On April 12, 1972, ten Southern Baptist churches (Boulevard, Broadway, Graceland, Havenview, Hickory Hills, LaBelle Haven, LaBelle Place, Trinity, Westhaven, and Whitehaven) met at a local restaurant to discuss a vision for a Christian school in the Whitehaven, Tennessee community. An organizational meeting was held, and a Christian school, later to be named Southern Baptist Educational Center (SBEC), was conceived. Serious discussions ensued, and later in 1972 thirty-six acres at the corner of Holmes and Tulane in Memphis, Tennessee were purchased for the site of the school. A corporate charter was granted to the churches on June 27, 1972.
The dream became a reality on April 1, 1973, when groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted on the site. Mr. Frank Repult was chosen as the architect. Construction was set to begin on May 1, 1973. Plans were made for the school (grades 1-12) to open in the fall of 1973. For the interim it was projected that the elementary students would use Broadway Baptist Church’s facilities and that the high school would use the facilities at Graceland Baptist Church. Mr. Royce Agerter was the first headmaster at SBEC, where there were 780 students and a staff of thirty-two.
The much anticipated dedication services were held on March 18, 1974, and the elementary and high school united in the new facilities. The first graduating class of 1974 consisted of twenty-four students. As the school continued to grow, it quickly faced not only a financial crisis, but also a philosophical and leadership crisis as well. In November of 1978, Broadway Baptist Church stepped forward and assumed total responsibility for the school and has been the school’s sole sponsor since that time. In 1979 Paul E. Young was appointed headmaster, and along with Dr. Bobby Moore, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church, was responsible for the establishment and development of the Christian philosophy to which the school currently adheres. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited SBEC in 1982.
During the early 1980’s the community where the school was located was undergoing significant change. The area was losing professionals as well as families who could afford to send their children to SBEC. As the enrollment began to drop, the decision was made to look for property in DeSoto County. SBEC’s current site was purchased in 1986, and the former facility was sold to the Memphis City School system. The Memphis Board of Education gave SBEC a million dollars in advance and allowed the school to continue to use the building for two years rent-free while the current facility was under construction.
This facility is located on 61 spacious acres that it shares with Broadway Baptist Church at 7400 Getwell Road, Southaven, Mississippi, in DeSoto County. The new school opened its doors in September 1988 with 600 students. For the last forty years SBEC has grown in size and scope and serves an average of 1,000 students in grades K-3 through twelve. The Board of Trustees is the governing body, and Pastor Mark Livingston holds a permanent seat on that board. SBEC is a member of the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA), Memphis Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), and Tennessee Association of Independent Schools (TAIS) and has dual accreditation from the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and Cognia. Northpoint Christian School competes with thirty athletic teams in upper school and eleven teams in lower school. The Fine Arts Department features band, chorus, art, and drama. The academic program meets the needs of all students with both a college preparatory track and a program dedicated to students with learning disabilities. The student population is diverse without regard to race, color, creed, sex, ethnic or national origin.
Since 2004, the campus has expanded, adding lighted tennis courts as a result of the generosity of the Homer Skelton Foundation together with a band suite, and an academic facility with 12 classrooms. The dedication of the new wing was held in January, 2006.
Two years later, on February 7, 2008, a new high school gymnasium was officially dedicated to the glory of God. The gym has side-by-side full court practice space, both girls’ and boys’ weight rooms, and a turf room for inside practice sessions. The latest addition to the campus is a full weight training facility. Through the generosity of several parents and friends of the school, it was dedicated in May, 2011.
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the Board of Trustees and members of the school administration embarked on a process of renaming the school. While the name “Southern Baptist Educational Center” or “SBEC” had served the school well for 40 years, it was felt that the new name should:
It was important to ensure that the heart and the mission of the school would not change and that the new name would not in any way disassociate the school as a ministry of Broadway Baptist Church. The Board of Trustees selected a committee of board members, faculty members and administrators, students, alumni, parents, grandparents, and community and church leaders to recommend a new name and gave opportunity for suggested names to be submitted to the committee for consideration. The committee deliberated for a number of months and recommended the name of Northpoint Christian School to the board. After approving the suggested name, the board recommended the name to the Board of Deacons of Broadway Baptist Church.
On August 4, 2013, the congregation of Broadway Baptist Church approved the new name of Northpoint Christian School.
Please view the video below that was prepared to explain the significance of the name, Northpoint Christian School.
On November 21, 2016, the high school gym floor was dedicated in honor of David H. Manley. The court was named “Manley Court.”
On November 15, 2017, Mr. Jim Ferguson was introduced as the President and Head of School for Northpoint. Mr. Ferguson took the reins from Mr. David Manley as he transitioned to his new role as President Emeritus, where he served until January 2021. Mr. Manley faithfully served 39 years as either Head of School, principal, teacher, or coach at SBEC/Northpoint. Mr. Manley touched the lives of thousands of students, faculty, and staff members throughout his career and years of service. His legacy continues at NCS through the David H. Manley Golf Tournament and David H. Manley Scholarship.
In 2017, generous donations were received to fund two digital road sign to display events and messages to current families, prospective families, and members of our community.
In 2018, updates to our facility began. The lobby, halls, and administrative offices were painted and updated. New furniture and decorations were added in the office area. Also, a spiritual life director was added to our staff. Dr. Jason Mackey came on staff to prepare chapel programs, conduct lunchtime Bible studies for upper and lower school students, and organize the mission trips for the Home Missions Class and the International Missions Studies Class.
Beginning with the class of 2019, community service hours were implemented as a part of graduation requirements. Forty hours are required for the class of 2022 and beyond. Our students serve our school, community, and our county. Community service is important because when we serve, we are literally becoming the hands and feet of Jesus to others.
During the 2018-2019 school year, we received a generous donation from the Homer Skelton Foundation. Teachers completed grant applications for items that would enhance their classrooms. These funds purchased Chromebook carts, science labs were enhanced with new microscopes and equipment, alternative seating was added to elementary classrooms, and some furniture was updated. An indoor playground for PK, JK and SK was added and is a wonderful addition. The elementary librarian, Cheri Saunders dreamed of an outside reading garden for our elementary students. Parents, along with students, helped in a variety of ways to bring this special place to life. A Robotics Club was also organized in August 2019 and competed state-wide. They have been successful in regional and state competitions.
During the summer of 2019, our cafeteria was completely remodeled by Pedestal Food, our current food service provider. The food is prepared fresh every day and offers many selections for our students.
Beginning in January, 2019, seniors from the previous graduating class are invited to “Coffee and Conversation” with Mr. Ferguson and the high school principal. The students talk about their first semester of college life and how NCS prepared them for this step. They offer suggestions of things the school could do to aid in this transition.
In October, 2019, the first David H. Manley Golf Tournament was held to raise money to fund a scholarship in his name given to a senior. The funds are also used for supplies needed on various mission trips taken by the students in the International Mission Studies class. Water systems were donated from the David H. Manley fund for the IMS trip to Jamaica where IMS students built little blue houses for residents and the water systems were a bonus for these families.
From 2020-2022, Northpoint Christian School had multiple generous donations along with fundraiser events that provided the opportunity to upgrade and add facilities to our existing sports complex including:
The school will celebrate its 50th anniversary in April of 2023.
We are grateful for our history, and we look forward to seeing how the Lord will work at Northpoint Christian School as the next generation is reached for Christ.