The Lord has blessed TMA — His school — in many ways. Thank you to so many Christian families who have partnered with us to make the school what it is today. There have been many exciting developments over the years, and God continues to bless and grow our school in order to be a blessing to families. Here is a brief timeline of the milestones that we have seen:
1986 — The Master’s Academy opens with 210 students. K – 6th grades rented space in Fern Park while 7th – 12th grades rented church space in Winter Park. Looking back to that first year, TMA founder, Pat Mennenga, remembers that “it took everyone chipping in to make things happen and it really was an exciting, scary, and special time.” One of TMA’s first purchases was two 66 passenger buses from Mt. Arey, North Carolina. He laughs as he recalls, “As soon as Paul West and I crossed the Florida line with those busses, one blew the transmission! That is how we had to get started though. We bought what we could afford, we looked for deals and it took a lot of manpower to accomplish it all.”
1993 — The middle school moves to a campus in Maitland made possible through a gift from the Citadel of Faith and Freedom.
1994 — The lower school moves to rented church space in Longwood. The high school added several portables to their rented space in Winter Park.
1999 — TMA secures its own land! Mike Batts, former Board Chairman, remembers when he and several members of the school’s leadership went to visit with George and Olga Jakubcin. The Jakubcin family was one of the original Slavik families that settled in Oviedo; they owned a 30+ acre parcel of land that was formerly a celery farm. At that meeting, the leadership group discussed The Master’s Academy with the Jakubcins; the vision that they had…the calling that they felt, the need for a “home”, and that TMA was financially challenged. Mike states that he doubts seriously that he will ever forget the question that George Jakubcin posed… George said “Let me just ask you one thing. Does your school teach that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, that He is the Son of God, and that He is the only way to salvation?” Mike said, “Yes, sir we do…every day.” George responded, “Then I think we can work something out.” It was from that conversation that a relationship began, and ultimately an agreement formed to enable TMA to acquire the 33-acre property that we sit on today.
2000 — The Oviedo campus opens to 6th – 12th grade students and athletic facilities are built.
2003 — The construction of two more buildings enables the lower school students to join the upper school on one campus in Oviedo.
2004 — Additional construction of 20,000 square feet includes a new weight room, large locker rooms, another science lab, several classrooms, and offices.
2007 — A cafeteria with a full-service kitchen is added to the campus, along with a brand-new playground and another building housing additional classrooms. Enrollment has grown to approximately 900
2010 — TMA’s football field is converted to synthetic turf. This addition allows the field to be used year-round and also gives added durability enabling PE classes to utilize the field.
2011 — TMA purchases Camp Sparta, a retreat and conference center in Sebring, FL. Camp Sparta offers a beautiful setting for group retreats and a fun destination for youth summer camp! TMA students act as camp counselors to gain valuable experience in sharing their faith with young people. Additionally, the camp is home to TMA’s annual high school retreats – a fun time to bond and grow spiritually.
2016 — TMA’s Performing Arts Center is complete! This 53,754 sq foot building houses the Judi Tome Black Box Theatre, Band and Art classrooms, and a multi-purpose space with theater seating for 400+. The multi-purpose space is used as the Main Stage, a practice gymnasium, and a place for student activities.
Throughout TMA’s timeline, many families have made significant sacrifices and tremendous contributions to breathe life into TMA, from the early years all the way to the present. Now, more than 30 years later, we are equally committed to the vision of our founders. This school is about honoring Jesus Christ and going the second mile with Christian families. Jesus Christ is the MASTER of The Master’s Academy today, just as much as He was back in 1986.