King’s Gate Christian School was founded by Our Lord’s Community Church in 1977, just one year after Our Lord’s was established as a part of the outreach ministry of the church. Our Lord’s Community Church is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America whose rich heritage came from the Netherlands in 1628, and is the oldest denomination with continuous ministry in America. The Family Life Board was the oversight committee for the school, as well as the Mother’s Day Out and Super Summer Programs. The board was comprised of an Our Lord’s pastor or elder, the school director and members of Our Lord’s Community Church who are parents or grandparents of children enrolled in King’s Gate, Mother’s Day Out or Super Summer.
In the early years, King’s Gate provided preschool and full-time childcare for children in the Oklahoma City area. There was an initial emphasis on infant stimulation, inclusion of the handicapped and school readiness. When Our Lord’s relocated to its current facility in 1986, the preschool was maintained and the full-time childcare became Mother’s Day Out on Tuesdays and Fridays.
In 1993, King’s Gate was accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, which recognizes outstanding Early Childhood Programs that meet national standards of quality. Re-accreditation was accomplished in the 1996-1997 school year, in the 1999-2000 school year, in the 2002-2003 school year, and again in the 2005-2006 school year. King’s Gate also continues to accomplish accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools International and the Oklahoma Private School Accrediting Commission which recognize schools for their dedication to provide quality education and care for the young children in their community.
Beginning in 1996, King’s Gate began offering the only audio learning preschool program for the hearing impaired in Oklahoma. King’s Gate Christian School supports and advocates for Hearts for Hearing as they provide a supportive early childhood learning environment for hearing impaired children.
Beginning in 1998, after many years of planning and hoping, King’s Gate added kindergarten, temporarily using an Our Lord’s classroom. In 1998, King’s Gate also began providing extended day programs for parents who needed longer hours between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm. The extended day programs offer learning through play and social interaction. In 1999 a new addition was completed that provided a new kindergarten classroom, a large multi-purpose classroom, two handicap-accessible bathrooms and a kitchen.
The music and science programs were added in 2001 to add further educational enrichment. In 2005, King’s Gate began offering before and after school programs that allowed for quality care beginning at 7:30am and lasting as late as 5:30pm.
Adding elementary classes to King’s Gate has been a conversation that covers the lifespan of our school. The classrooms available to the school have been at capacity for a number of years and there has not been space to accommodate elementary classrooms. During the 2008-2009 school year, King’s Gate added a first grade class in a classroom used for kindergarten huddles. The new first grade class uses the kindergarten room to do centers while the kindergarten children participate in huddles in the first grade room. Utilizing these rooms differently allowed us to meet the needs of all of the families that God brought to us. Following the decision to have a first grade, the school decided to offer a second grade class in the fall of 2009-2010 while investigating the hope and goal of going through the fifth grade. A room inside of Our Lord’s Community Church was remodeled to accommodate another elementary class.
In 2009, King’s Gate was reorganized into a new 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization separate from Our Lord’s Community Church . The intent was to allow the King’s Gate programs (King’s Gate Christian School , Mother’s Day Out and Super Summer) to continue to benefit from the support of a loving congregation while allowing the governing of the policies and procedures to be handled by those directly associated with our ministries. King’s Gate Ministries, Incorporated continues to be a thriving ministry and a safe rich place for children and families. The governing body is now the King’s Gate Board. It is composed of two non-voting liaison members. The King’s Gate director serves as the liaison to the staff and administration of the King’s Gate programs. Until 2015, the Church Administrator of Our Lord’s Community Church serves as the liaison for the host church, especially in the area of church ministry to King’s Gate families, and facility management and policies.
The voting members are supporters and advocates of the King’s Gate programs. When looking for members, the board is especially attentive to parents and grandparents of children who have attended or are currently attending King’s Gate Programs (King’s Gate, Child Development Center and Super Summer.) The Board continues to ensure that King’s Gate Ministries provide high quality programs through qualified and loving teachers, staff and management; appropriate early childhood and elementary environments; up-to-date and accountable policies and procedures; fiscal responsibility; and strategic planning in an ever-changing educational climate.
In the spring of 2014 during Round Table meetings with King’s Gate parents, a group of parents hoping to see King’s Gate expand through 12th grade formed a school growth committee and helped launch the Growing King’s Gate campaign. The committee surveyed the families and following overwhelming support and positive feedback, made a proposal to the Board asking that they move towards school expansion. The Board, families and the staff participated in a two-day Strategic Planning event, led by Ed Thomas who is a leader in Christian education in our region. Key priorities were identified. A feasibility study demonstrated that through our supportive friends and King’s Gate’s favor in the community there is sufficient capacity to draw financial support in order to underwrite school expansion.
Through the Growing King’s Gate capital campaign and our partnership with Surrey Hills Baptist Church (SHBC), space at SHBC has been renovated and is in the process of being equipped to allow our first through sixth grade to grow into our first middle and high school classes at that location. This group includes our first King’s Gate Christian School graduates!