In the early 1980s, Colleen Gaines, SMCA’s founder and administrator, noticed the significant need for quality Christian education in the Southern Maryland area. Although the public school system was thriving, Colleen wished to provide families with the option of biblically-based teaching for their children, an option that had remained distant until that time. Colleen was convinced that parents needed a school that would promise to educate and care for kids as though it were an extension of the family. Convicted by this need and armed with a vision, Colleen set out on a journey of faith, grace, and providence that would eventually lead to the founding of the center of godly learning and Christ-like teaching now known as Southern Maryland Christian Academy.
Holding its first class sessions in 1985, Southern Maryland Christian Academy’s first students met in the classrooms of a commercial building on Bannister Circle in Waldorf. However, within four years, Colleen’s vision paired with God’s providence proved to be too much for the crowded halls of Banister Circle, and she began searching for a site and facility that would most benefit her growing student body. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, Colleen finally settled on a beautiful, spacious, 25 acre lot on Faith Baptist Church Road in White Plains. By God’s grace, this new location would provide the student body with large facilities, a sports complex, and plenty of growing room. Delighted with the prospects this new location would provide, the property was purchased with the help of families and local businesses who had also captured Colleen’s vision and God’s plan, and in 1989, the student body, faculty, and parents all helped to relocate SMCA to where it stands to this day.
With God’s grace, SMCA continued to grow, and soon, the administration building could no longer house all of the student body. As such, a chapel building, classrooms, and a high school wing were added. These additions served SMCA’s needs for a season, but God was not finished with His great work. Years later, the high school had grown to such numbers that the old wing could no longer serve as a reasonable location for the bustling student body. SMCA added a secondary school building to hold grades 6-12 and in so doing, created a truly genuine middle and high school experience.
Together, these three buildings, administrative, chapel, and secondary school, compose the three part harmony of SMCA’s current educational campus. These three buildings house, broadly, SMCA’s three levels of academies: Pre-K and elementary, middle, and secondary, respectively. SMCA’s spacious campus helps these academies to function most effectively in meeting the needs of their specific student body while remaining under the blanket of SMCA’s biblical and educational standards and vision. However, the campus is not so spacious as to prevent its students of various ages from engaging one another throughout the school day. SMCA’s sense of community and family is never lost. For instance, the school’s cafeteria, located in the administrative building, becomes much more than simply a place to eat when students from various grade levels come together to enjoy food and fellowship.
Throughout all of the changes that SMCA has undergone in its exciting history one thing has always remained unshakeable: its conviction to bring strong, biblically-based Christian education to the Southern Maryland student body. SMCA’s vision is as strong today as it was in 1985, and it stands resolute to provide its students with the loving, godly education that they deserve. SMCA has always believed that education should be an extension of the family, and indeed, the school treats all of its students as though they are family.
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow SMCA stands as a testament to God’s grace in the proof of the two-fold truth that nothing can happen apart from God but rather that anything can happen together with God.