In 1955, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Brock, a young Christian couple, felt burdened of the Lord to begin a Bible believing and preaching church in the west San Fernando Valley. They prayed about starting such a church, and they found a young minister by the name of Ed Kriz who was willing to help get a new church started.
The church was organized on December 9, 1957, as an independent Baptist church. The church, shortly after its founding, became affiliated with the Baptist General Conference. In 1960, Pastor Ed Kriz resigned, and the church called Pastor Roland Rasmussen. At that time, the Sunday school was averaging 75 people per Sunday. The Lord wonderfully blessed the church during the first two months under his leadership, and the attendance rose from 75 to a peak of 188. Over the next few years, the church continued to grow; and in 1963, a new auditorium was built along with other buildings/facilities that were designed with a school program in mind. In October of 1963, these buildings were dedicated to the Lord, and the Lord continued to bless the church.
In the fall of 1963, a Christian day school was founded with kindergarten through the third grade. Grades were added each year with the first class graduating in 1970. Faith Baptist currently enrolls 1,188 children in three-year-old kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Faith Baptist Church withdrew from the Baptist General Conference in the spring of 1967, and became an independent, fundamental Baptist Church.
Faith Baptist Schools is a ministry of Faith Baptist Church. The pastor of the church is the director of the school. The school board is composed of elected deacons from the church and the pastor. The school administration, faculty, and staff are all members of Faith Baptist Church. The school was created to provide a Christian education for the children of Faith Baptist Church and to be an evangelical outreach to our community. The church and school share the same campus, and Pastor Tim Rasmussen serves as both the head pastor of the church and as the director of the school. Although Faith Baptist Church and Faith Baptist Schools is one ministry, their finances are operated independently.
Covering a total of approximately 13 acres, Faith Baptist Schools is located in Canoga Park, which is considered a suburb within the city limits of Los Angeles, 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. When the school was founded, the Valley was primarily Anglo, as was the school community. Diversity has become the norm in the San Fernando Valley. What was once predominantly an agricultural community evolved into a well-educated community when Rocketdyne, Hughes Aircraft, and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory moved into the West Valley. Today, Canoga Park has become a congested network of neighborhoods, churches, schools, and retail outlets. As the demographics of the San Fernando Valley have evolved, so has Faith Baptist Church and Schools.
Although some of the aerospace companies still exist, most of their work force has moved to Arizona, and today, Faith Baptist Schools’ parents are employed primarily in the areas of entertainment, manufacturing, executive/managerial positions, professional services, sales and administrative support, and technology. There are also a growing number of our parents involved in medical and bio-med industries.
Although the church and school are of the Baptist denomination, we have an open enrollment process. Because of this, the school finds itself drawing a diverse student body. Faith Baptist Schools’ philosophy of education is based upon the Word of God. The primary objective and purpose of the school is to train the student in the way of life presented in the Scriptures, while also preparing each student for college.
Although Faith Baptist Schools’ Christian philosophy is embedded into our curriculum, its academic scope and sequence is fully aligned to meet or exceed California State Content Standards and is evidenced by our high standardized test scores and university acceptance rate. Affecting each child’s heart and improving student learning are the driving forces in curricular development and teaching methodology. Approximately 95% of all Faith Baptist students successfully complete or exceed the A-G/F University of California graduation requirements.
Over one-hundred students in grades 4 through 12 are involved in the band and orchestra and choir programs, and they perform a winter and spring concert, as well as a number of mini-concerts in our community. There are a variety of clubs including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Junior Statesmen of America, Art Club, Chess Club, Music Club, King’s Daughters, Community Club, and Branching Out which provides students with opportunities to challenge their diverse interests and work to reach a variety of goals alongside other students with like interests. Students also contribute to the success of their peers through Homework Helpers and the Mu Alpha Theta club, which utilizes older students to mentor and tutor younger students in math.
The athletic programs, both boys and girls, have demonstrated genuine commitment to a team. Eighteen CIF Championships, as well as league and division titles, demonstrate a winning tradition that is achieved through excellence, diligent practice, and hard work. FBS does not recruit athletes.
Faith Baptist also offers a variety of specialized courses. A few examples include Bible quiz team (4th-12th grades), band (4th-12th grades), choir (1st-12th grades), journalism (9th-12th grades), digital photography (5th-8th grades), drama (3rd-12th grades), and tutoring programs (including English language, math, reading, and computer students). In every academic setting, technology plays an important role, and students and faculty utilize the latest technological resources across the curriculum.