A Christ-Centered Educational Facility Serving Students in Grades Pre-K through 12."The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge..." observed the wise King Solomon under divine inspiration (Proverbs 1:7). Through the centuries, the pursuit of learning has been one of the primary endeavors of mankind's existence. Unfathomable effort, incalculable expense, and countless hours have been devoted to the ceaseless task of acquiring knowledge and passing it on to future generations. Education is inexorably linked with survival. Yet, in the really BIG picture, from the perspective of the Eternal God, education is of little value when it usurps from its foundation the defining Rock upon which all the mysteries of the universe, great and small, both abide and derive their meaning. "And He [the Son, Jesus Christ] is before all things, and by Him all things consist." (Colossians 1:17)
The Founding of Living Word Academy
Back in 1972, the Lord called Bro. Robert J. Mazur to pastor the Living Word Church, anointed him to preach the Word of God, and spoke to his heart about many things that would come to pass. Two of these were that the Church would be in Syracuse, and that the Church would have a Christian Academy: A place to train up young people to help produce spiritual life and academic excellence in its future generations.
In looking back to the early years, it was hard to imagine how the Lord would do it. The majority of the brethren in the assembly or Church in 1972 were not professionals. In fact, they were the ones that no one else wanted. Some had known some real trouble in their lives. Others had been bound by drugs, or had been in jail. Many didn't have jobs.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)...That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:4-5,7)
God, in His mercy, had saved these men and women and was transforming lives. More and more hungry hearts came for the Truth: people from every walk of life, of all different ages and different positions in society. A large handful of them were professional teachers.
Little by little, year by year, the Lord was putting the pieces into place for the founding of Living Word Academy. As He brought in the talent, the Church grew spiritually, and became able to faithfully operate such a broad-scoped ministry. With each family that was added to the Church, the need for the Academy grew. Parents found that it was counterproductive to have their children learn from non-Christian public school teachers who taught the godless values of secular humanism. As a result of this, the Church tried to "patch up" the spiritually sick, ailing, and even dying young people with "spiritual first-aid" on weekends. They would come to Church, Sunday school, or youth fellowships and shed tears of repentance and determine to serve the Lord after having been drawn into worldly attitudes and behaviors by their involvements in the public school. Then they would have to go right back to that ungodly influence on Monday morning and the whole cycle would begin again. Many of the young people at that time experienced great conflict spiritually and morally. They needed the opportunity to serve God in a consistent Christian manner.
By January of 1979, Pastor Mazur believed it was time to take steps to open the Academy. After the necessary preparations were made, LWA opened just in time for the school year in September 1979. On opening day, there were five teachers, 65 students from eight different school districts, and approximately 40 to 50 volunteers working as teaching assistants, kitchen help, maintenance workers, etc. Classes were being held at the Church building. Lack of space was a real problem at the Church structure, especially for the physical education department. Wanting to alleviate at least that problem, an inquiry was made to the East Syracuse-Minoa school district about possibly renting a gymnasium. We were told that we could not rent a gym, but that just down the road from the Church facility, the district owned a school building they hoped to rent or to sell. It sounded too good to be true! A beautiful 16-acre educational facility less than a quarter-mile down the road from the Church building, available at just the right time! It testified again of the hand of the Lord ordering the steps of those who wait on Him. Living Word Academy has been at 6101 Court Street Road ever since. The Academy became N.Y.S. Board of Regents-accredited (registered) in September of 1981 and was reaccredited (reregistered) in April of 1987. *
As it was in the beginning, so it is today, that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the life-source to the Academy. He is the One who keeps it going financially, and He is the One who puts the call in the hearts of the brethren to serve there.
At Living Word Academy, we recognize how tremendously important it is to nurture today's students, as they are the adult Church members of tomorrow. Not only must we teach them quality academics, but also we must teach them by example what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ in today's world. This type of Christ-Centered education is what Living Word Academy is all about.
*Soon after the Academy opened, Church leadership sought accreditation by the New York State Board of Regents. Many Christian schools operating today often won't or can't obtain accreditation. Living Word Church's policy towards the Academy has always been that the Lord's children deserve at the very least, an education which uses accreditation as the minimum standard of operation. To that end, Living Word Church subsidizes Living Word Academy for approximately 25% of its total operating budget each year.
The Academy is cleaned and maintained by a largely volunteer staff, including many LWA alumni.
In addition to the volunteer cleaning staff, all 7th through 12th grade students are required each day to clean the Academy. They clean, sweep and dust their rooms, hallways and doorways as well as collect and dispose of all trash. We try to instill a sense of ownership and responsibility for the school the Lord has given them.