About Us: History of our School

The first Day Care Center of Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church was organized under the leadership of Sister Willie Mae Holland during the 1959-1960 school year. The basic curriculum placed emphasis on the developmental skills in preparation for the 1st grade. Biblical study skills included stories, bible verses and songs. The students ranged in ages from three to five years old.

During this period of time, the percentage rate of working mothers was very low. This was prior to the establishment of factories in the Sumter area, such as Campbell Soup Company and other companies. Therefore, many families could not afford day care for their children. However, there was a group of parents who indicated a need for such a facility at the church. They were willing to make the needed sacrifices to enroll their preschoolers in the Day Care Center.

Permission was granted by Pastor B.F. Weston and the Church Board to begin plans for building a school. However, the church was not in a position to assist financially due to the education building project that was in progress. However, several rooms in the education building were completed to house the students.

A weekly fee of $3.00 per student was the only funds available for operational expenses. If a child was absent due to illness parents were not required to pay for those days. Collected fees were used for food, supplies, maintenance and the remaining funds were used for salary.

There was one major fundraiser, a "Mock Wedding" in which the boy/girl raising the highest amount of money was presented as bride and groom. The others participated in the bridal party. The winners were Brenda Nelson and Arnold Scarborough. Larry Weston performed the ceremony. The funds were used to purchase materials for a toy box, bookshelf, and cabinets which were built by Deacon Elijah Nelson. Additional Kiddie Carts were purchased from Nu-Idea School Supply Company for students who did not have a cart for nap time.

Graduation programs were held annually for those students who were graduating. With God's help and supportive parents, we were able to assist in molding the lives of these children. Many of the students have grown to become self-supporting citizens in many career areas such as: Engineers, Teachers, Ministers, Business Executives, and Industrial Workers as well as Parents.

God has blessed the staff in so many wonderful ways throughout the years. It is a blessing to see the progress of the students. Many are still working in the church and community. Others come to visit whenever they are in town and other updates are made through parent contact. These students will always have a special place in the hearts of the staff and the prayer is that God will continue to keep them in His care.

The Day Care Center consisted of the following directors:

  1. Mrs. Lillie M. Wright (1961-1967)
  2. Mrs. Janie Weston (1967-) Federal Assistance Started
  3. Mrs. Vernetia Duncan - Presently serves as Director

Present Director

Mrs. Vernetia Duncan is a graduate of Terrell's Bay High School in Marion County. She received her Bachelor of Arts in early childhood at the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Duncan furthered her studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is married to William R. Duncan and they have two sons Ron and Derrick. They also have three grandchildren Benjamin, Tyre and Shari.