In January of 1982, a group of young Christ followers meeting together in their homes, embarked on a faith journey to find God’s mission for their lives. In the course of time, one of the Bible teachers, Gary Kerr, emerged as the leader; during a corporate time of prayer, God spoke to his heart that education was to be at the center of their missional community. This mandate was confirmed in the hearts of several present that evening. As the fellowship grew to several hundred, God brought teachers with valuable experience as well as men and women who opened their hearts and their pocketbooks to establish a legacy made up of generations of men and women that would possess a biblical world view. Faith West was incorporated March 28, of 1983 as a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the state of Texas. Faith West Academy, the flagship of this missional endeavor, opened in September, 1983 in a remodeled strip center with 175 students in attendance. Many teachers and staff volunteered their time to insure the success of this fledgling endeavor. In the next three years, administrative help was hired and the school was moved to an old warehouse facility off of the Katy Freeway; enrollment climbed to a peak of 375 students. Three graduating classes of 30 Faith West Academy students received diplomas. All 30 students continued their education at the college level.
The economic downturn of the early to mid 80’s forced painful cutbacks at Faith West. Faith West was forced into a smaller footprint and moved from the 67,000 square foot warehouse building on the Katy Freeway to a more rural setting closer to old town Katy; a 13,000 square foot building at 2225 Porter Road, that had been Evergreen Baptist Church. The high school and middle school were dropped. Portable buildings were leased to accommodate classrooms, and Faith West continued as an elementary school of about 100 students. Administrative cutbacks were necessary, and people within the framework of the organization stepped forward to fill administrative gaps. After two years of growth, Faith West was able to rehire the principal and some administrative staff. Preschool was added, as well as middle school classes. Middle school was added one grade per year. After the 1991 – 1992 school year, with eighth grade as the top grade and 155 students, Faith West became accredited by the International Christian Accrediting Association. In August, 1992, the school expanded into an additional new building with four classrooms, a lab, and restrooms. High school began to be added one grade per year in the 1993 – 1994 school year. Faith West instituted a minister’s tuition discount in that school year as well. As Faith West intentionally gave in to the Christian community through ministerial discounts, the student population grew from 175 students in 1992 –1993, to 480 students in the three years that followed. In order to meet the growth needs, a 37,000 square foot classroom, gymnasium/auditorium, and office facility was built and fully occupied by 1998. The enrollment continued to grow to 576 by the beginning of the 1998 – 1999 school year.
In June of 2000, a 30,000 square foot gymnasium was constructed. This facility included athletic offices, concessionary, as well as two full NCAA basketball courts that could be converted into six volleyball courts. The construction of this facility allowed for the retrofitting of what had been a gymnasium/auditorium into a chapel and venue for performing arts as well as the Commons area, a clinic, and some additional administrative office space.
In 2001, changes in academics and admission requirements cut enrollment numbers from 620 to 522 for the 2001-2003 school years. During this two-year period, there was a conscious effort to streamline bookkeeping procedures and to trim the fat in our administrative process. An academic and economically viable organization emerged and moved into the 2003-2004 school year; so that in June of 2004, new growth had made it necessary to add another portable classroom building. A commercial kitchen was built and staffed to accommodate the lunch needs of 750 students and staff.
As the secondary grades grew, it became necessary to add additional classrooms for additional electives and Pre-AP and AP opportunities. In order to meet the needs of an expanding curriculum, a number of portable buildings were purchased. Our campus includes 13 portable classrooms connected to one another, outdoor play areas, and main buildings attached by covered walkways. In June of 2006, we added a second floor rotunda that connects an additional six secondary classrooms. Additional space allows for the practical segregation of disciplines i.e. Math, Science, English/Literature, Foreign Languages, History, and Economics each have their own space.
In 2009, a 10-acre tract of land was obtained to assure room for expansion. The expansion will accommodate 500 to 600 students when completed. In August of 2010, a 14,000 square foot building, on one acre of contiguous property, was purchased. It accommodates a cheer gym, maintenance office, vocational classes, a small teacher’s lounge, agriculture classes, as well as additional expansion space for three large meeting/classrooms. In 2010, Faith West established a boarding facility in Park West* property where Faith West boards up to 20 international students. In 2012, an animal barn was constructed as part of the F.F.A. chartering process. Faith West is the only private school in Texas with a fully recognized FFA program.
* Park West is Faith West’s 8-acre site that includes a small recreational lake, walking trails, gazebos, grills, playgrounds, and three large homes. The summer months at Park West include four, one week, day camps. Each camp has a 200 camper capacity. Camp West employs junior and senior students, coaches, and FW parents as directors, counselors, concession workers, and lifeguards. Students working the camps receive special training in counseling and leadership. The park is also open daily, in the evenings, to the public for swimming and picnics.