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Kalamazoo Christian Schools

Parochial Education Since the 1870s


Ebenezer Christian School, 820 John Street, c. 1940. Local History Photo P-747

The first Kalamazoo Christian school was established in 1877 by the Walnut Street Church of Kalamazoo. Several other Christian elementary schools soon followed over the years, and eventually the first Christian high school was established in 1939. The following timeline appeared in a KCS newsletter in 2003.

1875: Members of the Walnut Street Christian Reformed Church (later to be renamed First Christian Reformed Church) established the Walnut Street Christian School with about 25 students. All instruction was in Dutch and the curriculum was based solely on the Bible. Because of teacher shortages, the school closed twice. In 1888 it reopened for the second time. The teacher received a salary of $25.00 per month.

1892: A second Christian school was opened on North West Street by the North West Christian Reformed Church (now Second CRC). This building, too, closed intermittently but reopened and was later renamed the Williams Street Christian School.

1898: A third Christian school, the John Street School, was constructed at a cost of $1400. The school enrolled 100 students. The teacher’s salary doubled to $50 per month.

1902: The first woman teacher was hired at John Street Christian School.

1905: A new brick building for the Williams Street Christian School was built for $8100.

1906: A new brick building was built for the John Street Christian School for $6000. In 1910 it was renamed Ebenezer Christian School.

1917: Education in both Christian schools switched from the Dutch language to the English language.

1924: The Comstock Christian School opened with one room and added a second room in 1925.

1928: An addition was built at Ebenezer School for $75,000 and grades nine and ten were added to begin Christian high school education in Kalamazoo.

1939: The high school became a full four-year school and was named Kalamazoo Christian High School.

1950: Four classrooms were built on Cobb Avenue for grades 7 and 8 of the Williams Street School. In 1954, eight new classrooms were added to the Cobb Avenue location, and the K-6th graders joined the older students at the new campus. The school was renamed North Christian Grade School.

1954: Ebenezer School was moved to a new building on South Westnedge Ave., which was built at a cost of $280,000. It was renamed South Christian School.

1957: The Comstock School closed and the students joined the student body at South Christian School. South added a four-room junior-high wing.

1960: Kalamazoo Christian High was built on Stadium Drive at a cost of $750,000.

1963: The John Street building was put back into use. From 1963 to 1973, it was used for South Christian for grades 1-3; from 1963 to 1965, it was used for North Christian’s junior-high students.

1973: The John Street building closed permanently.

1984: East Christian School was opened in Comstock.

1992: East Christian School, North Christian School, South Christian School, and Kalamazoo Christian High School were officially consolidated into one school system.

2000: West Christian School was built at a cost of $6.4 million.

2009: East Christian School joined with the other consolidated schools at the campus on 12th Street.

2013: Kalamazoo Christian Middle School sold the Westnedge Ave. location and built a new facility adjacent to the elementary school.


Kalamazoo Christian High School

Location: 2121 Stadium Drive
Built: 1960


Elementary and Middle Schools

North Christian School
Location: 1340 Cobb Avenue
Built: 1950

South Christian School
Location: 3333 S. Westnedge Avenue
Built: 1954

East Christian School
Location: 5196 Comstock Avenue
Built: 1984

West Christian School
Location: 3800 S. 12th Street
Built: 2000

 

Written by Ryan Gage, Kalamazoo Public Library staff, January 2024

Sources

Local History Room Files

Subject File: Kalamazoo Christian Schools

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