By BRIAN GRAVES
The 11th annual Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Presidential Celebration was as much a focus on the vision of what is to come as it was a reflection on what has been.The school nhas a new …
The 11th annual Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Presidential Celebration was as much a focus on the vision of what is to come as it was a reflection on what has been.
The school nhas a new president, Dr. Jimmy Harper, and is starting a full-push capital campaign to purchase the 93-acre property on which the school now sits.
“This is an exciting adventure for me and my wife, Sharon,” Harper said in a video to the crowd gathered at First Baptist Church for the gala. “We are ready to join you. We are ready to commit with you. We’re called to this process and we hope we can help prepare students to change the world. That’s our dream and that’s our desire. I am excited about the future.”
TCPS Trustee Board President Brad Benton explained Harper had a long-standing commitment out of state as the reason for his absence, but added Harper is “such an impressive, impressive individual.”
“We are so excited about having him,” Benton said. “It was unanimous when the board interviewed him that this was our guy the Lord had sent to us.”
The evening was highlighted with several videos of TCPS alumni, who Benton said “was making a difference in the world.”
Board Vice President Dan Chord, who has also served as interim president, spoke of the capital campaign now in progress.
“We have been working for several years to have the ability to buy the campus we are sitting on,” Chord said. “We now have a contract on the property and we are now in the process of raising funds.”
TCPS is calling the campaign “All In” and Chord said the school “is just excited about this campus.”
“There are 93 acres of ground, over 111,000 square-feet of buildings and we can get it for pennies on the dollar,” Chord said. “It’s exciting.”
Benton presented the two annual awards given by the school every year.
“The Fourth Person Award” is given to a person or persons “who have consistently given of his or her time and talents for the growth and betterment of TCPS.”
The award was shared this year by Kelli Chord and Lisa Murray.
Benton said the two “work in such tandem and unity, you almost can’t tell where one stops and the other one starts.”
“The Spirit of Service Award” was presented to Mix 104.1’s Steve Hartline.
“The award is given annually to a person who demonstrates through his or her lifestyle commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and is a person who, over an extended period of time, displays service to the community through participation on various community boards and committees and has participated in various community service projects,” Benton said. “It is a person who has made a positive contribution to the economic and social health of the community.”
Benton said Hartline’s selection “was so evident and so unanimous there didn’t need to be a lot of discussion about it.”
“He is such an asset to our community,” he said.
A special service recognition award was present to Chord for his service in filling the presidential role while the school was searching for a new president.
“The board would like to recognize an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” Benton said. “This person has truly been God’s instrument and anointed leader for such a time as this.”
“When I think of a warrior, this is the person who instantly comes to mind,” he said.
Tricia Sluder, trustee board secretary and treasurer, said Chord often talks about the importance of having a servant’s heart.
“He has exemplified his belief in everything he has done,” Sluder said. “He practices it every day.”
Those wishing to donate to the TCPS capital campaign can do so by visiting the school’s website at tcpsk12.org; drop it off at the school’s office, or mail to TCPS, 4995 N. Lee Highway, Cleveland, TN 37312.
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