Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church
16325 New Hampshire Ave • Silver Spring, MD 20905
Spencerville Adventist Academy Groundbreaking
On April 19, 2009, a day blessed by sunshine and bright skies, the members of the Spencerville Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, met on property purchased six years earlier to break ground for a new PK-12 facility.
Fourteen years ago the school board created a committee to cast a vision for what was then Spencerville Junior Academy. Due in part to this committee’s efforts, the academy expanded to senior academy status. When enrollment grew to over 300 students in a facility built for half as many, the congregation began in earnest to explore the possibility of building a new facility.
The county where the school property is located is well known for the challenges they pose to new construction. This proved true as one obstacle after another delayed the dreams of a new facility. Coupled with this was raising the capital needed to build and maintain a structure that is over 100,000 square feet serving grades Pre-Kindergarten through the twelfth grade. At long last, all permits were met, money raised, and contracts signed.
The ceremony opened with the second grade leading the congregation in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem. They were followed by the academy band and several third graders who read their dreams of what school might be like in the new building. Remarks were also made by two students--one representing the first eighth grade graduating class and the other the first four-year senior graduating class.
Speakers included Rob Vandeman, president of the Chesapeake Conference; Jerry Lutz, senior pastor of the Spencerville Church; Brian Kittleson, principal of Spencerville Adventist Academy; and Merle Poirier, chair of the building committee. Vandeman, a former senior pastor of the Spencerville Church, reminded listeners that this dream has been 25 years in the making. He spoke of the many volunteers who sat on committees, dreamed dreams, and explored possibilities which contributed to this historic event in Spencerville history.
“This building project is unique within the North American Division,” said Jerry Lutz, senior pastor. “Not only in its magnitude in size and cost, but it is unprecedented to have a local church as the sole supporter of such a project. My fellow pastors across the NAD have continually expressed amazement at what they see as a goal beyond our reach, and yet we, together, have accomplished this by following God’s leading along with our strong desire to provide a Seventh-day Adventist education for our young people.”
Shovels were manned by Vandeman, Lutz, Kittleson, and Poirier. After the first shovels of dirt were turned over, a backhoe, operated by the general contractor, took the first full scoop of earth officially beginning construction.