the fall of 1993, Pacific Christian Academy will be 75 years old, a
remarkable longevity considering that the school is located in one
of the more obscure towns of Northern California – Graton – with
a population of only 500. This longevity is not so remarkable when
considering the spirit in which P.C.A. was originally founded and
the extraordinary dedication of Christians who have supported the
school’s motto of "unselfish service" throughout the
years. In fact, if there is one theme that characterizes the
contributions of P.C.A. to education and to society, it has been its
encouragement of students to be good stewards with the gifts that
God has provided and to follow Christ’s example of an unselfish
servant. This attitude of unselfish servanthood was very much a part
of P.C.A.’s earliest beginnings and is perpetuated among members
of the board, teachers, parents, students, and friends of the school
to this day.
Pacific Christian Academy had
its beginning in 1918 with 16 students, one full-time teacher (Mrs.
Ottis Scott) and four part-time volunteers at the E-Street Church of
Christ in Santa Rosa. According to Scott "we closed the year
with 32 pupils and ten dollars for my year’s teaching."
In the second year, the
school moved to its present campus in Graton, California. K.M.
Barbour, Dell Davis (my grandfather), and Frank Davis each put up
$500 to purchase the 4-acre property with its 3-room school
building. The enrollment grew to 52 students. The next summer, the
historic Marshall School building (built in the 1860's) was
purchased and moved to the P.C.A. campus, inserted underneath and
attached to the original school building to make a two story
structure, thus providing additional classrooms and a large
By the fourth year (1921-22),
the school and church had grown so large that the Graton church
building was also moved to the P.C.A. campus, adding two classrooms
to the school. In exchange, the Graton Church of Christ met in
P.C.A.’s auditorium until a new church building could be
The first high school
graduation class of P.C.A. was in 1923. O.W. Gardner was principal
and my father, Ivan Davis, and
the second year of operation, P.C.A. moved into this 3-room
school building in Graton.
first high school graduating class in May 1923. Back row
(l to r) Harold Davis, Elden Stine, Francis Parham, Ivan
Davis, and Athol Crowson. Front row (l to r) Theda
Bailer Davis, Ethel Wiggins Dyke, O.W. Gardner (Principal),
Dorothy Davis, and Mildred Barbour Davis.
other relatives were members of the first graduating class.
early years at P.C.A. are probably best summarized in the
words of Ottis Scott. Her impressions are especially
significant because she was one of the primary forces that
brought the school into existence and she taught at P.C.A.
during the school’s first eight years. In September 1926,
Ottis left Graton with her husband, George, and daughter,
Helen Pearl, for a life of mission work in Africa. The
following quotation is taken from
1955 description of the school’s beginnings.
feel that since our work was free, or
nearly so (I did get $20
per month the
last year), we got much of the same
kind of free
work from the whole
church, who shared with us and
other. They would bring
potatoes, under and over-sized
vegetables, fruit, nuts, fowl,
and – well, just all needed
never have seen such cooperation,
such loyalty, such
more consecration to the