Cornerstone Christian Schools is celebrating 30 years of excellence in Christian education. Take a moment to learn the history of Cornerstone Christian Schools.
On September 14, 1851, seven Ursuline Sisters from New Orleans and Galveston, led by Sister St. Marie Trouard, arrived in San Antonio to start a girls’ school at the request of Bishop Jean M. Odin.
On November 3, Ursuline Academy opened classes. It was then the second oldest, and eventually became the oldest, girls’ school in Texas. The original convent was built in 1851 on the San Antonio River at Augusta Street. According to nineteenth-century history, by 1887, Ursuline Academy drew students “from all parts of western Texas and Mexico” to its “accommodations for seventy to eighty boarders . . . with the unqualified endorsement of the parents and guardians,” who found “the facilities, equipment, site, buildings and instruction first class.”
The growth of downtown San Antonio finally necessitated a change of location for the school, and in 1961, the first of the new buildings for Ursuline Academy rose on Vance Jackson Road and was ultimately completed in 1979.
The Ursuline Sisters continued to lead the school until the early 1990′s. The eight remaining sisters ranged in age from 63 to 94 years old and mutually made the decision to retire. They intended to hang a “For Sale” sign on their 40 acres of prime real estate and 90,000 square feet of buildings. Receiving word that Pastor John Hagee was looking for property to build a school, the sisters contacted him. Pastor Hagee went to tour the school and was met by a sister who had come from the Vatican to oversee the sale.
“It was in perfect condition,” Pastor Hagee said. “There wasn’t a hairline crack. I was shocked when I was told the price and asked why it was so low.”
Pastor Hagee was informed that the delay in selling the property had meant the sisters had to draw on their retirement accounts to live. Without hesitation, he said, “I want to buy this school by the close of business tomorrow.”
Pastor Hagee, the sisters, and their attorneys met the next morning. The Ursulines’ attorney said, “Shall we tell Reverend Hagee the real problem?” At that point, Pastor Hagee thought the whole deal would fall through because of some serious issue of which he was unaware.
The attorney for the sisters explained that the archdiocese expected them to move out of the convent immediately after it was sold and asked how Pastor Hagee wanted the sisters to proceed.
“My plan would be to give them a five-year lease to the convent, and I will charge them ten dollars a year. We will pay all utilities and upkeep.” Pastor Hagee then took a 50-dollar bill from his own pocket and paid the lease himself. One sister looked at the attorney and said, “Let’s get this thing done.”
The following Sunday, Pastor Hagee sent his church bus to the Ursuline convent, picked up the sisters, brought them to the church, and seated them in the front row for both services. “I thanked them publicly for their lives of sacrifice and devotion to Jesus Christ. The congregation gave them standing ovations because the campus we bought was the fruit of their labor, a testimonial of their commitment to Christ.”
The Ursuline sisters stayed in the convent for twelve years, free of any cost. “We were glad to bear the cost to express our appreciation for what they had done for the Kingdom of God.” During that time, those sisters who were able, walked around the campus and through the halls of Cornerstone Christian Schools.
“Our children hugged them; they would reach out and grab them by the hands. They were very precious to us for what they had done with their whole lives which had been invested in building this wonderful school. We were glad to honor them as long as they walked on this earth,” said Pastor Hagee.
Cornerstone Christian Schools opened its doors in 1993 to grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. In 1994, they added 9th -11th grade and the first senior class graduated in 1996. While located at Vance Jackson, the school campus had over 150,000 square feet of state of the art educational and athletic buildings. In the 2013-2014 school year, the Kinder Campus opened on the grounds of Cornerstone Church and educated K4 and K5 students.
Due to the outstanding world-class educational program of Cornerstone Christian Schools, CCS outgrew the Vance Jackson campus and its facilities. As a result, in August of 2017, a brand new campus located at NW Military and Loop 1604 was opened. The NW Military campus will ultimately serve 3,600 students in three main academic buildings, as well as a stadium, arena and performing arts center. Additionally, a new dormitory will house domestic and international students that desire a premier, Christ-centered education.
Our purpose is to administer a top quality education to all who attend from pre-kindergarten through their senior year. They will not only be equipped with knowledge, but with the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and what it means to live their lives as victorious Christians. We are committed to excellence in every area without exception.
We moved our daughter to CCS after 3 years in public school. The staff at CCS and fellow student made her feel welcome and made the transition so easy for her and our family. I give my highest recommendation – we love CCS!
We have been so blessed to have found Cornerstone Christian Schools. We had been seeking a private school that offered not only a strong academic program, but also who would partner with us to educate our children in a Christian environment.
Cornerstone Christian Schools has already achieved and works continually toward exceeding all accreditation and external standards in pursuit of unprecedented excellence for God’s glory.Learn More