The journey to where MCCS is today began in 1997, when several members of the Wilkens Avenue Mennonite Church (WAMC) felt the need for a Christian school in our community. Many of the students at the middle school level were dropping out and falling into a pattern of delinquency.
In 1998, several WAMC members — two of whom were teachers in the Baltimore City Public School system — began to explore this vision. There were compelling reasons for wanting to start the school. The drop-out rate in the neighborhood exceeded 80%, with many students quitting in middle school. The local public schools were having a difficult time reaching the wide-ranging needs of their students.
In a neighborhood that was torn and broken by drug abuse and violence, these visionaries desired to create a safe place for students to learn and grow academically. They wanted to share the Gospel with kids and families who did not know Jesus and disciple students who made a commitment to Christ.
The general plan for the school was completed by the summer of 1998. Teachers would not receive a salary, but work on a volunteer basis or raise their own monetary support. This would allow students to pay an affordable tuition fee of $15 per month. A local businessman donated five condemned row houses adjacent to the church for the cause. Later, a sixth was added. Skilled volunteers began major renovation to transform these old homes into one school building.
Mount Clare Christian School began operation in the fall of 1998 with 12 sixth-graders. By the fall of 2000, there were 36 students in grades 6-8, and a waiting list of children who wished to attend.
In the 2003-2004 school term, MCCS began to experiment with the use of an individualized curriculum provided by Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). In this program, students in different grades could work together in the same room with one teacher.
Kindergarten and elementary classrooms were added in the 2004-2005 school term, allowing an expansion beyond the existing middle and high school curriculums. This brought the total enrollment to nearly 50 students.
Mount Clare Christian School has now been in operation for more than 15 years. We praise God for the work that He has done among us. Our students are learning about the Lord and are receiving a quality education that will help them in countless ways throughout their lives. We have experienced God’s direction and provision time and again. We look forward to seeing the ways that God will lead us as we minister here in Southwest Baltimore.