Honoring Our Founder: Mr. Gary Foss
When thinking toward the future of Fredericksburg Christian School, we can’t help but think about the past. Our founders, Mr. Gary Foss and his late wife Andy, first started the school at First Christian Church in 1979. With a staff of only four teachers and thirty students, Mr. Foss served as a principal, bus driver, playground supervisor, secretary, and even janitor.
In a recent interview, Mr. Foss talks about how Fredericksburg Christian came about:“Both my wife and I were in public school, and we had friends that encouraged us to start a Christian school. My wife and I felt that the Lord had called us to be part of public school, and we didn’t think we were [supposed] to be involved in Christian schools,” says the founder candidly. “And, over the years, friends kept at us. We were in the Fredericksburg School Division and I actually lost my job. And that’s when we said, ‘Hey, this is what the Lord wanted me to do.’”
By 1988, the school was already growing out of its space with 468 students. Gary and Andy’s vision to serve the region in an interdenominational spirit was lived out as the school grew to multiple locations. The elementary school arrived at New Life in Christ, where it was housed until 2009. The Lower School began operation out of Highway Assembly of God, where it continues to reside. Just four years after their first senior class graduation, FCS began construction on 75 acres of land. And in 1997, the Upper School doors were opened, with a total of 885 students enrolled across all campuses.
“The same thing happened a few weeks ago when I had my stroke,” explains Mr. Foss. “The Lord had something for me to do.” After his stroke, Mr. Foss lost most of the function in his legs.
He told his story recently to a class of Lower School children: “The Lord has been so good to me,” says Mr. Foss. “I have been very ill, but you guys have been praying for me, and the Lord is healing me. And, listen, a few weeks ago I had to be in a wheelchair. Now, I can use this,” he says, grabbing his walker.“[and] a cane. And, you know, I can even walk a little bit without my cane,” praises Mr. Foss.
“Only the Lord can do that,” he declares, with this finger stretched out in a teaching moment.
Mr. Foss speaks a little bit about the legacy FCS is forging. “This year… one of our high school graduate’s father and mother were students in our school. And now their daughter is going to graduate from FCS this year. And I will have the privilege, I trust, of being on stage when she receives her diploma.”
“We’ve seen the Lord bring families to Christian education,” he continues. “And one of the things that has really helped is that God has introduced us to many Christian teachers. Andy and I had the opportunity to facilitate all of this,” Mr. Foss beams. “We’ve had some great teachers.”
Gary is currently active as a board member of FCS and is a tremendous encourager for the work they started in 1979. Andy went home to be with the Lord in August 2010, and she is greatly missed. Her desire for excellence in all areas will continue to live on within each aspect of our ministry as her legacy continues on in each of our hearts.