In 1980 God led Pastor Jim Black to start Gethsemane Baptist Christian School (GBCS). Mr. David Sisson was the school’s first principal. In its inaugural year GBCS had sixty students in grades K4 through fifth grade and twelve full and part-time staff and faculty. In its second year of operation, the Lord added a sixth grade, the school’s first boys’ basketball team and girls’ cheerleading squad. The enrollment in the second year jumped to 119 students. Also during this year, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Habrial came on staff as teachers. Mr. Habrial would become the school’s second principal in 1985.
From 1983 to 1988 the administration added a new grade every year, and in 1988 Gethsemane Baptist Christian School graduated its first senior class with four graduates. During the same time span the school launched its first boys’ football team, boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams and girls’ basketball team. GBCS relocated to its present location at 6095 Orange Avenue here in Long Beach in 1988.
Several years later in 1995, God saw fit to bless both Gethsemane Baptist Church and Gethsemane Baptist Christian School with new leadership. First, Dr. David Smith obeyed the Lord’s call to become the church’s fourth pastor in its 21-year history. Second, Mr. Dave Duncan became the school’s third principal. In 1996, Mr. Doug Weldon took the helm of leadership of the school as its fourth principal. The year of 1997 brought another change, as Mrs. Debra Pryde became the fifth principal of GBCS. It was during this year that GBCS’ Independent Study Program (ISP) for home-schooling families was implemented. In 2000 Mr. Nelson Jones became the sixth principal with the privilege of administrating Gethsemane Baptist Christian School. In the fall of 2005 Dr. David Smith became the principal/administrator of GBCS. In November of 2009 Mr. David Murphy became the principal/administrator of Gethsemane Baptist Christian School, as well as the pastor of Gethsemane Baptist Church. In June of 2010 Mr. Joshua Weldon, a graduate of GBCS, became the ninth principal.
GBCS was founded to provide the membership of Gethsemane Baptist Church with an alternative to public education. GBCS affords parents assistance in developing their children not only academically, socially and physically, but spiritually as well. GBCS reinforces to its students the Biblically based spiritual values taught by their parents. Over the past years many of GBCS graduates have gone on to college to pursue bachelors and advanced degrees in education, mathematics, theology and various other fields of study.