A Brief History of Bellstone

Bellstone Christian School

As the student population at Timothy Christian School in Hamilton continued to grow under the blessing of the LORD, the Board of Directors in the summer of 2010 published an action plan that would serve the School Society until at least September 2017. In this report, the Board left open the option for a grassroots movement to explore the possibility of a second school society as part of a vision for the future educational needs of our children.

In response to the Board report, a group of parents from Trinity Canadian Reformed Church of Glanbrook and Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church met together with the desire to investigate the feasibility of creating a new school that would serve these two congregations. The Board was informed of this initiative in writing, and the committee received a response that the Board was willing to cooperate in exploring this option for the future, in order to work towards a common goal for the Timothy School Society. This initiative was also mentioned by the Board chairman at the Fall Membership Meeting in 2010.

In reaction to this correspondence, a decision was made to establish a formal committee under the name ‘Glancaster’ School Initiative. The committee undertook an exercise of assessing the feasibility of starting a new school serving the Ancaster and Glanbrook congregations. Over the course of a little more than a year the committee had regular meetings, contacted other schools and school boards, assessed potential properties that could serve a school, and studied growth projections in Timothy school. The committee concluded that starting a new school society was not only possible, but was in fact desirable.

On December 1, 2011 a presentation was made to the members of the two congregations, and a proposal to initiate a provisional school society was voted upon. Based on the outcome of the vote, a decision was made to proceed with establishing a provisional school society for the purpose of promoting the establishment of an elementary school in the Ancaster and Glanbrook regions to educate children of members of the Canadian and United Reformed church community in Ancaster, Glanbrook, Caledonia and surrounding area.

On March 1, 2012 a provisional school society was established and a provisional Board was elected. The task of the Provisional Board was to prepare for the incorporation of a new School Society by coordinating the study of building needs, budgets, capital startup costs, curriculum needs and special needs, discussions with the Timothy Board, by-laws and so forth. They were also responsible for establishing a timeline for the opening of a new school.

On June 4, 2015, the membership authorized the Board to incorporate the school society under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. In addition, at the same meeting, the membership also voted to authorize the Board to submit a bid for the former Bell-Stone public school located at 6025 White Church Rd, and a capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.2 million was initiated. These decisions were all made with the unanimous support of the membership.

The LORD further blessed the work of the school society when our bid for the former Bell-Stone public school was successful, and we became owners of a beautiful building and property in late fall of 2015. Over the course of the next two years, much work was done in and around the building to bring the building up-to-date, add more functional space, and turn it into a beautiful and bright school.

On May 5, 2016, at the Spring Membership meeting, the society voted to name the school Bellstone Christian School. Further, a detailed mission statement was adopted as well which states clearly that it is our desire to educate our covenant children to be kingdom citizens.

On November 12, 2016, the Board announced to the membership that the search for a principal had been blessed beyond our expectations: the LORD gave us our first principal in Mr. Ken Bergsma, and our first vice-principal in Mr. John Van Iperen.

Then, on February 23, 2017 the School Board issued a news release that the LORD has blessed the school society with a full complement of teaching staff to begin the school year in September, 2017! Not only did we receive as many teachers as we needed, but the LORD provided us with a staff that is competent, caring, and balanced — both very experienced teachers and those who were just starting out.

On May 24, 2017, the School Board informed the membership that a part-time office administrator was found, thereby completing the hiring process. All staff needed to run the school had been hired.

On September 5, 2017, we awoke to a bright and sunny day - perfect for opening day. The gym was filled with the beaming faces of eager students, as well as thankful parents, grandparents and society members. After an opening assembly, we all filed outside for the inaugural flag raising. As the flag rose up the flag pole, all present sang our national anthem, giving thanks to our heavenly Father for His abundant blessings!

As we have now settled into operating the school, we continue to lay our school and its community before the LORD, trusting that He will guide our paths, even as we seek to walk in obedience to His will.

Soli Deo Gloria!