“How important it is to ascertain the will of God, before we undertake anything, because we are then not only blessed in our own souls, but also the work of our hands will prosper.” These convicting words from George Müller illustrate the importance of being tethered to Christ no matter what course we chart. During these troublesome times, we are bombarded by a plethora of influences, each trying to pull us in their various direction. While the world pulls us towards wickedness and sin, the Spirit of God draws us towards holiness and a victorious life in Christ. So often we find ourselves wandering, not knowing what direction God has for us. With great opportunities lying ahead us all, we sometimes feel that we lack a practical direction that we crave. Nevertheless, God’s Word gives us trustworthy stability and direction for our everyday lives. Hebrews 6:19 describes our hope in Christ as “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” With our lives anchored in Christ and His promises, we can have confidence that God will direct our paths. So take heart, Christian and head out into UNCHARTED territory with God at the helm.
Vanessa Blanton (Editor)
Peyton Griffith (C0-Editor)
"Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5 The 2015-2016 Bear Tracks Yearbook staff chose the theme, "The Heavens Declare." "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...""Space the final frontier..." The world around us grasps and searches for meaning and order in the universe. World renowned astronomers like Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan explain the mysteries of the universe by resorting to the "Big Bang" theory and evolution. They put their faith in theories and man-made ideas rather than the truth of God's Word. As Christians we must recognize that our Biblical Worldview shapes how we observe not only God's creation here on earth, but also the universe beyond. When evolutionary astronomers look into the heavens they explain things based on billions of years and unknowns; on the other hand, Christians place their faith in the truth of Scripture and the six literal days of creation recorded in Genesis chapter 1. The study of the heavens is truly a spiritual battle ground. Evolution vs. Creation. As Christians, we know that our Heavenly Father has given us the galaxies, stars, and planets so that we might glorify Him. When we look up into the stars we can clearly see the evidence of God's handiwork. The awesome detail that He has created has been placed in the sky for our pleasure. Through the study of the heavens we grow to appreciate the magnitude of God. And just as we study the Scriptures, our knowledge of astronomy is constantly expanding and we are always learning new things. No matter into which corner of the universe you look, you cannot help but see that "The Heavens Declare the glory of God!"
2015 -2016 Staff
Mitchel Griffith (Editor)
Vanessa Blanton (Co-Editor)
As you look around today, men, women, and children are all looking for a “superhero” to save them from the struggles and impossible situations of life. With a dark and formidable world, full of sin and destruction, we look for superheroes in all shapes and sizes. From man’s imagination he’s created Superman, Spiderman, and Captain America. We rightly esteem real life superheroes—police officers, firefighters, and the armed forces—place themselves in harm’s way every day for our safety and liberty. Whether imaginary or real, a superhero’s job is to save us from the dangers lurking around the corner. However superheroes are vulnerable because of their flaws and weaknesses. As Christians, we cannot rest our hopes on man—but only on our righteous Creator. Jehovah, God of the Bible, the I Am, is the only Invincible One that we can trust all of the time. God is not a superhero, but the Author and Finisher of all that encompasses our lives. Christ is far greater than a “superman,” who must quickly change in a phone booth; instead, He is the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God who meets every need and overcomes every challenge in our lives. Jesus admonishes us to anchor ourselves in the Father in Matthew 19:26: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Because He is the Invincible One, Isaiah 26:4 encourages us to “Trust in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” We ought not merely meander through this life struggling to find our way and hoping to find a hero to stand for us; but we must claim our victory in Christ and go forth as lights into this dark world conquering the spiritual battles without reservation. As Paul says in Romans 8:31, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Vanessa Blanton (Editor)
Erik Langevin-Ziegler (Co-Editor)
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Proverbs 9:10 The 2014-2015 Bear Tracks Yearbook staff chose the theme, "Growing in Wisdom." Wisdom by definition, is a practical mixture of knowledge and experience. How are we to grow in wisdom? What should our life's ambition be? It is evident in today's world that many people have a different philosophy of what wisdom is and where it originates. In vain, many search for wisdom in secular philosophy; others in the false religions of the world; and some on TV, in textbooks, and even by surfing the internet. In order to truly grow in wisdom, we must not search the pages of men but in the very Word of God. According to Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments." We must begin our journey to finding wisdom by reverencing God for his gracious hand. Additionally, James 1:5 promises that "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." The wisdom that we should desire comes only from above, from God the Father. Proverbs 3:13 elaborates, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding." Because true satisfaction in this life is found in discovering God's wisdom. Sumter Christian School's motto, "Teacher the Mind, Reaching the Heart," can only be fully realized through God's wisdom found in His Word. Romans 11:33 says, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" We are blessed by a gracious God willing to help us grow in His infinite wisdom.
Ta'Niss Robinson (Editor)
Hannah Glass (Assistant Editor)
Christopher Poythress (Assistant Editor)
"For Sumter Christian, we give thanks/And join our hearts in prayer/That all who pass through these great halls/Will find that You are there." ~ SCS Alma Mater The 2013-2014 Bear Tracks Yearbook staff was given the challenge of creating a yearbook celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Sumter Christian School. With such a great task, the staff brainstormed several ways to make this yearbook memorable. First, they chose the theme, "Legacies Past to Present." They recognized that it is only by God's mercy that we have succeeded to produce God honoring education over the past 40 years, and it will be only by God's grace that we will continue into the future. "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." ~ Psalm 127:1 Second, they worked together to design their very own cover. With a black matte finish and red laminate paws, the design literally pops off the cover and highlights Sumter Christian's Bear Tracks. Third, not only did they captured memorable moments through images, but also through video. For the first time ever, the Bear Tracks staff coupled the Yearbook with a Smart Phone App, called Aurasma, allowing us to relive the many memories of the school year. Lastly, the yearbook included several pages and special features that highlighted 40 years of Sumter Christian.
Emari Rhyens (Editor)
Ta'Niss Robinson (Co-Editor)
The 2011-2012 Bear Tracks yearbook blew in with many changes. The yearbook staff received a new adviser, Mr. Matthew Marritt. The staff chose the theme, A Whirlwind of Memories to remember the exciting school year. The staff claimed Nahum 1:3 as their verse for the year. "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
Megan Poythress (Editor)
Ashley Cookey-Gam (Co-Editor)
Not Pictured: Michael McLaughlin and Dyshali Lammey
The 2012-2013 Bear Tracks yearbook built upon a strong foundation of hard work, experience, and God's Word. The staff chose Rooted InRighteousness as its theme this year. As believers in Christ, it is absolutely important that our life is rooted in God's Word. Proverbs 12:3 says, "A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved." The 2012-2013 staff's desire is for SCS to planted firming in the Word of God and to exemplify Christ-likeness each and every day! Psalm 1:2-3 says, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Ashley Cookey-Gam (Editor)
Emari Rhyens (Co-Editor)
The 2011-2012 Bear Tracks staff, led by the Yearbook adviser Miss ReeLynn Coombs, chose to reflect the "Light" of Christ with the theme, See The Light. The staff consisted of Mitchell Herring (Editor), Megan Poythress (Co-Editor), Cayce Cole, Autmun Parnell, Brandon Gibbs, Rachael Horne, Taylor Parker, and Michael McLaughlin. Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."
The 2009-2010 Bear Tracks staff chose In Otherwords as their theme. They introduced the yearbook with the following, "Some things are not understood the first time around. You have to describe one, distinct thing. There are multiple adjectives that could be used to detail an emotion, a situtation, a resentment, a love; but sometimes that is not enough. You instead use others to describe a single senation. 'In other words...' Becauce one sentence just is not enough!" The staff consisted of Ashley Dannelly (Editor), Mitchell Herring (Co-Editor), Blake Moseley, Cody Dyson, Blake Stegner, Lindsay Griffin, Nicole Jackson, Megan Poythress, Brooke Thrash, Autumn Parnell, and Brandon Gibbs.
The 2008-2009 Bear Tracks staff chose You had to be There... as their theme. They introduced the yearbook with the following, "We all know how it works. That one obscure assignment that one teacher assigned that one week of that one month, just so happened to have been crumpled down in a ball and planted at the bottom of your pocket of your pants deep within the depths of your closet. It reminds you that you need to clean that locker or that one book bag of yours that lays neglected in the corner of your room. When you clean it out, you'll see those notes or doodles that were established in Math or English, regardless of the rules. You'll laugh, and remember, and the memories will stay on your mind. You'll find your close friends tomorrow and re-establish an old inside joke or two, but you find those inside jokes have turned into 'you remembers whens'. When the friends God has graced you with over the recent years ask what you and your old friends are laughing so hard about, all you'll be able to reply is: 'YOU HAD TO BE THERE.'" The staff consisted of, Amanda Prince (Editor), Ashley Dannelly (Co-Editor), Chelsea Coker, Alyson Shelton, Darlene Cookey-Gam, Capri Cooper, Sierra Burns, Megan Poythress, Sharless Dingman, Lindsay Griffin, Brittani Evans, and Autumn Parnell.
The 2007-2008 Bear Tracks staff chose Putting It Together as their theme. The desire of Miss Ree Lynn Coombs and Miss Hope Beaver as the yearbook sponsors was for each SCS student and faculty member to have a strong walk with Christ. They shared 2 Peter 1:5-7, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." The staff consisted of Aly Witt (Editor), Sierra Burns (Editor), Darlene Cookey-Gam, Alfonso Woodward, Capri Cooper, Amanda Prince, Rebekka Thrash, Jackie Yanick, Scott Carpenter, Rachel Spiegel, Hannah McLeod, Sharless Dingman, and Ashley Danelly.
The 2006-2007 Bear Tracks staff chose Everlasting Change as their theme. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He hath made everthing beautiful in His time. also He hath set the world in their heart so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." The staff consister of, Kimberley Gainey (Editor), Heather Smith (Editor), Hannah Griffin, Aly Witt, Sierra Burns, Kamri Payne, Amanda Prince, Daniel Jenkins, Caleb Kirkland, Bethany Arnold, Gabbie Christmas, and Alyson Shelton.
"Under God...what does it mean? ...is our nation still under God?" The 2004-2005 Bear Tracks staff chose Under God as their theme. They wrote the following as an answer to their question, "The answers to these important questions are found in God's Word. Under God is a phrease that testifies allegiance and submission to our Great Creator and Wonderful Savior. Under God is a reminder that at a time when our nation seems to be rejecting God and forgetting its religious foundations, it is imperative that Christians show their allegiance to the One who has made ours a nation of the free and continues to bless it." The staff consisted of Drew Payne (Editor), Justin Robinett (Editor), Joanna Calhoun, Jescelyn Tillman, Adam Hall, Kimberley Gainey, Patrick Goshorn, Heather Smith, and Phillip Frazier. Psalm 33:12 says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
The 2005-2006 Bear Tracks staff chose Fuel as their theme. The staff shared the following thoughts, "FUEL--The substance that POWERS the world today. Fuel is used in industry, transportation, and in nearly EVERY ASPECT of life. EVERY living thing uses some sort of fuel to exist. Trees and flowers FEED on sunlight, most animals search for FOOD, and some teacher THRIVE on caffeine. Life cannot FULLY function without the proper fuel. Although humans NEED food to fuel their physical bodies, they have an even GREATER need. We cannot live a FULL COMPLETE life if our SPIRITUAL HUNGER is not fed. And Jesus said unto them 'I am the BREAD OF LIFE; he that cometh to me shall NEVER HUNGER; and he that believeth on me shall NEVER THIRST:' John 6:35. Those who regularly FEED the spirt can enjoy the WONDER and FULLNESS of GOD'S blessing. Not receiving enough of the PROPER FUEL can cause great DAMAGE to ALL areas of LIFE. JUST as war, hurricanes, and other events caused fuel prices to SKYROCKET and supplies to DWINDLE. The BIBLE is a precious unlimited fuel source. We are so COMFORTABLE with it being readily AVAILABLE that we hardly realize its VALUE. Yet even TODAY, people are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed for preaching the Gospel and witnessing to LOST SOULS. GOD has blessed America and SUMTER CHRISTIAN with great freedoms. The responsibility then falls even more heavily on US who are allowed to share the gospel freely and without fear. John 6:51a, 'I am the living bread which came down...if ANY MAN eat of this bread, he shall LIVE FOREVER.' We are willing and eager to share our food with our friends, family, and even strangers, but HOW MUCH do we SHARE the MESSAGE of CHRIST--the MOST IMPORTANT FUEL of ALL?" The staff consisted of, Drew Payne (Editor), Justin Robinett (Co-Editor), Jescelyn Tillman, Jackie Waldron, Kimberley Gainey, Heather Smith, Zach Browning, Kayla Pepper, Sierra Burns, Nikki Gainey, Joseph Heikkila, Elizabeth Hice, Kamri Payne, Cayce Cole, and Kayla Mimms.
History of Sumter Christian School
Sumter Christian School was founded in August of 1974. However, its true beginnings can be traced much earlier to an increasing burden on the hearts of the members of Sumter Bible Church. The church purchased property on South Pike West in May of 1966 and dedicated the Timmons wing, which was divided into a sanctuary, offices, and a few Sunday School classes, on October 11 of 1970. Within four years the church became convinced of God's guiding them to offer Christian education in a day school context, but the original facilities were clearly inadequate for such an expanded ministry. Under Pastor Wes Millard's leadership, construction of the present sanctuary was begun in 1974, with several of the members assuming responsibility for much of the work themselves. The week before school was to begin, they invested many late hours striving to prepare the buildings for the opening of school. It was not until midnight before the first day that all was completed. Provision of the new sanctuary enabled the old auditorium to be partitioned into the needed schoolrooms. In the early years of the school Miss Violet Phillips labored unselfishly in administration, teaching, curriculum construction, teacher supervision, and other areas too numerous to mention. During her tenure as administrator, the enrollment increased from 109 to 193. The need for a third building (Rogers), which now houses the preschool and lower elementary classes, became obvious. It was completed in the fall of 1976 under the wise direction of Pastor William Gaskell. It was again a labor of love and dedication on the part of Sumter Bible Church members. Mr. Carl Fennell became principal in the fall of 1978. In the course of his two years of administration, the need for stating purposes, goals, and long-term direction became evident. The character of Sumter Christian School as an integral ministry of Sumter Bible Church was clearly articulated, and the priority of its spiritual mission was stated unequivocally. 1980 and the coming of Mr. Leo Horton provided a period of consolidation and transition. Many of the current policies and practices derive from his spirit-led administration. In perspective, many of these "innovations" proved to be a re-establishment of the school's charter positions. The appointment in 1981 of a new administrator, Mr. Cecil Beach, ushered in a new phase of development for the school. Renewed emphasis was placed on spiritual growth: a complete Bible curriculum was developed, and high school chapel periods were scheduled on a regular basis. The facilities were further enhanced with innovative decorating schemes, student lockers, a fenced playground area, regulation basketball court, and improved lighting. Academic excellence was emphasized by effective curriculum changes and the purchase of many new books and instructional equipment and materials. Most significantly, faculty recruitment became a year-round, first-priority activity, resulting in the current spiritually mature, academically qualified staff. In 1985 the need for integrating and upgrading facilities, as well as for providing additional classroom space, reached a critical stage. Again Sumter Bible Church shouldered this responsibility and erected the current high school wing (Morgan). This ambitious project produced beautiful, efficient school and church buildings. Once again, many late nights were necessary in order to have everything in readiness for the opening of school. Just one year later the parking lots were paved and striped. The full development of a multi-purpose playground as well as soccer, softball, and baseball fields in 1989 broadened the athletic and physical education departments. Mr. Ron Davis was appointed in 1990 to replace Mr. Beach, who followed the Lord's calling to another school. Two classrooms were added to the Morgan building during the summer of 1991. In 1994 a long-awaited, multi-purpose gymnasium was completed. In October 2009, Sumter Bible Church called Ron Davis to be the pastor, and the board decided to restructure the administration to have the pastor be the school administrator with general oversight of the school and hire a principal to operate the day-to-day procedure of the school. Jon Broughton was hired in April 2010 to fill this position and left in December 2012. In 2011 the vision to add a program to help students who struggle academically was implemented. The Target Learning Center (TLC) was established for this purpose. Sumter Christian School enjoys a reputation for balanced excellence on a community, state, and even national level. Enrollment inquiries come from across the nation and from military parents in many foreign countries. In this third decade of our history, we have purposed to provide a place where parents can confidently send their children, knowing that they are being taught in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and at the same time ensuring that they are being prepared academically for whatever career the Lord would have them enter.
Sumter Christian's original mascot was a Crusader. The school voted for a change in the early 1990s, and we have since then been known as the Bears!
The Bear Tracks staff completes the entire yearbook editing and publishing process using Walsworth Yearbooks online editor program. For more than 75 years, Walsworth has produced outstanding yearbooks while providing exemplary service to their customers who are an integral part of Walsworth Publishing Company’s business. Click here for more information.