By Dr. Roger Erdvig, WCS Headmaster
The WCS team is looking closely at how to do history from a Biblical worldview perspective. The timing of this coincides with WCS’s 75th anniversary when we are researching and celebrating the events and people that shaped who we are today. But how should we approach studying history—whether that of our school or our nation-- when so many seem to be set on uprooting us from a genuine understanding of our past?
In George Orwell’s famous work of utopian fiction, 1984, we’re told that “He who controls the past controls the future,” and, “he who controls the present controls the past.” This ominous-sounding maxim written almost 75 years ago rings true for us today. We see all around us attempts at re-imagining our history in order to chart a specific course in the future. Truly, Orwell saw beyond 1984 to 2021.
So, how does a person approach the study of history from a distinctively Biblical worldview perspective?
We can learn much from Scripture about this. One especially instructive text is I Corinthians 10:1-14 where Paul challenges the Corinthian believers to live well and to desire what is right and good using the stories of their spiritual forebears as his illustrations.
In this passage, we see a four-step process for doing history:
1) Explore what actually happened in the past.
2) Understand the meaning of those events in their contemporary context.
3) Consider the application of the meaning of those events to today’s context.
4) Communicate lessons learned to gain wisdom to live well and flourish in the future.
As we reflect on the 75-year story of WCS we are endeavoring to do the same. We want to know our history, and what those events meant in their time. Then, we want to consider how what our forebearers experienced should influence us today. Finally, we desire to learn how to live well and flourish as a school long into the future.
On November 18, 2021, Mrs. Elle Straley, former English teacher and Department Chair at WCS, presented a summary of WCS’s history to a group of donors and friends of the school. Starting with our humble beginnings in 1946, Elle walked us through our wandering years, when it seemed like we’d find no place to call home as we met in multiple locations in and around Wilmington. She introduced us to giants of the faith like Mildred Pusey who was “the glue that held WCS together” for over 40 years. She brought us all the way up to today, recounting moment after moment when God’s providence established, built, and sustained the mission of WCS. Understanding our past has equipped us to flourish well into the future.
Thankfully, we at WCS know who controls the past, the present, and the future. Those with a Biblical worldview will heartily agree with the truth claim that it is God who controls all three. So, even when it seems that settled history is being turned upside-down, we can trust that God continues to guide history along toward His glorious end and that He prompts us to know the past to gain wisdom for the future.
If you’d like to “do” some history with us, I recommend that you watch the video from Elle Straley’s presentation. I’m sure you’ll be encouraged and motivated as you hear of God’s providence throughout WCS history. (See below for the full video.)
You’ll be especially encouraged by our special guest that evening, Mrs. Pat (Naomi) Wilson, whose legacy at WCS goes all the way back to 1964 when she and her husband Roy enrolled their first child here. That began 40 years of significant involvement in the life of WCS, from being faithful parents to Roy serving on the board and Pat serving as our business manager. That legacy extends beyond Pat and Roy to today when two of her great-grandchildren attend WCS and her granddaughter-in-law is an employee here. That’s almost 60 years of commitment to WCS.
In her closing statement of the evening, Pat was asked what she would say to the faithful individuals who are serving and contributing today. Her words are rooted deeply in WCS’s history and give us clues regarding how to flourish in the future:
“I’m glad you’re here. Stay here.
Stay with the plan.
And just keep working for God,
serving him in whatever he wants you to do.”
That’s great wisdom from the past for today AND tomorrow.
Cultivating godly influencers
Wilmington Christian School provides a distinctively Christian, innovative education that effectively develops Godly influencers who are well prepared for life after high school and who impact the culture for Christ.