Maranatha Baptist Academy was founded in 1973 as a ministry of Maranatha after an initial request by a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Jefferson. Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown had started a Christian School offering kindergarten through eighth grade; however, high school students had no Christian school available. Maranatha Baptist Academy was started to meet that need as well as to provide a quality Christian education for College faculty and staff children.
At first, college teachers “dropped in” to teach an Academy class, then returning to their regular teaching domain. Many Academy students lived in college dormitories five or seven days a week.
By the late ’70s and early ’80s, the Academy was developing an identity of its own. Though a principal had been named from the very start, the school began operating with an assistant principal whose job was to work exclusively with the Academy students. This move, combined with the beginning of full-time Academy faculty, helped to set Academy activities apart from the College. The rooms on Old Main’s second floor became full-time Academy classrooms. Lockers were added, and the walls were painted in school colors and symbols. Special rooms were designated for Academy dorm students.
By the mid ’80s and into the ’90s, MBA had become fairly independent from the College in administration, operation, and daily activities. The high school moved into the lower level of Old Main with five brand new classrooms, four office areas, and a storage area. Some facilities are still shared with the college. Maranatha Baptist Academy has always stressed strong academics, and Bible classes have remained part of the core curriculum.
Sports and music are an important part of Academy student life. Concert choir, concert band, percussion ensemble, Ministry Team, speech, and drama classes are options, as is the annual Academy play. Those wishing to participate in sports can join the football, volleyball, and basketball teams.
The success of the school may be seen in its graduates: missionaries, pastors, teachers, and others successful in secular fields while serving faithfully in their local churches.