BFA HAS HUMBLE BEGINNINGS.
The Janz family moves to this region and answers the call to share Christ in post-war Europe through music and radio ministry. Our foundations begin at their kitchen table a few months later in 1956, quite literally as a one-room schoolhouse for six kids.
The Janz family would grow their ministry as Janz Team, later becoming TeachBeyond, and continues to be a legacy and core partner in BFA’s work.
BRINGING IN LEADERSHIP
Growth leads to us bringing in our first Principal, Dick Driedger, and implementing the Saskatchewan (Canadian) provincial curriculum which would be the basis for our education program for the next 30 years.
FROM SWITZERLAND TO GERMANY
The “Janz Team School” moves across the border from Basel, Switzerland to Lörrach, Germany.
DORM LIFE BEGINS
Gospel Missionary Union (GMU) joins as a participating mission and brings staff to launch the foundations of our Residence Life program – an integrated boarding home across the border in France.
The high school moves to the village of Sitzenkirch, and Haus Bad Riedlingen (HBR) and Haus Palmgarten are purchased. HBR becomes a boys’ dorm and Palmgarten serves as a retreat and camp center for Janz Team until it becomes a girls’ dorm in 1998.
A NEW IDENTITY
Following a contest in which students and staff submitted potential names, Black Forest Academy is chosen by the board as the new name for the school. The winning submission comes from Jay and Barb Barnes. Jay was a teacher at the time and later served as High School Principal.
MINISTRY BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Black Forest Christian Fellowship forms as an English-speaking church for BFA staff, students, and others in the Kandern community. BFCF continues its mission today and meets in BFA’s auditorium.
BFA rents Storchenblick and Hiltonheim as dorms in Holzen, bringing the total number of dorms to four. Together they house roughly 60 of the 100 students. Dorm administration transitions from agency-led to BFA’s responsibility.
BFA receives accreditation status from the Association of Christian Schools International. We continue to work closely with ACSI and renew our accreditation every five years.
MOVE TO KANDERN
BFA rents space in the Medima property, now our current campus, and purchases the whole building in 1984. Grades 10-12 are located in Kandern while grades 1-9 are in Sitzenkirch. Landhaus Liel is added as a fifth dorm.
BFA rents Sonnenhof (Sonne) located up the mountain in Marzell. When the dorm relocated to Kandern in 2014, the ‘Sonne’ namesake carried over to the renovated building.
BFA purchases the Blauen dorm across the street from Sonnenhof and Grade 9 moves to Kandern.
BFA rents the Maugenhard dorm. Maug’s namesake also carries over once the dorm relocates to Kandern. Grades 7 and 8 move to the Kandern campus and form the Junior High.
As BFA grows, it becomes clear that a purpose-built auditorium and gym is needed. Completed in 1998, Project Nehemiah was possible through partnership with countless donors and construction help from church volunteer teams. This project would lay the foundation for equipping the Kandern campus to better serve students, families, and our community.
BFA transitions from the Saskatchewan curriculum to a BFA-created curriculum that has enabled us to better serve students coming from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and cultures.
BFA rents the Gasthaus Hirschen which would be known as the Wittlingen dorm.
Project ReNEWal begins the renovation of the ‘Altbau’. The renovated building, named the ‘Janz Building’ in honor of our founders, provides expanded classroom space, music suites, art studios, and a beautiful new library.
CHRISTLICHE SCHULE KANDERN
BFA partners with Freie Evangelische Schule Lörrach to open the Christliche Schule Kandern, a bilingual elementary school for grades 1-4. BFA teachers work in partnership with a German co-teacher in each classroom.
Landhaus Liel moves into Kandern and is renamed Haus Jesse, while Sonne finds a new home in Kandern after BFA renovates former TeachBeyond office space into a dorm.
The fourth floor of the Main Building is renovated and a fifth floor is added, making it possible to bring Grades 5-8 from Sitzenkirch to Kandern and unite BFA on a single campus.
Blauenhof is purchased and transformed from a retirement home into a new dorm.
BOARDING FOR THE FUTURE
Big plans are in the works that will lay the foundation for boarding at BFA for generations to come. Stay tuned for more info!