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School History

Keswick Christian School opened its doors on the present 30-acre site in 1953 to 75 students as Grace Livingston Hill Memorial School. Having named the school after her mother, the Christian authoress Grace Livingston Hill, Ruth Munce was gripped with the desire to see children grow in mind and body under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The school today stands as a monument to the mighty God that this great woman loved, worshiped, and adored. In 1962 the school adopted its current name as it merged with the Bill Caldwell-led Southern Keswick Bible Conference and Keswick Radio. By 1966 the school's enrollment had risen to 160, and in just four more years, the number of students climbed to 480. In 1973, with the school "bursting at the seams", the Board of Directors decided to expand its grade level offerings to include the senior high school. The new senior high school building was completed in May 1975.

Keswick graduated its first seniors in the spring of 1978. From 1977 through 1996 Keswick was blessed to be the Christian day school ministry of Chicago's Moody Bible Institute, receiving the benefit of the wisdom of its leadership. School enrollment hit a record 722 students during this period, and its viability and prestige as a premier Florida west coast Christian school had become well established.

During the 1980's and 90's Keswick continued a winning tradition as it graduated outstanding students in the academics, arts, and athletics. Superior ratings in music competitions became common, but not commonplace. The Ruth Munce Library was completed, the Upham Music Building was constructed, the school received its Association of Christian Schools, International and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditations, KCS soccer teams won three state championships, the nationally-renowned winter basketball tournament, the Suncoast Classic, was started and continues to attract teams from all over the continental United States. In addition, tackle football was added to the program.

In 1996 Moody Bible Institute returned the reins of ownership of the school to local control. Eventually an independent self-perpetuating board of 12 men and women began governance of the school. During this time Keswick feverishly began its aggressive upgrading of the digital infrastructure which has supported the administrative and instructional components of the program ever since. With an enrollment in excess of 600 students, the school continues to move forward with the implementation of more efficient and wise board governance policies and procedures. The school has added honors and advanced placement courses, strengthened its relationships with local churches, established an active Parent-Teacher Fellowship, and has added opportunities that challenge Christians to engage culture such as We the People Center for Civic Education and Keswick Serves. Keswick has experienced significant success in its capital campaign, Foundations for the Future, during which a new senior high school building has been constructed, athletic fields relocated, and additional junior high, elementary, and preschool learning spaces have been opened.

The Keswick community of learners and disciples has much for which to be thankful. The school board, staff, and parents have worked diligently to create and maintain a Christ-centered, academically-focused, relationship-oriented, excellence-driven, and service-minded culture and climate in which the biblical world and life view is faithfully modeled and taught. The school leadership, however, recognizes the necessity of diligently maintaining a sober and joyous focus on the end to which God has called the school, namely, the goal of teaching children to enjoy God in every square inch of their lives for His glory alone and the good of others.

 

Keswick Christian School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.


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