Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Berea Seventh-day Adventist Academy is a co-educational institution operated by the
Berea Seventh-day Church for the purpose of training children for the responsibilities of
this world, and to prepare them for citizenship in the world to come. For over 85 years,
Berea Academy has been making a significant difference in the lives of children in the
cities of Mattapan, Roxbury, Dorchester and other areas. This difference is evidenced in
the quality education the young receive within a safe Christian learning environment. Berea Seventh-day Adventist Academy provides an environment where academic excellence is nurtured and spiritual values are encouraged. We believe that if there were ever a time when such values need to be encouraged, it is now. Forty-five percent of our enrollment comes from outside the Seventh-day Adventist denomination; this speaks to the evangelistic qualities of SDA education. The students who attend our school have developed a great desire to learn. Armed with a strong academic foundation from Pre-School through Junior High, many have gone on to some of the finest high schools in the Greater Boston area, including Thayer Academy, Milton Academy, Buckingham, Browne & Nichols, and Noble & Greenough, and to some of the best colleges and universities in this country, including Harvard, Yale and Brown.
In 1928 the Boston Number Two Seventh-day Adventist (S.D.A.) Church School was founded under the direction of Elder Herbert Green, Pastor of the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church was located on Shawmut Avenue in Roxbury. The school opened with one faculty member, Miriam Burgess. There were 15 students enrolled in the school. Miriam Burgess conducted the lessons for this class which included grades 1-8.
The school was officially licensed by the State of Massachusetts in 1929. The Number Two Seventh-day Adventist School held its first graduation in 1930. The graduating class consisted of one proud student, Minnie Platt. The next graduation was conducted in 1931 and two proud students marched, Wilhelmina Platt and Richard Cox. The school did not operate between the years of 1932 and 1939, but reopened in 1940. Its new name was the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School. The school has remained open since that time. The Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School moved to 108 Seaver Street in 1960. Mrs. Juanita Small arrived at the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church and School in 1964.
She served as the school principal/teacher from 1964 to 1974. Under Mrs. Small’s leadership, the student enrollment grew to over two hundred students. During this time the school gained a reputation for academic excellence in the community. In 1981, a tragic fire occurred at the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church and School. In 1982, through the concerted effort and determination of Mr. William Duncan, School Board Chairperson, and Councilor Bruce Bolling, the Berea Seventh-day Adventist church acquired and renovated a school building located at 800 Morton Street in Mattapan.
In the mid-1900’s, during Dr. Donald Vantepool’s principal ship a Pre-School Program was established at the school. In 1989, under the administration of Dr. Earlington Guiste, the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School was renamed Berea Seventh-day Adventist Academy. In addition, programs were expanded to include computer education, Spanish and physical education. A fully equipped library was also established.
The Berea Seventh-day Adventist Academy is governed by a Board of Directors known as the Berea School Board. The Berea Seventh-day Academy is committed to the development of the intellectual, physical, spiritual and social needs of each student. Over the years the school has focused on providing and maintaining a Christian academic environment for its students. A belief encouraged during student’s tenure at the Academy is “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.” (Proverbs 3:6)