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HISTORY OF DCS


     In 1977, First Baptist Church (now known as Grace Chapel) opened the Family Learning Center as a ministry of the church. It consisted of one kindergarten class, several preschool classes, and an after school care program for community school children called Peach Factory. In 1979, first and second grade classes were added, expanding it into a grade school. The school continued to add grades until a K-8 program was fully established In 1985 a physical enrichment program was introduced that included gymnastics, dance, and baton.

A major step was taken in 1988 with the change of name to Desert Christian Schools and the opening of Desert Christian High School, which grew by one class per year, yielding its first graduating class in 1992. A home education program for parents who wished to teach their children at home was established in 1991 as an extension of the Desert Christian Schools’ ministry.

First Baptist Church released the leadership of the school in 1998 to form a separate non-profit corporation that would assume responsibility for Desert Christian Schools and develop new ministries to accomplish its mission. In the ensuing years, the main campus and the high school campus were purchased, the home education program expanded to include independent study classes, the gymnastics center opened classes to the community, the preschool opened two new campuses located on the east side of Lancaster and the west side of Palmdale, the Runner Student Activity Center and a state-of-the art gymnastic center were built on the main campus, an international student program was established, and athletic and academic programs expanded to meet the growing needs of the school community.

In July 2015, Desert Christian Ministries was dissolved and Desert Christian Schools again became a ministry of Grace Chapel. This put both the school and church in a stronger position in all areas of ministry.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in spring of 2020, Desert Christian Schools continued to serve students and families with variations of distance learning and on-campus childcare. Traditional on-campus education returned in 2021 along with a host of significant capital improvements. Some highlights included a brand-new preschool playground, new stucco and fresh paint throughout the horseshoe and all modular buildings, and glass-work around the horseshoe.

God has richly blessed Desert Christian Schools in many ways. Attendance has grown from 94 students in 1977, to a current enrollment of over 1,600 students. Additionally, the ministry has expanded from one campus to programs at four locations. The faculty, staff and administration praise God for the opportunity to partner with parents in providing a Christian education experience for children and youth in the Antelope Valley.