On April 12, 1972, ten Southern Baptist churches (Boulevard, Broadway, Graceland, Havenview, Hickory Hills, LaBelle Haven, LaBelle Place, Trinity, Westhaven, and Whitehaven) met at a local restaurant to discuss a vision for a Christian school in the Whitehaven, Tennessee community. An organizational meeting was held, and a Christian school, later to be named Southern Baptist Educational Center (SBEC), was conceived. Serious discussions ensued, and later in 1972 thirty-six acres at the corner of Holmes and Tulane in Memphis, Tennessee were purchased for the site of the school. A corporate charter was granted to the churches on June 27, 1972.
The dream became a reality on April 1, 1973; groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted on the site. Mr. Frank Repult was chosen as the architect. Construction was set to begin on May 1, 1973. Plans were made for the school (grades 1-12) to open in the fall of 1973. For the interim it was projected that the elementary students would use Broadway Baptist Church’s facilities and that the high school would use the facilities at Graceland Baptist Church. Mr. Royce Agerter was the first headmaster at SBEC, where there were 780 students and a staff of thirty-two.
The much anticipated dedication services were held on March 18, 1974, and the elementary and high school united in the new facilities. The first graduating class of 1974 consisted of twenty-four students. As the school continued to grow, it quickly faced not only a financial crisis, but also a philosophical and leadership crisis as well. In November of 1978, Broadway Baptist Church stepped forward and assumed total responsibility for the school and has been the school’s sole sponsor since that time. In 1979 Paul E. Young was appointed headmaster, and along with Dr. Bobby Moore, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church, was responsible for the establishment and development of the Christian philosophy to which the school currently adheres. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited SBEC in 1982.
During the early 1980’s the community where the school was located was undergoing significant change. The area was losing professionals as well as families who could afford to send their children to SBEC. As the enrollment began to drop, the decision was made to look for property in DeSoto County. SBEC’s current site was purchased in 1986, and the former facility was sold to the Memphis City School system. The Memphis Board of Education gave SBEC a million dollars in advance and allowed the school to continue to use the building for two years rent-free while the current facility was under construction.
This facility is located on 61 spacious acres that it shares with Broadway Baptist Church at 7400 Getwell Road, Southaven, Mississippi, in DeSoto County. The new school opened its doors in September 1988 with 600 students. For the last forty years SBEC has grown in size and scope and serves an average of 1,000 students in grades K-3 through twelve. The Board of Trustees is the governing body, and Pastor Mark Livingston holds a permanent seat on that board. SBEC is a member of the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA), Memphis Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), and Tennessee Association of Independent Schools (TAIS) and has dual accreditation from the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SBEC competes with thirty athletic teams in the high school and eleven teams in the elementary school. The Fine Arts Department features band, chorus, art, and drama. The academic program meets the needs of all students with both a college preparatory track and a program dedicated to students with learning disabilities. The student population is diverse without regard to race, color, creed, sex, ethnic or national origin.
Since 2004, the campus has expanded, adding lighted tennis courts as a result of the generosity of the Homer Skelton Foundation together with a band suite, and an academic facility with 12 classrooms. The dedication of the new wing was held in January, 2006.
Two years later, on February 7, 2008, a new high school gymnasium was officially dedicated to the glory of God. The gym has side-by-side full court practice space, both girls’ and boys’ weight rooms, and a turf room for inside practice sessions. The latest addition to the campus is a full weight training facility. Through the generosity of several parents and friends of the school, it was dedicated in May, 2011.
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the Board of Trustees and members of the school
administration embarked on a process of renaming the school. While the name “Southern Baptist Educational Center” or “SBEC” had served the school well for 40 years, it was felt that the new name should:
- Communicate our school mission, as well as who we are and what we are,
- Be more inviting and less restrictive, in order to realize a greater outreach to the community,
- Be more readily embraced by the school constituency, and
- Speak for itself.
It was important to insure that the heart and the mission of the school would not change and that the new name would not in any way disassociate the school as a ministry of Broadway Baptist Church.
The Board of Trustees selected a committee of board members, faculty members and administrators, students, alumni, parents, grandparents, and community and church leaders to recommend a new name and gave opportunity for suggested names to be submitted to the committee for consideration. The committee deliberated for a number of months and recommended the name of Northpoint Christian School to the board. After approving the suggested name, the board recommended the name to the Board of Deacons of Broadway Baptist Church. On August 4, 2013, the congregation of Broadway Baptist Church approved the new name of Northpoint Christian School.
Please view the video below that was prepared to explain the significance of the name, Northpoint Christian School.
On November 21, 2016, the high school gym floor was dedicated in honor of David H. Manley. He served over 35 years as teacher, coach, high school principal and president of SBEC/NCS. He is now the President Emeritus. The court was named “Manley Court.”
On November 15, 2017, Mr. Jim Ferguson was introduced as the President and Head of School for Northpoint. Mr. Ferguson took the reins from Mr. David Manley as he transitioned to his new role as President Emeritus. Mr. Manley has been a faithful servant to SBEC/Northpoint for over three decades. He has done an honorable job leading this institution. NCS is thankful for the influence he had on many students and faculty both educationally and spiritually.
In 2017, some generous donations were received to fund the digital road sign to display events and messages to passing cars. We also received a donation from Jim and Betty Webster to install a digital sign on the entrance drive with information especially for our current families.
In 2018, updates to our facility began. The lobby, halls and administrative offices were painted and updated. New furniture and decorations were added in the office area. Also, a spiritual life director was added to our staff. Dr. Jason Mackey came on staff to prepare chapel programs covering subjects that face our students, conducts lunchtime Bible studies for high school students and organize the mission trips for the Home Missions Class and the International Biblical Studies Class.
Beginning with the class of 2019, community service hours were required as a part of the graduation requirements. Forty hours will be required beginning with the class of 2022. Our students will serve our school, community, country and more in need of something we can give. Community service is most important because when we serve, we are literally becoming the hands and feet of Jesus to others.
During the 2018-2019 school year we received a generous donation from the Homer Skelton Foundation. Teachers completed grant applications for items that would enhance their classrooms. These funds purchased Chromebook carts, science labs were enhanced with new microscopes and equipment, alternative seating was added to elementary classrooms, and some furniture was updated. An indoor playground for PK, JK and SK was added and is a wonderful addition. The elementary librarian, Cheri Saunders dreamed of an outside reading garden for our elementary students. Parents along with students helped in a variety of ways to bring this special place to life. A Robotics Club was also organized in August 2019 and competed state wide. They were very successful in the region and state competitions.
During the summer of 2019, our cafeteria was totally remodeled by Pedestal Foods who is our current food service. The food is prepared fresh every day and offers many selections for our students.
Beginning in January, 2019 seniors from the previous graduating class are invited to “Coffee and Conversation” with Mr. Ferguson and the high school principal. The students talk about their first semester of college life and how NCS prepared them for this step. They offer suggestions of things the school could do to aid in this transition.
In October, 2019 the first David H. Manley Golf Tournament was held to raise money to fund a scholarship in his name given to a senior. The funds are also used for supplies needed on various IBS mission trips. Water systems were donated from the David H. Manley fund for the IBS trip to Jamaica. IBS builds little blue houses for residents and the water systems are a bonus for these families.
We have had many generous donations along with fundraiser events that provides the opportunity to upgrade and add facilities to our sports complex.
• Alumnus Jon Pointer has donated funding to resurface and update the track beginning in spring of 2020.
• Through generous donations a soccer field was added to our athletic complex.
• The baseball facility has been updated. Stadium seating has been added, new backstop and dugouts have been completed and ready for the spring 2020 season. This completes the three-phase project.
We look forward to a great school year as we reach the next generation for Christ.