Patrick L. Wooden, Sr., a man who readily admits he has not “hit his stride” accepted the mandate from God to build a Christian school. He envisioned a school where Judeo-Christian values would be taught, where children would learn about the God of the Bible.
Pastor Wooden firmly believe that this school would be a safe haven to educate children as well as an extension of the home and church. The children would possess the wisdom of the children of Isachar.
Walking in his usual style of excellence, Pastor Wooden initiated the Upper Room Christian Academy Campaign drive in March 2000. He announced that a 5.2 million dollars educational facility would be erected. The building would be named after his father in the gospel, the late Pastor James H. Turner.
The edifice would house the Upper Room Children’s Center and Christian Academy. This 66,000 square foot, state of the art building, would have 30 classrooms, a gymnasium, media center, computer lab and a commercial cafeteria.
The Upper Room Children’s Center would expand from 105 to 250 students. The Christian Academy would commence immediately with kindergarten through fourth grade adding an additional grade each year. The school would be able to house 600 students.
In March 2001, the ground-breaking ceremony for the James H. Turner Educational Facility was held. In spring of 2001, Betty Umstead and Sebrena Boone received their principal’s certification through the Association of Christian Schools International. Betty Umstead became the Principal of the Academy and Sebrena Boone became the Assistant Principal.
The school board was established with the following members: Pamela Wooden, Jamie Rich, Julia Plummer, Debbie Ray, Kim Overton, Harold McDonald and Darrell Smith.
On Tuesday, September 4, 2001 at 7:00 a.m., the Upper Room Christian Academy & Preschool opened its doors to 150 children in the preschool and 70 children in the academy. Pastor Wooden was one of the first to arrive. He eagerly greeted the children, staff, and parents.
The school was dedicated in October 2001 by Bishop Leroy Jackson Woodard of the Greater North Carolina Central District Church of God in Christ.
The goal of the school is to add a grade each year through high school. We believe that our graduates will be life-long learners and leaders in the community. They will take the “God First” gospel into all the nations.