Christian Academy of Carrollton administrator Katie Matson, top, welcomes guests to the 25-year anniversary celebration at the school on Friday. The Christian Academy of Carrollton had its roots in a dissatisfaction with the kind of education Matson felt children were receiving from the public school system. She began homeschooling, then helped to form a group to start a Christian school in the late 1980s.

The school began in 1989 with 12 students who met in the basement of the Valley Christian Church. Jim Smith, who gave a detailed history of the church during his speech on Friday, said that the first teachers taught without pay in order to help get the school up and running.

As the school grew, they eventually moved into the Family Worship Center and began planning to construct their own school building.

In 1994, school officials bought a little over 5 acres of land at the school's current location. The building was complete and classes began meeting there in 1996.

Smith said the school is devoted not only to quality academics but also strong and prayer-saturated Christian development for each student.

Below, David Matson, his son Justin and grandson Camden Matson, sit with a large crowd of school supporters, current students and alumni during the 25th anniversary celebration for the Christian Academy of Carrollton on Friday.

(Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/