LOGANVILLE — Upon investigating the agenda of the National Education Association, the Common Core educational curriculum and the liberal agenda of many of America’s public schools most people would be alarmed at what our young people are being taught today.
Subsequently, more and more parents are deciding to homeschool their children. For example, the number of children homeschooled increased by 677,000 or by 61.8 percent between 2003 and 2012. The soaring number of students being educated at home is certain evidence that multitudes of parents are not happy with what their children are being taught in America’s public schools.
Terri Butcher, wife of Georgia Baptist Mission Board missionary Butch Butcher, decided to do something about the need for quality Christian education in our public schools. She explained, “In 1997 a godly man, Don Howell from Stone Mountain, came to our church, Summit Baptist in Loganville, and shared with Butch about the Christian Learning Center concept.
“There were a few CLC’s already in the state at the time – Habersham and Gilmer Counties as well as Gainesville and Social Circle. We began to meet with several couples in the community to pray about how we should respond to challenge of making a difference in our public school system.”
Butcher continued, “Statistics at that time showed that 85 percent of all Christians were saved before they graduated from high school. We realized that if we did not get the Gospel to our students the likelihood of them getting saved after graduating would become increasingly difficult.
“Yet the Lord tells us to put His Word forth and He promised that it will not come back empty (void), so we decided to take Him at His Word. (Isaiah 55:11).
Important lessons taught
“We got the teachers, the funds (privately funded – no government tax money used), the curriculum (we wrote our own curriculum), the location (off campus near the school) and the students (with the parents’ permission) together and started CLCs at Loganville High School and Monroe Area High School in the fall of 2001 with 47 students.
“This school year we will have over 920 students from Walton County Public Schools (including all three high schools, all three middle schools, and one out of nine elementary schools) studying God’s Word every school day, during the school day for SACS (Southern Association for Colleges and Schools) accredited elective credit,” Butcher glowed.
“Last year,” she stated, “we had 71 students get saved during class and hundreds of lives were transformed. We have several local student pastors who volunteer in our CLCs, so once a student is saved or looking for a church family, we make sure the student is plugged into a church for baptism, discipleship, and ministry.
“Over half of our students who are taking CLC for the first time have never been to church before. We teach the Bible in a very relevant way, but also we teach the students how to study the Bible for themselves, and most importantly, how they can apply it to everyday life.”
It is incredibly commendable and exemplary when a Christian sees a need and responds to it. So often we complain about the problems we confront in life, but never seek to offer a solution to resolve the problem. The Butchers saw a problem and moved to solve it.
Terri stated, “The primary problem in our public, private, Christian, and home school system is the erosion of the family, lack of absolute truth in society. Therefore, decisions are made based on feelings and convenience and ultimately the Lord and His Word have been removed through apathy from our society.”
The visionary teacher from Loganville continued, “In 1963 compulsory prayer and Bible study were removed from our public schools. Think about the issues that school administrators faced in 1962 – students chewing gum, talking in class, littering, and skipping school. Compare that to the issues faced today – violence, assault, molestation, drugs/alcohol abuse, cyber bullying, depression, suicide, gang violence, teen pregnancy, and abortion.
“What’s the difference? No God, no absolute truth, no hope.”
A call placed
Terri Butcher is not content with the status quo. She wants to continue to develop and expand this strategic ministry. She commented, “With the help of the Lord, in the next four years we want to have every school in Walton County, including all nine elementary schools, involved in the Christian Learning Centers.
“Eight years ago God placed a call on my life to start CLCs in every school system in the state of Georgia. Today there are 29 different CLC programs in the state with at least four more that will begin this fall. All it takes is a group of believers/ prayer warriors in a community who want to see the Lord do ‘exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.’ That is my ‘Judea’ mission.
“Even though CLC is non-denominational, several Georgia Baptist churches and associations are involved in CLC: in Walton County those involved are Appalachee Baptist Association and missionary Allen Hill, Faith Baptist Church and pastor Chris Conner, Loganville Baptist Church and pastor Rusty Ruark, Loganville First Baptist Church and Pastor Ronnie Kendall, First Baptist Church in Monroe and pastor Glen Money, Grace Fellowship and pastor Brian Krazwyk, Center Hill Baptist Church and pastor Marion Prather, Mountain Creek Baptist Church, Summit Baptist Church and pastor Jason Rothe, Walker Baptist Church pastor Jeff Box, Church at the Grove pastors Russ Butcher and Nathan Boyd, Woodlake Baptist Church and pastor Jerry Gray, and Bible Baptist Church and pastor Greg Butler. This is indeed, a team effort.”
Contact Butcher through the Walton County Christian Learning Center for a complete list.
“I will go to any community and do whatever it takes to start CLCs. Practically speaking, we have everything needed to start CLCs and it will be provided at no cost to any community wishing to reach this next generation for Christ.”
God is using Terri Butcher to lead a marvelously coordinated effort to advance the cause of Christ and touch the lives of an increasing number of students.
For information on how you may partner with Terri Butcher in this grand Christian venture email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.