The First Academy opened its doors to 232 Kindergarten through 5th-grade students in the fall of 1987. Since that time, TFA has become Central Florida’s premier Christ-centered, college-preparatory school and now serves 1,458 students across all divisions. Having experienced another year of record enrollment growth, we invite you to consider these important words from our school founders and leaders.


“When Tom Gurney and I first talked about starting a Christian school, we wanted it to be a place for Christians and non-Christians alike. We wanted children to encounter the life-changing power of the Gospel through our teachers and coaches. Today, more than at any time in our history, we are fulfilling the vision that God placed in my heart almost 30 years ago.”

Dr. Jim Henry
Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church of Orlando


“Since the first day I arrived more than 10 years ago, Dr. Whitaker and I have worked to make sure The First Academy would remain a place that welcomed believers and unbelievers, a place that embraced children of all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key question with respect to spiritual formation and school culture is not one of admissions, meaning which students can get in and which students can’t. The question is, ‘Do we have teachers in the classroom who are engaged in and capable of leading students to the feet of Jesus?’ I believe we have the finest faculty in the world and that Dr. Whitaker is leading us to fulfill the mission I desire for TFA – to reach the nations with the Gospel.”

Dr. David Uth
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Orlando


“Our School Board has made it a priority to move toward ever increasing levels of business excellence as a testimony to the Gospel. We set the school budget, make decisions with respect to what capital campaigns will be approved, review operating expenditures carefully each month, and challenge the staff to grow enrollment to increase our impact for Christ. These have been the greatest years our school has ever known as we have pursued excellence in every area – spiritually, scholastically, and financially.”

Scott Boyd
Chairman, TFA School Board


“Having experienced TFA as a parent and now as a grandparent and board member, I can testify that this institution teaches its students the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of living a distinctively Christian life. TFA not only prepares its students to thrive post-graduation academically at some of the nation’s finest universities, but the faculty also pour themselves into the spiritual development of the kids, guiding them into a deeper walk with Christ. This is one of the finest Christian schools in the entire country!”

Tracy G. Schmidt
Secretary, TFA School Board


“We have experienced incredible growth at The First Academy in recent years, and I praise the Lord for his favor on our school community. God is doing a great work among us, and we look forward to the days ahead.”

Bishop Allen Wiggins
TFA School Board Member