Bringing Christ-Centered Education to a Rural Community

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An air of excitement surrounded Southwest Florida students and their parents as they arrived at Fellowship Academy Aug. 20 anticipating a new school year in a new school.

The school, located in Ave Maria, was launched this year by Fellowship Church (formerly First Baptist Church) in Immokalee with a desire to provide Christ-centered education for students in rural Southwest Florida, said Deniece Giovinazzo, Fellowship Academy headmaster.

“Our community needs Christ-centered education to train up disciples,” said Giovinazzo, adding the school is expected to fill a void in the community. “We offer parents an alternative to secular education by providing a space for safe, Christ-centered learning.”

Fellowship Academy has partnered with Liberty University Online Academy (LUOA), an accredited K-12 private Christian online academy out of Lynchburg, Va. LUOA provides a flexible, yet structured program that is described to be “the best of homeschool, private school, and Bible-based education all rolled into one,” she explained.

Though providing a rigorous education is crucial, Giovinazzo said the main priority of Fellowship Academy is to make disciples. “It is our goal to come alongside parents as they fulfill their chief responsibility to shepherd and teach their children to make disciples.”

With making disciples as their primary goal, Fellowship Academy plans to write their own Bible curriculum in the future.

“It is our desire to take students on a journey though Apologetics, the Early Church, Gospels, and an extensive Church History timeline.,” says Giovinazzo. “Whether students are studying the Reformation or the Church Fathers, we are convinced that this type of education will equip students to make disciples and serve the local church.”

While only a half dozen students are attending the K-12 school this year, plans are underway to increase enrollment.

“Our desire is to see Fellowship Academy grow in student population so that we can further advance the Gospel by making disciples who will make disciples,” Giovinazzosaid.

“We are truly training warriors who will share and defend the Gospel.”

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