Church Will Continue to Champion Master’s Mission to Provide
Biblical Worldview Education

(VERO BEACH, Fla., March 2, 2023) – After 25 years under the auspices of Pathway Church, Master’s Academy will become a fully independent school serving students and families on a new campus. Leaders and members of Pathway Church, formerly First Church of God, founded the school and the two organizations have shared a 40-acre campus at 1105 58th Avenue in Vero Beach since 2000. The decision by Master’s leadership to become autonomous is supported by church leadership and fully aligns with its vision for the school to reach 500 students within the next 10 years.

 “We are not wavering from the calling our church members responded to years ago to provide children of Indian River County with a Kingdom-minded education,” says Eric Smith, Pathway Church board chairman. “Although separate entities, the church will continue to support Master’s Academy in its effort to achieve its full growth potential and keep pace with the demand for Christian schooling.”

Since the pandemic, nearly 2 million students across the U.S. have left public schools with families opting for Christian education instead. A National Study on Christian School Growth and Sustainability conducted by Dickerson Bakker and released September 2022, indicates that Christian schools are struggling to keep pace with the surge in interest and the influx in students.

“Master’s Academy and Pathway Church leaders recognize the opportunity to serve our community in a powerful way with this shift,” Smith says. “As we move forward in the coming weeks and months, we will work together on logistics and next steps. Our desire is to remain united, humble and to seek God’s provision and guidance as the new season of growth unfolds for both the church and the school.”

Ministry to children is at the core of Pathway Church. It started as a Sunday School for unchurched children in 1941, meeting in the Women’s Club building in downtown Vero Beach.  “We remain committed to raising up a generation of leaders that reimagines the church and reaches the next generation,” says Dr. Brian Bennett, senior pastor at Pathway Church. “Pathway is positioned for an exciting future as we envision a church for all people – multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and multi-economic reflecting our community.” Bennett’s leadership is symbolized by the phrase #BetterTogether, focused on engaging with the community to build bridges and relationships that will expand into new ministries.

“We want both ministries to move forward, and grow and flourish as the Lord intends,” says Dr. Wayne Smith, Head of School for Master’s Academy. “We are stepping out in faith and obedience to the Lord’s leading to fulfill our respective missions, serve our community, and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.” Smith announced his departure in the fall of 2022 but has agreed to remain in his current role into the next school year to provide consistency as the school’s transition is planned and executed.

School and church leaders invite anyone interested in supporting and championing the school through the next season to contact Dr. Smith,

About Pathway Church
Focused on challenging the way people perceive Church, Pathway welcomes all people with the mission to love God and love all people in our pathway. Pathway Church is a dynamic, nondenominational church affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson, IN) with an 80-year history in the Vero Beach community. The church is currently meeting live and online at 9am and 11am on Sundays at 1105 58th Avenue, Vero Beach, FL 32966.

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