors in 1976, a gallon of gasoline averaged 61 cents and Gerald Ford was President. The world has changed a lot since then but one thing has remained the same: Immanuel Christian School values the partnership between parents and educators.
The seed that was to become Immanuel Christian School was planted near the corner of Backlick and Braddock Roads in Northern Virginia in 1966. That was the date of the groundbreaking ceremony for Immanuel Baptist Church. Four years after the church moved into its new facility, ground was broken again for an educational wing that would contain twenty classrooms. In 1976, Immanuel Christian School began its history of quality Christian education, serving students in kindergarten through third grade. In that same year, the school board was established and Lester W. Tanner was hired as the school’s first administrator. Within one year, Immanuel had added grades four through eight, and published its first yearbook. By 1978, enrollment had exceeded 100 students.
Immanuel Baptist Church voted to purchase property at the church’s current location on the corner of Backlick and Braddock Roads. In 1981, the church held its first services in the new gymnasium. The next year, ICS had a new administrator, Richard Moran, and it was also during the 1981-82 school year that ICS became a member of ACSI. In 1984, the name of the church was changed to Immanuel Bible Church.
Continuing to implement the vision of quality Christian education, IBC elders voted in 1990 to begin construction of a new, larger education wing that would include eleven classrooms and a school library. That same year, Stephen Danish became the fourth administrator of Immanuel Christian School. Classes began in the new education wing in 1992.
A year later, the next phase of building expansion was completed, to include eight new classrooms. Enrollment continued to expand and in 1998 the church elders approved a double-tracking plan to double the grade level classes through eighth grade. In order to meet the growing needs of the school, the school board created the position of Assistant Administrator in 1998.
In recent years, the integration of technology into the curriculum has continued to expand, including the creation of a computer lab, installing interactive technology in every classroom and providing mobile laptop carts for use in classrooms. While continually growing in the tools and presentation of curriculum, Immanuel Christian School has kept focused on its distinctively Christian mission, developing the Character-in-Action program and involving students in outreach to the community. Under the leadership of Steve Danish, the school staff and faculty teach students the biblical truth of being not only “hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word,” as we reach out to the community and the world. In the spring of 2007 after a lengthy and extensive self-evaluation process and external examination, Immanuel was granted full accreditation by both the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Christian Schools International. Immanuel completed an extensive expansion recently adding additional instructional classrooms and labs, a middle school office along with offices for Educational Therapists, updating our gymnasium and adding an atrium suitable for assemblies and fine art productions.
Current plans are underway to expand to high school. We anticipate starting with 9th and 10th grade in the first year, and it is our expectation that ICHS will be a powerful, transformational experience for those who attend. We are very excited about the progress that has been made by our High School Planning Committee finalizing curriculum, recruiting faculty, evaluating facility options, and working with our accrediting association for the full accreditation of ICHS the very first year it opens. We continue to see God’s steady hand upon this endeavor, giving us an even bigger and bolder vision for what He wants to accomplish in the lives of our students. Please continue to pray for Immanuel Christian High School, for refinement of our facility options, for the selection of a world-class team of Christian educators and staff, and for God’s clear confirmation in the hearts of parents and students whom He will call to be the pioneer families of Immanuel Christian High School.
Since its beginning in 1976, we have been committed to providing students with quality education from a Christian perspective in order to keep with our mission of partnering with families to inspire students for purposeful lives of learning, godliness and service.