The Bronx-Westchester Education Committee (BWEC) emerged from a group of concerned individuals who met informally to discuss and pray for one of the greatest needs in our community - the need for a Seventh-day Adventists school in a morally declining era.
In 1988 what seemed unclear became highlighted and focused as concerned parents, educators, education secretaries and pastors of 8, then 10, churches in the North Bronx Lower Westchester area met each month and established The Bronx-Westchester S.D.A. Education Committee groups goals of establishing a Seventh-day Adventist Educational/Evangelistic Center were set to:
- Unite the S.D.A. churches in area to meet a common need.
- Provide a suitable facility/environment that is safe and supportive; a stimulating curriculum where the integration of faith and learning is demonstrated.
- Provide a top quality S.D.A. educational facility for children of varied cultural background.
- Prepare our children for service here and higher service in the world to come - thus building Christlike characters.
- Foster academic excellence and competence in all areas - total development of the spiritual, physical, mental and social aspects of man.
In summary to restore the 3 (seemingly forgotten) R's: Reverence for God and life Respect for self and others Responsibility - citizenship and loving service.
Under the able leadership of Dorrette Anderson various committees were formed to tackle the task at hand. Divine wisdom was sought and we established a Survey Committee led by R. Bulgin and V. Foster respectively, Proposal Committee led by the late Dr. M. Barrett, Site Search Committee - Pastors S. Bulgin, G. Knight and P. Sica, Curriculum Committee - D. Cadavero and J. Wilks, Funding Committee - N. Campbell and M. Brown, Constitution and By-Laws Committee - C. McKinley, Program Committee - R. Stevenson-Reid and Secretaries - B. Lewin and R. Francis. Each committee was assigned a special task. Each accepted the challenge and worked relentlessly to complete that part of the project in keeping with our goal. Great plans were laid, all in faith..
Before long, September 1990 was established as the proposed date for starting our new school. As we neared the date we realized that more time would be needed and this was extended to September 1991. God was surely in control. We located a property at 519 South 5th Avenue, Mt. Vernon. Everyone was excited as we thought this was the building God had provided for us. The asking price for the building was $750,000 with an equally needed amount for renovation and conversion to a school.
Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, faithful patrons and friends helped us to realize $175,000 by December 1990 but this was not meant to be. Miraculously, God provided us with a building ideally suited to meet our needs. This was half the cost of the previous building.
Today, we awake from our dreams and grasp the reality. With the help of a loan from the Atlantic Union Revolving Fund a lovely edifice stands at 29 Chestnut Street - The Bronx-Westchester Seventh-day Adventists Education/Evangelistic Center and the Oakview Preparatory School, the fulfillment of our dreams, the evidence of our faith.
This facility, in addition to providing a Christian education of highest quality, will also serve as a reminder of God's faithfulness to His children. It will be a lighthouse to those in darkness and an element of hope to those in despair. We give God all the honor and glory for making this even a reality. We thank Him for the assurance that He still leads His children.
We give glory to God for the faith, and commitment of each member of the BWE Committee whose sacrifices of time, talent and gifts are immeasurable