In 1950, Mrs. Hazel Donevant saw a need to provide daycare services for students who were attending Piedmont Bible College, where her husband, Lincoln Donevant, was an instructor. This desire to care for children and provide Christian training for students grew to the point where Mrs. Donevant approached Dr. Charles Stevens, pastor of Salem Baptist Church, about using church facilities for her growing childcare ministry. After permission was granted, Miss Ethel Trivette began to assist Mrs. Donevant. Dr. Stevens had caught the vision to provide an educational ministry from preschool through high school and even into college. “Donny’s Scholars” was the beginning of the ministry known today as SBCS.
By 1952, the school had grown to include a K4, two K5 and one 1st grade classrooms. Mrs. F. C. Sprinkle was the first principal of the school. In 1955, construction began on the Tucker Building to house the growing needs of the church and school. When this new building was ready for occupation, the school was comprised of fourteen classrooms. Mr. Frank Hendrix was the principal in 1957 and served until 1959 when, Mr. Ray Harvey, who had previously taught 4th grade in the school, became the principal. The school offered preschool – 4th grade.
In 1961, the school began to use five classrooms and a library in the Lawrence Building and had grown to occupy nineteen classrooms. In 1962, there were four hundred students in the school and the academic program was approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The school continued to grow to over five hundred students and another building was needed. In 1967 there were six five-year-old kindergarten classes. In 1968, the multi-purpose building named the Activities Building was ready for use. It included a gymnasium and six classrooms.
There were sixty-three full and part-time employees of the school in 1969 when enrollment reached five hundred eighty students and required twenty-seven classrooms to house its operation. The school program was remarkable for its wonderful programs and plays. Several faculty members were able to produce many well-done and well-received programs.
Dr. Charles Stevens retired as pastor of Salem Baptist Church in 1972 and Dr. E.C. Sheehan became the pastor. That year the school added three mobile classrooms and added one class of seventh graders. One year later, grades eight, nine and ten were added. By the 1974-1975 school year, the school was using the Tucker and Lawrence Buildings, the Activities Building and six mobile classrooms. Additional grades were added in 1978 and the first high school graduating class had commencement exercises on Tuesday, May 27, 1980. There were 950 students enrolled in SBCS. The following school year saw the school enroll over one thousand students. Between 1981 and 1988, the school grew to 1,115 students. Mr. Harvey became the Administrator while Mr. Bob Steagall and Mr. Reuben Morales were designated high school and elementary principals, respectively. The last senior class graduated from the high school in 1988.
The high school closed during the 1988-1989 school year and Mr. Harvey resigned as Administrator. Dr. Jeff McCann served as acting principal in 1990-1991 and Dwight Greene was named as principal in 1991-1992. The school was comprised of preschool through middle school grades. Enrollment had dropped significantly after the close of the high school. When Mr. Greene resigned in 1995 to accept a position in South Carolina, there were 206 students.
Mr. Mike Dixon became the principal in 1995-1996. Ms. Martha Drake became the assistant principal in 1996-1997. The school was initially accredited by the Association of Christian Schools and the state of North Carolina in June 1997. The 9th grade was re-established in 1997-1998 and in the 1998-1999 school year there were 363 students.
In the summer of 1999, the church and school undertook a major renovation of the first floor of the Activities Building to house the secondary school. As the 1999-2000 school year began, 11th grade was added and Mr. Harlie Miller became the secondary principal. Mr. Dixon became the school administrator the same year. Discovery Learning was begun to minister to the needs of students with learning differences. Sparks Field, a soccer field/playground, was dedicated on October 24, 1999.
SBCS celebrated its fiftieth year of operation in 2000-2001. Discovery Learning was expanded to include two NILD-trained therapists. The high school was completed with the 12th grade addition and a guidance counselor was hired on to the administrative team. Eleven seniors graduated in May 2001.
In the 2001-02 school year the school was initially accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and reaccredited by the Association of Christian Schools, International (ACSI).
The school was separately incorporated in February 2003 and was recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Another major renovation was undertaken in the summer of 2003 to move the elementary grades into the Activities Building and locate high school classes in rooms adjoining the middle school.
Mr. Miller resigned at the end of the 2003-2004 school year. Mr. Mark Baker became the secondary principal in 2004-2005. Mr. Dixon resigned as Administrator at the end of the 2004-2005 school year. Ms. Drake was named Head of School and Mr. Baker was named Assistant Administrator in 2005. In 2010 Mrs. Anne Furrow became the Elementary Principal. The school was re-accredited by ACSI and SACS in 2014 and will be go through the reaccreditation process in the spring of 2020. Ms. Drake retired in June of 2018 and Mr. Dwayne Carson was hired as the new head of school. Mrs. Furrow resigned in 2018 due to health reasons and Mrs. Dana Wallace was hired as the new elementary principal in August, 2018. Mrs. Wallace resigned in October, 2019 and Mrs. Becky Link was hired as the elementary principal.
In more recent history, Mr. Mark Baker resigned to pursue a profession of politics after the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. Dr. Dean Campbell was named Interim Upper School Principal to fulfill the school year, then was hired as the Upper School Principal. Dr. Brian Haack was hired to oversee the Discovery Center, as the Discovery Learning and Discovery Achievers programs grew.