History of Normandie Christian School
The Normandie Church of Christ was started on the second Sunday in August, 1963, with Brother Carroll Pitts as their minister. In ten years they had outgrown their facilities and needed to spend $300,000 to build an Education Building. The leaders decided that it may not be wise to spend that amount of money on a building and use it only three hours a week – one and one-half hours on Sunday mornings and one and one-half hours on Wednesday nights for Bible study. They saw the need for a Christian school among churches of Christ in L.A., so they decided to spend an extra 10% to meet the city qualifications for an elementary school building.
Construction got started in 1973, but it would not be completed until September, 1974. But the possibility of starting a school in 1973 became a reality when Bro. John Green, associate minister at Normandie, was told by Bro. Carl Mitchell that the San Fernando Valley Christian school was going to leave the L. A. Pepperdine campus, and that a building at Pepperdine would be available for a school. Bro. Mitchell was a professor of Religion at Pepperdine and was on the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Christian School.
As a first step towards opening in 1973, a group of men including John Green, Calvin Bowers, Carroll Pitts, Jr., Joe Brasher, Carver Henderson, Ernest Shaw, and John Stafford began to make plans to start a Christian school. A survey was made to see if Christians in L. A. truly wanted to send their children to a Christian school. The response was tremendous! Over 100 families indicated a willingness to participate.
An interim Board of Directors was formed to direct the initial operation of the school. Additional members to the board included: Flossie Burley, Maurice Moore, Winnie Johnson and Dorothy Morrison. During the summer of 1973 many Christians worked hard to select staff, teachers and students; also to paint and clean up the building so that the school could get started on September 17th. Through the grace of God Normandie Christian School was able to acquire three excellent teachers: Elizabeth Williams, Verdie Sease and Elsie Tatum. We were also blessed to hire Helen Thomas as our secretary. Alice Fisher served as Academic Coordinator and many others contributed time and talents to make NCS a reality.
Contributions were given by congregations, Bible class members, organizations and individuals as part of our first budget. On September 8, 1973 we held an open house ceremony on the Pepperdine campus. Councilman Billy G. Mills, who is now a judge, was our guest speaker. Then on September 17, our school got started with 53 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. God blessed us to have John Green as our first administrator. He had done most of the “leg work” to get our school started. The school stayed on at Pepperdine for one year, and at that time it was known as the Los Angeles Christian School. We had to change that name because when we filed for a non-profit corporation in Sacramento, we were told that another school had been using that name for over 30 years.
In September, 1974, NCS moved to its present location – the Education Building of the Normandie Church of Christ, 64th and Normandie. It has done an excellent job of giving a Christian education to hundreds of children over the past ten years. Keep in mind also, that the NCS is an independent, non-profit Christian school, and it is not owned or operated by the Normandie congregation. The school has its own Board of Directors, staff, budget, faculty and it is not owned by any one individual.
Our many, many thanks to the congregations and individuals throughout the greater L. A. area for supporting NCS for the past 10 years. Without that support, the school could not exist. We give special thanks to the leaders and members of the Normandie congregation for providing all of their buildings, parking lots and other facilities for this school. Also thanks to some Bible classes that take up a special contribution each Sunday for NCS. Our thanks also to Christians who give to the Pamela Pitts Memorial Scholarship program to provide tuition for needy families. Let us all continue to support Christian education at NCS.
By Carroll Pitts, Jr., Past President and Board member for 10 years