Spencer-McCain Restoration Complete!

God’s provisions through many people made it possible for Spencer-McCain Home to be totally renovated. Moth-balled for five years, this comfortable home is now open.  Crystal and Curtis Holman serve as house parents to 7 girls who are all slowly making this their home. 

Walls were torn down and rooms were reconfigured.  New pipes, wiring, appliances, walls, foundation work, carpet, paint, and expanded closets along with a new road access and carport were all items on the “to-do” list needing to be addressed in Spencer-McCain.  Volunteers and sub-contractors worked diligently just in time for the home to be open in January of this year.

With gratitude we praise God for those who gave to this important project. WFCA, a ministry of French Camp Academy, launched a giving campaign in the fall; many stepped up and gave generously. Parkway Methodist Church from Florence, AL sensed a need and responded in a big way. The appliances in the home were given by Mr. Henry Jones and family in memory of his mother, Lizzie Anderson Jones (1878-1934). Generosity abounds through God’s people providing for the needs of deserving young people!

Now, the real work begins!  Pray that the love of Christ will resonate with the young hearts living in this home and they each will be built up in Him as God’s workmanship created to do good works.

Cultivating Faith in the Classroom

Teaching students to apply their Christian faith as they interact with a world of ideas is a way FCA prepares young people for the next phase of life. In the FCA English department, our teachers are deliberate in their integration of a Christian world and life view.

Vickie Robinson, an English teacher at FCA, said, “Literature is full of teachable moments.” Just recently, her class read an excerpt from Of Plymouth Plantation which said, “Squanto continued with them and was their interpreter and was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.” Ephesians 3:20 was brought up and a discussion was then led on how God can do exceedingly above all that we can ask or think. God was gracious to give the pilgrims someone who spoke English to help them!

Anne Claire Serio teaches a senior English class at FCA. Currently, she is using The Screwtape Letters written by C.S. Lewis to teach students literary skills and writing mechanics while helping them combat the undermining tactics of Satan with the Truth of God’s Word.

Pray for our teachers as they use the classroom as an opportunity to apply God’s Truth in all areas of life.

Harvest Festival 2021

What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than a good old-fashioned fall Harvest Festival! October 9, 2021, marks the 69th annual Harvest Festival sponsored by the French Camp Community Club. The fundraiser benefits the local churches as well as French Camp Academy.

The main attraction is the Auction where you can bid on handmade items—arts, crafts, quilts, squirrel feeders, furniture, picture frames, and more. New this year, our Antique Silent Auction will be held throughout the day. Shop the Country Store for jellies and jams, sweet treats, and other homemade and handmade goodies. The Log Cabin Historical District will be filled with traditional arts and crafts demonstrations. Enjoy watching the sorghum mill before buying some to take home. Children will delight in horseback and buggy rides and lots of good food will be available.

Bring your entire family and come join us for this fun day!

Family Dinners

Many of us remember enjoying family meals in childhood.  It was the one meal during the day when we could come together to talk about life and the happenings of the day over a good home-cooked meal.  Mom and dad reminded us about the necessity of manners, good conversation, and being thankful for God’s bounty.

At French Camp Academy, we know that enjoying family meals together has lots of benefits. The relationships formed over meals are invaluable. Research seems to suggest that kids who enjoy family meals up to three times a week have better grades at school and physical health. 

Tonight, as you sit down to enjoy a meal with your family, pray for the house parents at French Camp Academy. Every evening around 5:00 p.m., you can count on them leading their family of children or teenagers in prayer, good food, and meaningful fellowship.

Perhaps you have a favorite family recipe that you would like to share with French Camp house parents.  Take a moment to write it out and send it to French Camp Academy, One Fine Place, French Camp, MS, 39745.  We would love to share your family memory with those who are beginning new traditions with the young people within our care.

Jordan’s Journey to French Camp Academy

How did you learn about French Camp Academy? When I was 14 years old and in the 8th grade, I came to school at French Camp Academy as a residential student.  It was kind of a tough time.  I lived with my mom previously and had just gotten out of her house.  My mom was on a lot of drugs and she was an alcoholic, so most of the time I was left at the house alone.  I learned how to fend for myself at a young age.  I remember coming home and her not being there, because she worked a 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. job.  And she wasn’t there when I woke up in the mornings.  She would leave work and go hang out with her friends. I was just by myself.  I turned to drugs and alcohol.  That was all I knew.  She was my influence; she was what I had. 

My cousin came here before I did and told me about French Camp.  I came the summer before my 8th grade year and really fell in love with everything that French Camp was. 

What has it been like living in a student home? While at FCA, I have had 4 sets of house parents with each having different parenting styles. It was a blessing to have been exposed to different ways of teaching and essentially “raising” us. It has been especially sweet to have that motherly and fatherly love come from those who are not your real family. I have loved having the opportunity to have been loved by these wonderful people. 

What about academically? All the teachers are great. They really love their job, and you can tell.  A lot of students look at our teachers as mentors.  One of the great things about our teachers is they are so intentional.  They are encouraging and caring, and they really give and feed into your life spiritually.  They want to spend time with you.  They want to be there for you and that is something that is unique about French Camp.  And that speaks volumes.

What do you like about French Camp? Spiritually it is the people, or God’s Church. Each person at FCA has brought something valuable to the table. It is exactly what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12. We are the body composed of many parts. It is a blessing to have seen that lived out. God has used so many people in my life and to help me spiritually. I am sure God will use me, if he has not already, to speak to others as well.

If you could summarize in your own words, what would you say? French Camp is such a special place. Once you have learned the routine and you lean into that, you want to be here.  You take what French Camp offers and you run with it.  You are given the opportunity of learning social interaction.  You are put here not by your parents, not by your guardians, but by God.  And He has done so many amazing things through me and through other people for me, and French Camp.

French Camp is a loving, huge home full of friends and family that you are never going to forget. Ever. And that’s why I love French Camp.

Jordan is a senior at French Camp Academy making plans to join the Navy after graduation. To see and hear Jordan’s full testimony of God’s grace go to http://www.frenchcamp.org.

Family Dinners

Many of us remember enjoying family meals in childhood.  It was the one meal during the day when we could come together to talk about life and the happenings of the day over a good home-cooked meal.  Mom and dad reminded us about the necessity of manners, good conversation, and being thankful for God’s bounty.

At French Camp Academy, we know that enjoying family meals together has lots of benefits. The relationships formed over meals are invaluable. Research seems to suggest that kids who enjoy family meals up to three times a week have better grades at school and physical health. 

Tonight, as you sit down to enjoy a meal with your family, pray for the house parents at French Camp Academy. Every evening around 5:00 p.m., you can count on them leading their family of children or teenagers in prayer, good food, and meaningful fellowship.

Perhaps you have a favorite family recipe that you would like to share with French Camp house parents.  Take a moment to write it out and send it to French Camp Academy, One Fine Place, French Camp, MS, 39745.  We would love to share your family memory with those who are beginning new traditions with the young people within our care.

Psalm 31 for 31 Days

Pray4FCA-web2
Psalm 31 was written by David, a man after God’s own heart. French Camp Academy is asking for you to join us for the next 31 days in prayer using Psalm 31 as a guide. Every day, read through this beautiful psalm, meditate on its rich promises, and marvel and be encouraged by the One True God who will deliver His people.

Pray for FCA house parents and support staff as they work together upgrading its homes and buildings. Pray for teachers as they create alternative forms of educating their students, meeting their needs in just the right ways. Pray for our leadership as they guide us during this unprecedented time. Pray for our students. Pray for protection and strength to endure the weeks and months to come, trusting God’s sovereign hand and loving heart.

Anything but Typical

Arrowwood 2012 July (15)

by Sarah Arrowood

A day in the life of a house parent at French Camp Academy is anything but typical! There are currently 11 boys living in our home, but that number will fluctuate during the school year so there’s always someone learning the ropes.
Bright and early each day, I start cooking breakfast at 5 a.m. All the guys slowly meander into the kitchen to eat at 6 a.m. Each young man has house duty in the morning to keep our house looking good. Jobs such as washing the dishes, emptying trash, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, and vacuuming happen before school each day. We all meet for devotions at 7 a.m. and then head off to school at 7:20 a.m.

DSC_0051
Like most house parents, my husband and I have other responsibilities outside of the home. We work in the dining hall here on campus as well as manage the campus pantry. Other house parents teach or work in other campus ministries.

Steve Arrowood
We usually arrive home around 1 or 2 p.m. and begin getting ready for all those sweaty, smiling guys to arrive at 3 p.m. They are home just long enough to grab a snack, change clothes, and head off to sports or work crew which lasts until 5 p.m. When they get back home, we head down to the dining hall for supper.
After supper we have a chance to have some fun. Some nights we may go to the pool or lake, or we may just hang out at the house playing games and making music. Scheduled phone calls from home are closely monitored to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to speak to family.


The showers and laundry start around 7:30 p.m. because everyone has study hall at 8:00 p.m. Study hall time can be very trying. The typical “But I don’t have any homework!”, “I’m hungry, I need a snack.”, and don’t forget the, “My teacher never explained this.” can be heard coming from at least half of the rooms. All will be addressed before bedtime at 9:00 p.m. After an intense day the boys are usually out cold by 9:30 p.m. After praying over our boys, my husband and I may sit and chat awhile about the day’s events, but we typically head to bed soon because it all starts again at 5 a.m. in the morning!
On Saturday mornings students have work crew from 9 a.m. until noon. After lunch in the dining hall there are planned activities for all students. Saturday and Sunday evening meals are family meals in the house. Sundays find us in church worshiping together as a family and eating lunch family style in the dining hall.
Steve and Sarah Arrowood are serving their eighth year as Day Home Houseparents.