In the spring of 1954, after the closing of the only local kindergarten, Laura Candler approached Pine Castle United Methodist Church Minister O’Neil Jacobs about opening The Methodist Country Kindergarten. He wholeheartedly approved of the idea. A committee was formed, teachers were hired, and Mrs. Candler provided the playground equipment for the new school. Mrs. Polly Faulkner was selected as the first teacher.
Over the next few months, Laura Candler, Sanford Padgett, and Glen and Polly Faulkner spent many hours developing curriculum, building cubicles, and painting chairs and tables for the students. The church was able to fence in a piece of property for the playground, which they leased from Lindsay Perkins for one dollar per year. Mrs. Candler had the playground equipment delivered, and Mrs. Faulkner brought the playhouse from her own back yard. Forty-seven students were enrolled for the 1955 to 1956 school year. The Methodist Country Kindergarten continued to grow and add classes that included three, four, and five year-olds. Graduates were reported to be well prepared for first grade. The curriculum for the first class was a well rounded one based on the love of Jesus! Our foundation was built on Christian principles.
A legacy had begun!
In 1983, God revealed a much larger vision of Christian schooling. This plan was fulfilled by a few dedicated families under the direction of Laura Candler and Pastor Clarence Yates. Pinecastle Christian Academy opened for the 1983-1984 school year with 125 students in grades K3 through 6th. Additional grades were added year-by-year, grade-by-grade, through the twelfth grade. The first class of seniors graduated in 1990. In May 2010 we graduated our largest class of Seniors to-date (67).
In November 2009 PCUMC voted to allow PCA to become an Independent Christian School. In May 2010 PCA purchased the building located at 7101 Lake Ellenor Drive. Today, as PCA moves forward, we continue to have the same heart towards education as the founding families had in the beginning. We remain committed to developing the hearts and minds of children through a nurturing Christian community that encourages faith, character, and a love of learning. We are convinced that faith, knowledge, and character are inseparable, and that Christ has called His people to model excellence in each of these areas. We are a school where students of today are equipped to be Christian leaders of tomorrow.
PCA…the legacy lives on!!