On December 9, 1839, CFW Walther helped to organize what has become known as the first Lutheran effort to establish an American high school in Perry County, Missouri.
The school was thoroughly classical and followed the German gymnasium. The building was a one-room log cabin and had an enrollment of eleven students – seven boys and four girls. The Saxon Lutherans had not completed a year in their new homeland and yet church and school were established… even before crops and other matters of livelihood. A place to gather for the Divine Service and to give youth a classical Lutheran education was of first importance.
Walther’s high school was not quick to grow. At times it appeared that all was lost but the visionaries were committed and the school continued as a great blessing. That vision included:
The Lutheran high school is place where the Word of God is taught in all its truth and purity.
The Lutheran high school curriculum is uniquely classical and exposes students the arts of language and speaking, history and geography, mathematics, the sciences, music and art.
Lutheran high school students should be educated to serve in the Church and civil realm.
In 2008, Faith Lutheran congregation of Plano expanded its classical elementary school to include ninth grade. Today, Faith Lutheran High School is the largest classical Lutheran high school in America with an enrollment of fifteen students in grades nine through twelve. While some things have changed since 1839, the vision of Walther and our American Lutheran forefathers remain for the visionaries of Faith Lutheran High School. Our classical Lutheran high school remains firmly rooted in the centrality of the Word of God, classical Lutheran curriculum and a commitment to nurturing graduates who serve their neighbor in Church and state.
The school’s classical Lutheran curriculum prepares our high school graduates for all good and salutary vocations. Our graduates are prepared to be mothers and fathers, church laymen, good neighbors and citizens, college students, and all other useful vocations in both the Church and society. As the school’s Pre-Calculus instructor this school year, I can personally vouch for the strength of our mathematics program. I am blessed to be an important contributor to future mathematicians, scientists or engineers. (and, as an aside: what a blessing Latin language studies are to Science majors!)
Through our dual credit partnership with Collin College, students earn college credit while attending Faith Lutheran High School. Students can complete a semester of college before high school graduation. What a great blessing that is for our students!
It is true that our high school sports program is limited. Even so, the greater DFW metroplex offers opportunities for competitive sports to our high school students. This year one of our freshmen played eleven-man full contact football through the Texas Association of Christian Athletes.
The list could go on. I invite you to keep Faith Lutheran High School (and… preschool and elementary school, too!) in your prayers. Consider enrolling your children in your congregation’s school. I know that we live in an age of choice and that school choice means that you will shop around for high school education. Give Faith Lutheran high school a sincere consideration for your children. Stop by and see me or come to the next school open house on Sunday, January 24. I look forward to hearing from you.
(This article will also appear in the Faith Lutheran Church December 2015 newsletter)