Dade Christian School

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Dade Christian School
Miami, Florida
United States
Type Private Baptist
Established 1961
Grades EC (infants)–12th grade
Enrollment 217
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Red, White, Black, Maroon, and Grey
Athletics Football, Flag Football, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball,
Mascot Crusader
Dade Christian School 2.jpg

Dade Christian School is a private school (kindergarten-twelfth grade) located in Country Club, Florida and operated by New Testament Baptist Church. DCS has a 2012-2013 enrollment of 771.[1] In 2008, it was the second largest private school in Miami-Dade.[2] The school was named a Blue Ribbon School in 1984.[3] Its sister school is The Master's Academy in Broward which is a K-8 school with a 2009-2010 enrollment of 305.[4] It was founded as a segregation academy in response to the court ordered desegregation of Miami-Dade public schools.[5]


Al Janney, founder of New Testament Baptist Church and Dade Christian


New Testament Baptist Church was founded in 1954 and Dade Christian School in 1961 by Pastor Al Janney.[6] Al Janney founded Dade Christian School in reaction to court decisions removing mandatory prayer from public schools and as a segregation academy.[5] Al Janney pastored New Testament Baptist Church until 1976.[6] He also founded the Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, the American Association of Christian Schools, and the Baptist University of America.[6] The next pastor E.G. Robertson pastored until 1986 and oversaw Dade Christian when it was named a Blue Ribbon School in 1984.[6]

Segregation ruling[edit]

In 1973 a lawsuit was brought against Dade Christian School by an African-American couple named in the court documents as Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Brown, Jr. At the time, Dade Christian was an all-white school. The Browns sought injunctive and monetary relief against the school for not allowing their two daughters to attend. The couple had been handed a card that said the policy of the school was "one of nonintegration" and had been asked to leave. The school claimed in their defense that it was against their religious belief to have a desegregated school because of their belief objecting to interracial marriages. The school lost, leaving Brown's attorney to comment that the last quasi-legal segregation had been eliminated. Surprisingly, the Browns still wanted their children to attend the school. When Dade Christian School appealed the ruling in Brown v. Dade Christian School, Inc. (581 F.2d 472) in 1977, The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiff in what was considered an open question left by the Supreme Court at the time. The court failed to produce a majority opinion, though, deciding to limit themselves to the specifics of the case. They concluded that even if it was a part of the school's religious beliefs, it was a minor one and thus outweighed by anti-discrimination rules. This brought up questions regarding the free exercise of religion if courts can determine what a religion holds.[5][7][8]

Jackson 5 concert[edit]

In 1984, the school forbade students from attending The Jackson 5 concert at the Orange Bowl. School officials sent a letter to parents justifying this decision and stating that "rock music is associated with dancing, drinking, the drug scene and other unacceptable behavior." [9]

Subsequent pastors[edit]

Kirk Nowery pastored from 1986 to 1994 and founded the Master's Academy.[6] Dino Pedrone followed and pastored from 1995 to 2009.[10] After the departure of Pedrone, Dr. Bob Barnes led as interim pastor. Pastor Matt Pettit took over, but was asked to resign in 2013 due to reasons never made public. Currently, Pastor Rey Cruz is the senior pastor.



Sonneborn is awarded coach of the week by the Dolphins during the 2006 season

2012 football team[edit]

The 2012 team beat Village Academy of Delray Beach, Glades Day School, and First Baptist of Naples in the playoffs on its way to its first Football title game ever in which it lost to University Christian School.[11][12]

2006 football team[edit]

Under the direction of Mike Sonneborn, the DCS football team had its formerly best performance ever in 2006. It had a 12-1 season combined with postseason; it ultimately lost to the FHSAA Class 1A champion, Glades Day School from Belle Glade, in the State Semifinals 34-12. It was the closest loss of any Belle Glade playoff game as Glades Day had defeated Northside Christian High School 61-18 in the Regional Semifinals, Fort Meade High School from Fort Meade, Florida 44-0 in the Regional Finals, and after the DCS game went on to beat North Florida Christian High School at Dolphin Stadium 42-9 to take the championship.[13] Sonneborn was selected as one the Miami Dolphins coaches of the week in 2006 and $1,500 was donated to the DCS football program.[14]

2003 Football Team

Led by Coach Distafano, this senior led team took Dade Christian to its first playoff game victory in the school's history. Leading the offense was running back Josue Gomez who would be named 1st team All state ending the year with over 1500 all purpose yards and 20+ touchdowns. Standing in the trenches blocking for him was All stars Julio Almenares and Mark Mandich. Mark would also receive 1st team all state for his left guard position.


Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders national competition[edit]

At the 2014 Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders National Competition in Orlando, the junior varsity team won second place with a mix high school, junior high, and elementary students as young as 2nd grade.

At the 2006 Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders National Competition in Orlando, the junior high team won first place with a rendition of Grease. The elementary stunt group also finished first, and Christina Irizarry won first place in the 9th & 10th grade division with an almost perfect score. She was given a National Champion Title.[14]

Girls' Basketball[edit]

National Jr. WNBA[edit]

In February 2007, Tiffany Suarez, a DCS 6th grader during the 2006-2007 school year was chosen to be one of the ten members out of 750,000 candidates of the Jr. NBA/WNBA national team. She got to travel to Las Vegas where she participated in the NBA's All-Star Weekend. Tiffany is part of the Tony Fryer's One-on-One Basketball Academy in South Florida and plays on the Girls Got Game travel team. She has earned the following awards on the team:

  • Amateur Athletic Union State Champion
  • USSSA Regional MVP
  • USSSA National All-Tournament Player
  • USSSA National Three-Point Shooting Champion
  • USSSA National Champion

In 2007, she was captain of the Junior-Varsity team at DCS, which had a winning record in the 2006-2007 season. Before leaving to Las Vegas, Tiffany got to shoot around with the Miami Heat and try on the 2006 championship ring.[14]

Academic competitions[edit]

FACCS spelling bee[edit]

At the 2016 Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (FACCS) 2016 spelling bee, Sabrina Gonzalez, a first grader, represented DCS. She placed 5th in all of Florida.

At the Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (FACCS) 2006 spelling bee, three DCS eighth graders were represented. Michael Olagbemi placed 1st, Peter Lo 5th, and Teresa Kilzi 12th in all of Florida.[14]

New Testament Baptist Church[edit]

New Testament Baptist Church is an independent Baptist church with two locations: Dade Christian School and The Master's Academy. The President and Senior Pastor was Dino J. Pedrone before he left to be the full-time president of Davis College on November 22, 2009. Former Miami Dolphins player Don McNeal is currently the Children's Ministry overseer.[15]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Largest Private Schools by Enrollment in Miami-Dade at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  4. ^ The Masters Academy - Ft Lauderdale, Florida/FL - Private School Profile
  5. ^ a b c "Racial Exclusion by Religious Schools: Brown v. Dade Christian Schools, Inc.". Harvard Law Review. 91 (4): 879–886. February 1978. doi:10.2307/1340360. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e
  7. ^ CBS Evening News Abstract from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive
  8. ^ Washington Law Review Analysis
  9. ^ "School's Pupils Warned Against Jackson Concert". New York Times. 27 October 1984. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Gary Sampson powers Dade Christian Crusaders past Naples First Baptist". 
  12. ^ "2012-2013 2A Football Brackets". 
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c d Dade Christian School Newsroom at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
  15. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°55′35″N 80°18′23″W / 25.9263°N 80.3065°W / 25.9263; -80.3065