At daybreak, Saturday 10th March 1988, a group of 400 volunteers assembled. For three consecutive days the building of A block was undertaken. This was the beginning of Bethlehem College, planted on a 46 hectare rural property near Tauranga. The weather was atrocious, but the “quickbuild” continued with persistence and commitment.
The achievements of that weekend represented the fulfilment of a vision. In 1970 Graham Preston, future founding Principal of Bethlehem College, had developed a concept of establishing an independent school founded on Christian principles. 16 years later, the Christian Education Trust was formed to acquire a suitable site and to build the school.
Initially, Bethlehem College was an independent private school, continually growing as students matured through Primary and Intermediate years. Then in 1999 it became a state-integrated school, with rapid growth as the Secondary School became established.
In 1995 Bethlehem College arrived at Year 13 with the graduation of 25 students. By 2000 the roll was 800 with a waiting list of over 350. Today the Roll is over 1700, with 80 International students.
We look back and thank God for His provision and faithfulness, and we look ahead with expectancy as the next generation of leaders go forth.