"So, what's our wind plan?," Head of School Gary Arnold smiled and asked staff and volunteers as occasional gusts sent decorations aloft. Thursday, March 9 saw unseasonably warm temps and wind t for competitive kite- ying. Storms originally forecasted for that day stalled in the west. The looming question was "for how long?" The days leading up to the event were a mix of climate perfection and gully washers. LRCA's event team had their rain plan close- at-hand in case of a washout. They continued to hope and pray though for the 40th anniversary day of celebration to move onward and upward without dampened spirits!
Thankfully, God's provision allowed everything to move forward as planned. Event guests were greeted at the center of campus by a new three-paneled street sign displaying Walnut Valley Drive, Warrior Way and Blue Ribbon Loop. The xed signs pay homage to LRCA's foundational concepts and success.
Festivities began with Gather At The Dome at 4:30 p.m. The event was expressly a Walnut Valley Christian Academy reception and reunion. It took place in the Athletic Training Center gym where the original dome stood. The ATC was decorated to resemble the dome along with throngs of memorabilia from years past. Attendees were treated to humorous and heartfelt presentations in celebration of LRCA's history and heads of school.
Event guests then gathered on the lawn between Warrior Hall and the Junior High for a delicious fajita buffet under an expanse of white tenting and festive strands of blue and white party lights. High school leader student hosts welcomed and assisted visitors throughout the evening. Entertainment included the LRCA jazz band and a student host deejay playing musical hits from the past four decades.
A movie-premiere-style searchlight illuminated the area in front of Warrior Hall near a photo backdrop complete with a red carpet. Tables were decorated with candles, historical photos and trivia game playing cards with questions from 1977.
Laughter and smiles abounded as guests nished their meals and made their way to Warrior Hall for the keynote address from New York Times best-selling author Bob Goff. His high energy, high love message was the high point of the evening. As Onward & Upward: A 40th Anniversary Celebration came to a close everyone enjoyed cake and mouthwatering chocolate fudge brownie pies.
Bob Goff's Messages of Higher Love
Bob Goff roared into Little Rock and brought great challenge and laughter to the LRCA campus. While Bob does not take himself too seriously, he certainly takes God's call to action to love others seriously. Addressing faculty on Thursday afternoon, event attendees after dinner, and high school students on Friday morning, Bob brought the same core message: Love Does! Regardless of age, jobs, or calendars, we all have an outrageous opportunity to participate in God's story as we love those around us.
A 40-Year Legacy of Learning
Four school leaders were present to celebrate the school's 40th Anniversary. Mr. Herb Lyons was the first Head after the inaugural leadership of Pastor Bud and Carolyn Hart. Mr. Lyons, a true missionary at heart, felt God's calling to foreign missions and left Walnut Valley Christian Academy in the capable hands of Mr. Roger Yancey in 1983. Mr. Yancey trained the faculty to be distinctly Christian educators. In 1994, Dr. Boyd Chitwood followed Mr. Yancey at the helm. Dr. Chitwood led the faculty and students in developing a Biblical worldview. Not only did he inspire minds to see God's truth in everything, but he also increased the school's capacity. Dr. Chitwood guided the school's move to the far-west property where it currently stands, with the new name of Little Rock Christian Academy. Over the past decade, Dr. Gary Arnold's vision for God-inspired growth has taught faculty and families the value of loving and learning.
The 40th Anniversary Celebration was made possible by an anonymous presenting sponsor, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, Hickingbotham Investments, Michael and Debbie Teague, Fred and Karen Lord, Drs. Terrance and Nancy Zuerlein, Good Earth Garden Center, Honey Pies, and countless other LRCA friends and families. THANK YOU!