History of NRCA: The God-Story Journey
The God-Story Journey Timeline
“Miracle after miracle in its 22-year history”
Twenty-two years ago, a group of men and women encouraged Dr. and Mrs. S. L. Sherrill to follow their dream of a Christian school that could be a lighthouse of Kingdom Education. This great city, where Dr. Sherrill grew up, was fertile soil for a non-denominational Christian school ministry that sought to bring children to Christ, build them up in Christ, and equip them to serve Christ. Dr. and Mrs. Sherrill answered that call knowing clearly that God was directing their paths. Little did they know, or those who encouraged them, that God planned to do wondrous things. It truly is a fulfillment of God’s Word that He can “do great and mighty things which we know not” (Jeremiah 33:3). Today, NRCA stands as a lighthouse of Kingdom Education in our community, across this country, and around the world.
In “Telling the Story” of NRCA, it has been and is a “God-Story Journey.” Miracle after miracle, in its 22-year history, have occurred. Let me just share a few. Finding a host site at NRCA’s inception; setting up and furnishing the school in three months; receiving a miracle opportunity to purchase thirty acres at the Perry Creek location with an unexpected gift to cover the cost; and the foundation gift of $30,000,000 to build the Perry Creek campus debt-free. Again, and again, we have seen the handiwork of God in our timeline, more times than we can tell.
Here is a brief timeline in “Telling the Story” of NRCA’s God-Story Journey. In May of 1996, Christian families and pastors from the Raleigh community began to approach Dr. Sherrill about starting a community Christian school that had a vision to minister to the whole body of Christ. Several area businessmen, parents, and local pastors began to encourage Dr. Sherrill and his wife, Debbie, to prayerfully consider establishing a non-denominational Christian school. Two businessmen in particular were Danny Cox and Bruce Battle.
Pastor Shannon Scott, Danny Cox’s pastor, within a matter of a week, allow us to meet with their deacons and have a church vote to host a Christian school. This was indeed another God-Story. Dr. Sherrill, who founded the NRCA, presented the vision of being a lighthouse of Kingdom Education for North Raleigh.
There was immediate and overwhelming support throughout the community. On June 10, NRCA had its first registration night with almost 900 in attendance and registered 279 students. In three short months, God opened the doors of the school on September 3, 1996, housed at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, with an enrollment of 401 students K4 through 12th grade, and a staff of 28. NRCA will forever be indebted to Pastor Shannon Scott and the Mt. Vernon Congregation for opening their doors and being the birthplace of NRCA. Mike Garrett (Crossroads Fellowship), Ron Rowe (Bay Leaf), David Horner (Providence), and Kevin Sweat (Providence), area pastors, were instrumental through their prayers and support.
Growing by another 100 students for its second year of operation, the school was out of space. In 1998, Dwayne Milioni, Pastor of Open Door Baptist Church, welcomed NRCA to its second campus, Kindergarten-6th grade. Between the two locations, the enrollment was over 600.
In 1999, with enrollment at 777, the school purchased 30 acres of land on Perry Creek Road with its availability and full payment both miracles of God.
In 2000, we began a capital campaign to raise $5,800,000. This was very exciting because enrollment was full at both campuses with 850 students. On November 16, a Victory Rally, with over 1000 in attendance, was held at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church with Christian artist, Phil Driscoll to celebrate the generosity of many parents, grandparents, and friends who had given and continued to give to this ministry. Over 3 million dollars was pledged at this one event.
In 2001, a master site plan for Perry Creek was developed by Design Development that proposed five phases over twenty years. The first phase was a high school campus with ball fields and parking. Over time with additional phases, the elementary and middle school could move to the new campus. The day we received the architect’s master site plan, a foundation contacted us and stepped forward with a gift of $30,000,000. This made it possible to build the entire master site plan so all our students, Kindergarten-12th grade, could move to the Perry Creek campus.
In 2002, the Perry Creek campus opened with 1150 students.
Over the next few years, three additional purchases of property adjacent to the Perry Creek campus increased our site to almost forty acres (4.99 acres in 2005, 2.74 in 2006, 1.05 acres in 2008).
In 2006, the band room was expanded.
In 2007, the football practice field with storage facilities was completed and restrooms were added to the baseball fieldhouse.
In 2009, the Alumni Memorial Garden was created to honor staff, alumni, coaches, and Board members.
In 2010, an $9,000,000 expansion project added a three-story academic building, elementary gymnasium, and soccer park. The Next Step Capital Campaign was launched. Over 4 million dollars were given and the balance paid in full in 32 months, another God-Story. This expansion made possible an enrollment of 1500.
In 2011, as a fulfillment of its vision, NRCA began an International Program. Today, over forty high school students come from countries such as China, Korea, Brazil, Vietnam, Philippines, and Czech Republic. The school also had the opportunity to purchase twenty acres next door with the passing of our neighbor, Mr. Leslie Stell. The price was at tax value, an unexpected and miraculous gift, because of Mr. and Mrs. Stell’s love for our ministry. This was also our first year of the Annual Boosterthon.
In 2012, NRCA added its Little Knights Preschool for 4/5-year-olds who plan to transition into Kindergarten the next year.
In 2013, two storage facilities were built for the athletics, marching band, fine arts, and maintenance between the baseball and softball fields. We also began our Wrestling program.
In 2014, NRCA began its 1:1 iPad program, Kindergarten-12th Grade. NRCAplus, a Virtual Academy, was added to the academic program that makes it possible for students to take courses online through SevenStar that expands course offerings beyond our college preparatory program.
In 2015, we began our Junior Varsity Lacrosse program. The Alumni Memorial Garden was relocated to its permanent home. We also began a dual-enrollment program with the fully accredited Southeastern College in Wake Forest. Students can enroll in select courses taken under the teaching of our staff and receive college credit. Currently, students can earn as many as 21 college credits.
In 2016, we began the Varsity Lacrosse program.
In 2017, the new state-of-the-art Fitness Center was opened for our student athletics and the previous Fitness Center was renovated giving us two excellent facilities.
The Lord has brought together an outstanding leadership team from its Board of Governors, Superintendent, administration, faculty, and staff to achieve the NRCA vision and mission. The Academy has been Wake County’s largest K-12 school for more than a decade. By God’s grace, it has continued “Telling the Story.” Many young people have launched into varied walks of life with the training to live holy and acceptable before God. “To God be the Glory, great things He has done!”