(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- On March 4, 2011, Grace of God Baptist Church and Community Rehabilitation Corporation, Inc. broke ground on the Dr. Joseph Coats Sr. Grace Charter School. Serving over 900 students from grades 6 - 12, the school will provide an additional education opportunity for a growing community with a bright future. The new charter school will stand in the gap and challenge "the declining educational condition in our community," said Rev. Mark Coats, Sr., Founder, and pastor of Grace of God Baptist Church in Goulds. "We felt that we had a responsibility to be a part of the solution."
The community welcomed the new project with prayer and support as elected officials, pastors and other community leaders gathered to break ground. "As this community continues to grow and diversify, our kids need every resource that can be afforded to develop a strong spiritual and intellectual foundation," said Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 9. "The Grace of God CDC and Grace of God Baptist Church have been of great service to the residents of this district and we hope for their continued success."
The needs of a growing community are many. The resources are few. The school will be located at SW 226th Terrace and SW 112th Avenue in the community of Goulds. "This area has just been infused with 6,500 new homes in the last 3 years that are within our immediate area," said Coats. "One in every two hundred homes has a computer. The curriculum will pay special attention to prepare our students in the field of technology because that is the age we live in. We will have computers available to the community after school hours to help residents access the world through the internet."
Dr. Joseph Coats Sr. Grace Charter School is named for Rev. Joseph Coats, Sr. who served as Pastor of Glendale Missionary Baptist Church from 1967 to 1997 and encouraged his family and congregation to always strive for a better education.
(Left to Right): Rev. Robert Shaw, New Bethel A.M.E. Church, Al Dotson, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, Pastor Mark Coats, Sr., Founder,
Rev. Kirk Zaremba, and Rev. Lester Ward of Grace Chapel