Miracles of Faith at the Tri-City School

By Georgia Schulze -  May 9, 2024


Miracles of Faith at the Tri-City School

In the past five years, the Tri-City Seventh-day Adventist School has experienced many challenges. Through prayer, collaboration, and the generosity of the Midland church, God provided miraculous solutions.


The Tri-City School received its current name in 1957 when three area churches chose to share the responsibility of maintaining and supporting the school. Saginaw, Midland, and Bay City (and later St. Charles), saw the importance of providing and promoting Christian education and created a constituency.  

In late 2019, Saginaw and Bay City churches announced that they were no longer able to be full financial constituents of the school. Midland church had an important decision to make– should they continue the school and take-on the responsibility of being its primary financial support? Several factors had to be considered as part of the decision process. First, the school had a very low enrollment at the time. David Moll, Tri-City School treasurer, comments on the importance of enrollment, saying, “If the enrollment was going to stay low or go to zero, it doesn’t matter if you wanted to do it or not- you don’t have any students.” Second, none of the students who were attending the school were actually from Midland. Should the Midland church approve financing a school that did not have student representation? These factors provided reason for doubt and added complexity to Midland’s decision. 

After many discussions and much prayer, a series of votes took place. The outcome of the vote, by a narrow margin, was that Midland church would assume the additional responsibility and the school would remain open. Despite some concern, and the narrow vote margin, the decision was affirmed when, in answer to prayers, the following school year enrollment grew! Although the Tri-City Seventh-day Adventist School is now mainly financed by the Midland Church, it is still very much a collaborative endeavor, created and sustained by the area churches. Moll says, “Saginaw and Bay City are still very much involved in it.” The church pastors help with worship services as well as Week of Prayer, and the church members provide support and service for other school activities. “This is very much a team effort,” concludes Moll. The school was back on solid ground; however, God wasn’t finished answering prayers for the school, which is why Moll refers to these two blessings as “Miracle Number 1.”  

Miracle Number 2 was about to happen for Midland Church and those involved in the school. The Tri-City School was located in Saginaw which presented a new problem. It became evident that the school could be more effectively run in Midland, closer to the Midland church. This would make it easier for church volunteer work and other responsibilities to be carried out. Moll says, “We had talked about moving the school to Midland…We were talking about it, but we didn’t have anything specific.” God certainly had a plan though. 

One Sabbath, a pair of visitors to the Midland Church were walking their dog in between services, when they noticed a “For Sale” sign on a house next door to the church. The house had been put on the market the day before and, although unknown at the time, already had several offers on it. The space was adjacent to the church parking lot. Its proximity made it a perfect candidate for school property. Upon hearing about the available property, David Moll made some calls the next day. After consulting with a member of the conference and interim pastor Fred Calkins, an offer was made on Monday, and it was accepted by Wednesday. “If we wouldn’t have seen it that Sabbath morning, we probably would have missed the opportunity.” Not only did the church approve the purchase unanimously, 50 percent of the purchase price was raised during the church business meeting. God’s second miracle for the Tri-City School was complete and unbeknownst to those involved, Miracle Three was just around the corner. 

The house located on the property needed modifications before it could be utilized as an education building. The school needed to be moved to Midland sooner than the updates could be completed, however. In 2022, the church’s activity center was converted into a space for the Tri-City School. This plan proved more difficult than anticipated. Moll says, “Schools have unique building codes and our church didn’t meet those codes…We had to put emergency lighting, fire alarms, and strobes throughout the whole building.” This process would cost upwards of $27,000 dollars. Miracle Three came when the Michigan Conference and the Lake Union Conference provided the funding for these improvements in their entirety. In December 2022, the church was inspected and approved by the State to operate as a school. Before the upgrades, the church was only able to have five students enrolled due to the specifications; however, during the second semester (after the upgrades), enrollment increased to 12. As an additional blessing, the old school building quickly sold and the money was set aside to go toward a new school building.  

Though the Tri-City School has faced many obstacles, God has consistently provided miracles and guidance. As a result of these miracles, and the willingness of all involved, the Tri-City Seventh-day Adventist School has been able to provide a safe learning environment where students are not only able to pursue academic achievement and understanding, but learn about God’s love. Teacher Brenda Khalil emphasizes, “Families are happy to have a safe place in which their children experience a loving family-style school home.” She also includes herself in sharing the joy, stating, “I’m having such fun…leading young people to understand how much Jesus loves them.”  

In Philippians 1:9, Paul expresses the prayer for those he loves saying, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment….” This prayer is being answered for all those praying for the students at Tri-City School. Moll quotes one student in saying, “I love the school because they teach me so much about God and His Word.” On another occasion, Khalil shared with Moll a question one of the students asked: “Why isn’t the Bible bigger to tell everything He [Jesus] does?” These students are learning of God’s love for them and are falling in love with Him. Certainly the school is living up to its goal of “Growing big hearts and strong minds with Jesus.” 

Considerations for future growth of the school are currently being discussed as well as plans for expansion of the school and use of the purchased property. Playground equipment has been installed and it is providing a safe place near the church for the school kids to play and spend time outdoors. As all involved look toward the school’s future, they are excited to see what the next miracle will be. Moll says, “We don’t know what the next step is, so we're pushing ahead in faith and we’ll see what happens.”