Persevering in the Face of Difficulties
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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