Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DPCA Graduate Receives Academic Honors

We're excited about this press release notifying us that Micah Ritschard, a 2013 graduate of DPCA, has been named to the fall President's List at LeTourneau University:

LONGVIEW, Texas (March 20, 2015) - Micah Ritschard of Buena Vista was named to the Fall 2014 President's List at LeTourneau University. The President's List recognizes students who have achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average to receive this honor.

LeTourneau University President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford said being named to the President's List is a significant academic achievement and honor.

"LETU students are among our nation's best," Lunsford said.  "I'm especially impressed with these honor roll students. Expect them to have a significant impact on our future."

LeTourneau University is a comprehensive institution of Christ-centered higher education where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in aviation, arts & sciences, business, education, engineering and nursing. Around 1,300 students study at LETU's main campus in Longview, Texas. LETU also offers a robust suite of online programs, as well as hybrid programs in Dallas and Houston.

Claiming every workplace in every nation as their mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see life's work as a holy calling with eternal impact. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hear the Story

I found my anchorage in Him while at DPCA, because I was challenged to live excellently, to love, to persevere, to forgive, and above all, to walk with Christ. My teachers set an excellent example and walked with me through every struggle and triumph. I am truly blessed that God blessed me with my time at DPCA, and I hope that many more will have the same privilege.  

Ethan, DPCA Class of 2012

DPCA means a lot to me… Everything done is based upon God and God’s Word.
Malachi, 5th grade 2015  

Randy and Carole Barnes played before and after
Testimonies like these made up the heart of DPCA's "Hear the Story" Banquet March 9.  Over 100 guests enjoyed a fantastic meal at Trail West Lodge and heard from students, staff and board members as each shared how God is working in student hearts and lives through the ministry of Darren Patterson Christian Academy.  Finn and Sully (current kindergartners) opened the banquet with some of their memorized Bible verses and a prayer of thanksgiving for the evening, the day, and the food.  Eagles basketball team players served guests a gourmet meal of roasted pork, new potatoes, spring salad, steamed vegetables, and rolls, followed by a strawberry cheesecake.

Sully and Finn get the evening started
Laughter picked up as board member Michael Courson called students and staff to the front for a game involving hotdog throwing and catching.  Former board president Dave Macnab shared how friends of the school could donate "stuff" through the school's new partnership with iDonate; following Dave, several students and staff shared stories and testimonies from life at school.  An obvious theme quickly emerged:  the Lord is faithfully meeting needs and growing disciples through the learning, mentoring, and community-building that characterizes each day at DPCA. Whether in the classroom, or in chapel, or in the gym, or on the trail with Ekklesia Mountain High courses, from kindergarten through senior high, students are finding in their teachers caring mentors who do so much more than "just" teach the academic lessons. 

That's either Grizzly Adams or board member Michael Courson getting the hotdog contestants ready
Keely (center) and Mr Euler show off their hot-dog catching moves while Noah (left) remains calm
School Administrator Erik Ritschard began the evening wrap-up with a reminder that the financial need that DPCA has each year is not even close to the whole story. Rather, the best part of the DPCA story is victory and triumph being realized in the lives of students who are learning and growing in an environment firmly grounded and centered in the Bible. The Academy's need is for partners who will delight in helping to support that mission and those triumphs. 

Guests enjoying the evening
Board member and banquet organizer Brian Dengler brought the evening to a close with an appeal for support and a closing prayer expressing our school community's gratitude for the evening and the Lord's faithfulness.  Guests responded enthusiastically: over $10,000.00 was contributed at the banquet to support DPCA, with some additional funds coming in as this article is being written. Readers who would like to contribute to the banquet or our annual Strength to Serve funding effort, please click here.

All of us in the DPCA family want to express our gratitude for a great evening:
Mr. Euler shares how he has seen the Lord work.
Lily shared an essay "What DPCA means to me."
  • Our guests: thank you for coming and for your so very generous response!
  • Brian Dengler:  thank you so much for taking the lead and working as our banquet organizer!
  • Randy and Carole Barnes for music before and after the banquet.
  • DPCA School Board and office staff: thanks for your support and so much help and work "behind the scenes."
  • Parent, staff, and student volunteers: we couldn't have had such an enjoyable, beautiful evening without your help and support with decorating, set-up and clean-up, serving, and child-care. Thank you so much!
  • Trail West Lodge staff and volunteers: Wow, you all know how to do things well!  Thanks so much for hosting our banquet and for the fantastic food!
And finally,

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good, and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100: 4-5

 We're grateful that the Lord has provided for and sustained DPCA for almost 33 years, and we join with Finn and Sully in giving thanks for a great day and a great evening!

Darren Patterson Christian Academy has been guiding preschool through high school students on paths of excellence in Christian life and service since 1982.  To learn more, please visit us on the web at

 Ekklesia Mountain High is a boarding and day-student program for high school juniors and seniors at Darren Patterson Christian Academy, in which approximately forty days of wilderness experience and leadership training is integrated with rigorous academics in DPCA's Biblically-centered environment.  To learn more, please visit  the EMH program's website at