Arbor Christian Academy fights to stay open, looks to another church

      Just two weeks after officials at Trinity Fellowship Church announced that its school would be closing, representatives are looking to another church to host it.

      Paramount Baptist Church has announced that it has entered discussions with the parents and faculty of Arbor Christian Academy about possibly providing space and hosting it in the future.

      "We have begun a conversation with Arbor representatives about the possibility of hosting their school," said Dave Anderson, Paramount's Executive Pastor. "Right now the discussions are very much in a preliminary stage and, should they move further, will be subject to congregational approval."

      Andersen said that although no official decision has been made, the pastoral staff, deacons and lay leadership from Paramount met with representatives from Arbor Christian Academy over the weekend.

      More discussion with the larger church membership is planned for later this week, Anderson said.

      "Education is very important to the people of Paramount," Anderson said. "Our members are extremely involved in the public school system and include a number of teachers, administrators, and volunteers. At the same time, we also are very supportive of private Christian education and are always interested in serving the city of Amarillo in whatever way we can. "

      Arbor Christian Academy is a Christian-based school. Church elders from Trinity Fellowship made the decision after reviewing declining enrollment numbers.

      Different options were discussed, such as increasing the cost of tuition. It was decided that raising tuition could further hurt enrollment numbers, thus the decision was made to officially close.

      More than 200 students are currently enrolled at the school, officials said.

      Andersen explained that with the large amount of space not being used by the church during weekdays, he believes the relationship could work.

      "The reality is we have a large amount of space that is not being used on weekdays," he said. "Not only do we see this as a way to be more efficient stewards of our property, but potentially it may be a real ministry opportunity to the families and students of Arbor during this challenging time."

      Representatives from Arbor Christian Academy said they are excited about the possibility.

      "We have been so impressed with the hospitality and compassion of Paramount's staff and members," said Jennifer Wilkerson, Arbor's Secondary Principal. "We are looking forward to continuing this conversation and are hopeful about where it may lead."