The 2019-2020 academic year marks FPD’s 50th Anniversary. FPD’s faculty members have been educating and equipping students to change the world for God’s glory for five decades. What started as a one-room building is now a 240-acre campus that is home to over 3000 alumni.
SHARE YOUR MEMORIES
Spirit Week, Homecoming, pep rallies, friends, faculty, coaches, events, performances – all make up the FPD experience. Please share your FPD story! Is there a teacher or coach who made a big impact on your life? A special moment that stands out? A lesson learned that still influences your decisions today?
FOUNDING OF FPD
The founders from First Presbyterian Church had a vision for a school that would combine strong academics with Christian principles, that the two were not mutually exclusive. Plans began in 1968 with the creation of the Emmanuel Fund to raise money for a school that would “lead each student to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” (First Presbyterian Church brochure from 1969)
Initial plans placed the school adjacent to First Presbyterian Church in downtown Macon. However, those plans were rejected by Planning & Zoning because of anticipated traffic problems. At this time, the Peake family graciously donated the land now known as 5671 Calvin Drive.
Construction began in May of 1970 (just four months before school was to open). Crews used a new construction method that entailed pre-fabricated brick panels, up to 24 feet wide. Cranes lifted the panels and placed them in position. The walls, roof, and exterior finishes were complete within three weeks. The interior was likewise innovative. Instead of classroom walls, architects proposed moveable partitions on casters to create spaces for large or small groups of students.
Opening the School
In late August, just days before school was to open, founders, new faculty, parents, and students gathered at the school to lay sod, clean the interior, and complete final details.
September 8, 1970, the first day of school, followed a heavy rain and cars were not easily able to traverse the muddy, unpaved Calvin Drive. A team of volunteers and a flat-bed truck carried students to their classrooms. However, it was a start. The school the Founders envisioned opened on time and the new teachers were ready to welcome their first through eighth grade students.
The First Few Years
Over the next half-decade, FPD experienced many changes. The innovative partition method of classroom configuration, while cutting edge, was soon found to be impractical for limiting noise. Crews built interior walls by the second year and future students may have seen the moveable partitions and chalkboards in various classrooms around campus for years to come.
The board and administration added a high school building and gym by 1972, as FPD expanded to ninth grade and beyond. Crews laid a gravel parking lot for student parking and cleared land for baseball and football. FPD added kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, building a separate kindergarten building. And, in 1975, FPD graduated its first class of 31 seniors.
Today our campus looks quite different with expansive athletic facilities, trails for nature exploration, a beautiful fine arts center, and state-of-the-art classroom facilities. Tablet computers replaced typewriters, Interactive Flat Panels replaced chalkboards (as well as overhead projectors and Smart Boards), a beautiful stadium replaced a cleared-land field, uniforms replaced bell-bottom pants and knee socks.
However, the heart is still the same – godly love. And some traditions remain the same – Spirit Week, Homecoming, Pep Rallies, the Fall Festival, the sense of Family.
Teachers are chosen for their astuteness in their field as well as their heart for the Lord. They pour into the lives of students, praying for them, mentoring them, and helping them see God’s will for their future.
As always, FPD is more than a school. It is a home-away-from-home for so many students and faculty members. Memories are made and foundations are laid for both now and eternity.
50 years of faith and family
HOMECOMING & ALUMNI WEEKEND – October 4 & 5
This year’s Homecoming & Alumni Weekend is October 4 – 5, 2019. We are looking forward to welcoming back alumni and former faculty as we celebrate 50 years of FPD. This year’s reunion years are 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014.
EVENTS & DETAILS
We are still finalizing plans for this wonderful milestone in the life of our school. Please use the email form below to sign to receive updates about events