News from CAK
Originally recorded by Sara Baker in the 1999-2000 CAK Historical Calendar
The year was 1987. No one knew why the Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) faculty meeting had been called. It wasn't on the schedule and there weren't any major events coming up. There was less joking around than usual as the teachers waited for the meeting to come to order.
In one of his toughest jobs as headmaster, the newly appointed Steve Camp had to face the teachers and tell them that the next payday might be late or that the checks might be smaller than usual. It was not a decision he took lightly.
Earlier in that same year, CAK had faced some difficult financial decisions. The relatively new school couldn't get the accreditation it needed without a gym. And without accreditation, student enrollment would not grow enough to provide the things the school needed to stay open. So, in order to break this vicious cycle, the board and administration decided to step out in faith and stretch finances to build a gym.
Back to that fateful staff meeting, the gym was now in place, and the school looked poised for a good increase in enrollment the following year. However, in the meantime, there simply wasn't enough money left in the bank to pay the mortage or the teachers.
So, CAK did what they had learned to do from the beginning: they prayed. The board prayed ceaselessly for God to provide the funds. Parents were called to pray in prayer groups or individually. Faculty organized a prayer day for the high school and middle school.
The payday was not late and the checks were not reduced! God is good!
Prayer, the Bedrock of CAK
Other historical examples of answered prayers recorded from CAK's minutes from committee meetings, budget proposals, and other documents:
- 1960s prayer need: Several women from Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church began praying for a Christian school in Knoxville.
Prayer answered: 1977 CAK opened in Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church with 96 students grades K-6.
- 1980 prayer need: The CAK family began praying for land for CAK to build a campus of its own.
Prayer answered: In 1982, a piece of land that CAK could afford (because the family who was selling the land wanted it to all remain intact instead of subdivided) became available on Dutchtown Road.
- 1988 prayer need: CAK had an enrollment of 370. They needed 30-40 additional students in order to balance the budget.
Prayer answered: In 1999, CAK had an enrollment of well over 800!
- 1989 prayer need: Families prayed that the entire CAK school would be together on one campus instead of meeting at several different church facilities.
Prayer answered: In 1999, the entire campus moved to Dutchtown Road
- 1989 prayer need: Prayers went up for students with special learning needs, specifically that they would have their needs met through their teachers and tutors at CAK.
Prayer answered: 1999, CAK has one of the premier academic centers in the Christain school community.
- 1989 prayer need: Churches represented at CAK would continue to stand for Christ in our community.
Prayer answered: Records in 1999 show that most of the churches represented at CAK have grown tremendously. We have no evidence of churches represented at CAK that have grown cold or dead during this time.
"God always met our needs. We prayed through a lot of situations. I would not trade my time at CAK for anything. They were some of the best times of my life." ~ Mike Pappas, former CAK teacher
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First submitted by Sara Baker for the 1999-2000 historical moments calendar
In the early 1980s, Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) was meeting on church campuses, but students, parents, and staff desired a campus of their own. One member of the development committee felt particularly drawn to a specific Bible verse:
"Those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land." ~ Psalm 37:9
The committee continued to pray, and look, but most of the land for sale near Cedar Bluff was far too expensive for CAK to consider. Then in 1982, a 27-acre tract of land became available on Dutchtown Road. Better yet, it was affordable! The committee recommended the purchase, and fundraising began!
In a letter dated February 2, 1983, Mr. Van Schuyver reported on several touching examples of how people sacrificed to help:
- Several middle school students made pins, selling them, and giving proceeds to the building fund
- A grandmother took care of a family of children over a weekend, and instead of accepting pay, she asked that the money be given to the CAK building fund
- A widow who had no formal contact with the school, but who knew it only by its reputation, gave a very generous gift after learning of the immediate plans to build
- Another woman, who worked hard all her life to assist in the education of her children and grandchildren, donated a substantial amount to "help assure the children of others would have a quality Christian education"
After the land was purchased, it was discovered that it had been in one family for years, handed down to each new generation as an inheritance. The family wanted the land to remain intact rather than being broken up for building lots, which is the reason they sold it to CAK at a price the school could afford. Thus, the school did receive an inheritance from the Lord fulfilling Psalm 37:9!
That spring, children, parents, and teachers gathered for a picnic on the new school grounds to celebrate the fulfillment of a long-held dream. No one could have imagined the 77-acre campus, multiple programs, and over 900 students that CAK has today. God is, indeed, able to do far beyond what we imagine!