Reflections from the Founding Pastor John Lewis on the 25th Anniversary (2009)
As the founding Pastor, it is a privilege to reflect back over the last 25 years and give glory to God for the outstanding success of Northside Christian College.
The Birth of a Vision
I was inspired by the initiative of Pastor David Cartledge, who commenced the first A.O.G.Church School in Queensland in the late 1970’s. Having worked in the Victorian Education system prior to entering the Ministry, I was convinced the Church should provide the Christian community with alternative choices regarding their children’s education
The Church Board at Northside willingly and courageously embarked upon this exciting and challenging venture to start a College with the capable input of two key men – Graham Corney and Peter Tredenick, I thank God for their expertise in legal, Government and the Education Department matters.
We established the College to be a ministry expression of Nexus Church. We wanted to provide an education that would be Christ centred, reflecting a Biblical morality, in conjunction with an academic emphasis.
The Church outlaid approximately $25,000 that first year to cover the initial setting up and running costs. What an incredible, ‘eternal’ investment into the lives of thousands of students has been reaped through that investment.
Mrs. Shirley Mead was our first Principal and teacher. She taught 13 students in a room downstairs that had been part of the Kindergarten established in 1976 by Mrs. Bev Starrenburg.Our strategy was to commence a new class each year. The College had a wonderful reputation and we soon had waiting lists in every class. In those early days my wife made the College uniforms.
The Second College Principal, Mr. Murray Averill accepted the position to set up our future secondary school, although at that stage we had not received the Education Dept. approval. Mr. Averill later became the Principal and took the College to another level by introducing an education path through to Year 12.
The College's current Principal Mr. Leighton Kuss arrived the year that I left, and is doing an outstanding job leading the College to this day.
Land and Facilities
We commenced Northside Christian Church with a 2 ½ acre block, where the church is located, we then bought the western 2 ½ acres, where the main College buildings are situated. We then purchased the eastern 2 ½ acres and more, resulting in 12 acres of prime land in a fabulous location.
Northside Christial College Teachers and Staff
The outstanding leadership of our Principals is reflected in the high quality and outstanding teachers and staff they have appointed and so effectively. Over these years I have received so much positive feedback from parents regarding the dedication and commitment of the teachers to their students.
I commend the commitment and sacrifice that parents of our students have made for their children over the past 25 years. Their time, money, energy and voluntary help whenever required, makes for an excellent College.
Over the past 25 years, the overwhelming majority of our students have been wonderful, happy, co-operative, high quality young people. Many students have excelled academically, and others in sports, and others in social and community activities. Many have embraced the opportunity to travel in Australia and others have become involved in missions overseas. Their education has exceeded more than just the academic pursuit, it has assisted them to forge a life philosophy that will pave the way to a significant future.
I consider my participation in the birth and development of N.C.C. to be one of the great privileges in my ministry career, and I believe it will be a great legacy to future generations, for which I give God the Glory. As Val and I travel around Australia, we are amazed at the magnitude of influence our College has in peoples lives through this country. It’s common to have young people approach us and say “ I was a student at Northside” and express the positive effect the College had on their lives.