Lake City Junior Academy Celebrates Centennial

July 01, 2010 | Jon Dalrymple

Lake City Junior Academy celebrated its 100th anniversary on May 1, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The centennial celebration weekend featured a Sabbath worship service conducted by eight former principals, a historic presentation, tours of former and future campuses, a music vespers, and a reminiscing story time.

"An event like this is reassuring because it tells us our mission is alive," says Ray Cummings, a teacher and former principal who has worked at LCJA for a total of 23 years. "We see it well in the students when they come back because of how they have grown in their spirituality and bonded with the church. The Christian friendships they form, in their teen years especially, are so important for this."

The century-old Seventh-day Adventist school has been through a depression, wars, a fire and many other challenges in its North Idaho community. "But it comes out stronger each time," says Alan Sather, current LCJA principal. "Hearing how the Lord has led in the past is a real blessing because you realize He will continue to lead in the future."

The 10-grade school began operating in the fall of 1909 just two years after the first Seventh-day Adventist church was founded in Coeur d'Alene. Classes began in the back of the church and since then have been conducted in four different buildings in Coeur d'Alene.

"We had no playing field," says Helen Boyes, who began attending in 1929. "When we played volleyball, one team stood on the sidewalk on one side of the net, and the other team stood in the street. But going to a Christian school is important. You see the difference in some of the ones my age who didn't attend a Christian school."

Currently 140 students attend classes in a facility that was purchased in the 1950s and added onto in 1978. Planning is underway for a new campus on a 40-acre site the school has purchased for the next generation of LCJA students.

"What makes LCJA really special is the people who support the school," says Twyla Brown, who was principal of the school from 2002 to 2006 and also attended LCJA from second- through ninth-grade. "These people have a passion for Christian education. When challenges come up, they press together and work through it. They believe Jesus is coming again. That's what drives people to keep supporting this school."