What’s in a name? Oakdale Christian Academy is located in the community of Oakdale, near Jackson, Kentucky. Okay, that begins to answer the question, but why is this area called “Oak”dale? Was this region once heavily wooded with oak trees? Or did the person with the privilege of naming this community just really like oak trees? We can speculate, and perhaps someone more knowledgeable of the history of the area will provide insight.
But is it still an appropriate name? It doesn’t seem that there are an abundance of oak trees here, so why “Oak”dale? Perhaps you already see where this is going. I’m not likely the first to compare the strength of this ministry and its people to oak trees, so my apologies to those who have done so more eloquently than I.
A quick web search about oak trees brings the following descriptions: Oak trees “stand strong against nature’s elements.” They are “mighty, strong, enduring and steadfast.” They have “good strong roots that dig deep into the earth. If they do not, the tree will not stand.” They are “tough, adaptable, long-lived… Most are also beautiful.”
I’ve seen trees planted here on the Oakdale campus, and the poplars shoot up high in just a few years, while the oak trees grow slowly. My limited understanding about this is that this slow growth is part of what helps them grow to be very strong.
With our students, we delight in the small but significant growth that is happening in their hearts and in their character, knowing that these are the consequential areas of growth that will carry them throughout their lives. Through the difficulties that everyone faces, it is the inner strength that comes with a close walk with God and with the ability to live and work with others that will make the difference.
Our mission statement is “leading teenagers to lives of learning, service to others, and loving God.” We aim to put our students on a trajectory in their lives where they have minds that are always exploring truth, hands and spirits dedicated to helping others, and hearts that seek God.
So we surround our students with staff members who direct them. We bring Oakdale alumni like Mike Pounds and Tim & Lois Huff to campus. We invite Oakdale friends like Henry & Bonnie Church, Jay & Margaret Dargan, and John & Melinda Henry to campus. We tell our students about the examples found in our supporters. Our students learn about those who have grown strong in the Lord and who, like great oaks, are a testament to what a strong faith in the Living God can bring.
“…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his spendor.” Isaiah 51:3c