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South Haven Christian Academy is a Bahamian non-profit Company incorporated under the Companies Act 1992 in May 2002. The subscribers to the Academy’s corporate documents were Michael F. L. Allen, Ken Bain and David Cartwright. The idea to establish an alternative to Christian Education in the Bahamas was born in the context of regular weekly gatherings of the subscribers for lunch and prayer. Milton Evans attended the gatherings and arranged for the first of his children to join the Academy in its second year of existence. 

It was the view of the subscribers that options available to Christian families for educating their children were not satisfactory and an immediate solution was necessary. Michael Allen and his wife Melanie, had developed growing concerns regarding the direction of the education of their 6 year old daughter. David and Mizpah Cartwright had less than desirable experiences with the early education of their two children in certain public and private schools. Ken and Phyllis Bain had elected a home school option for their children. All families were at the time committed to wives and mothers being workers at home with focused energies directed to the care of the home and the healthy positive and controlled upbringing of their Children. 

Recognizing the need for the creation of a new developmental community within which to bring up their children, efforts were employed to organize the Academy. The mission of the Academy was to provide a developmental community within which students would be able to develop a Christian world view and be reinforced in traditional values by the integration of faith and learning.

The subscribers had initial discussions with Mr. James Redmond who was manager of Bahamas Youth Camp, and through a series of discussions Mr. Redmond became receptive to the idea of allowing the small group of parents to use camp facilities for the operation of the Academy. The agreement led to a memorandum of understanding creating a relationship between the Camp and the Academy. Eventually within a three year period, David Cartwright would assume responsibility for management of the Camp upon the retirement of Mr. Redmond. The name South Haven Christian Academy reflected the desire to create a haven for the proper development of children in the southern district of the Island of New Providence. Michael Allen, an attorney, was also a former Ministry of Education teacher with qualifications in Education, Psychology and Student Personnel Administration. He crafted the plan organization and structure for the Academy including its philosophy of education and coordinated on behalf of the Academy the securing of its registration with the Bahamas Ministry of Education.    In an effort to achieve high quality reasonably cost education and in order to establish an educational program capable of immediately servicing the needs of a number of students at various age and grade levels, various options for creating a workable and compatible educational systems were reviewed. Much inspiration came from the phenomenal work done by Arlen and Beka Horton in the creation and development of Pensacola Christian Schools and the production of ABeka Christian educational material. Particularly of interest was the availability of pre-recorded VHS instruction by master teachers, teaching in the classrooms of Pensacola Christian Schools. The VHS material was supported by a full package of resource and other support material. The decision was made to become what was categorized as an A Beka International Video School.

Providentially during the setting up of the Academy, Cranston Knowles who functioned as Administrator for a Video School, connected with the Bill Rice Ranch in Tennessee, had decided to return to The Bahamas and was considering a position at Abundant Life Bible Church. Mr. Knowles was invited by the board to function as the Academy’s administrator and to provide the necessary and critical introduction to aspects of administration unique to the video school concept. 

The doors opened for the Academy’s first day of School in September of 2002  with 19 students.  The single room school house was housed in the Chapel on site at Bahamas Youth Camp. Within two years the Academy with the permission of Mr. Redmond constructed its own designated building on allocated land within the Camp’s precincts. The building was named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Redmond in recognition of their many years of sacrificial contribution to the Academy and Bahamas Youth Camp. Following the first year of operation, Mr. Albert Smith, a retired Ministry of Education administrator was invited to return to active service by taking up the position as Principal of the Academy, replacing Mr. Knowles. Mr. Smith served as Principal for 4 years. The board of directors of the Academy was also enhanced with the addition of Milton Evans, Ken Tucker and Anna Fox.


In 2007, in order to maintain the affordability of education to its primary market of families where mothers were as a priority committed to working within the home, the Academy’s administration was restructured to maintain reasonable fees by minimizing administrative costs. This was done by providing for more parental/guardian responsibility for students, and the assumption of all administrative functions by mothers. Mrs. Mona Pratt an experienced educator in the Bahamas’ private primary school system and the mother of an Academy student assumed responsibility for the Principal’s position. Mrs. Sharese Bowe a mother of two at the Academy provided experienced secretarial and office management support; drawing from her natural organization skills and her experience and expertise as executive assistant to top management in the Bahamas’s private financial services sector.  Accounting and general administrative functions were carried out by Mizpah Cartwright and Melanie Allen respectively. As a practical matter by September 2008 the ongoing management of the Academy was de facto ceded to a committee of management comprised of Michael Allen, David Cartwright (being original board members and subscribers who had children in attendance at the Academy) along with their wives Melanie Allen and Mizpah Cartwright and the Academy’s administrative support staff Mrs. Mona Pratt and Mrs. Sharese Bowe.

South Haven in the Early Years

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