The Greyfriars Archer

Sagittae Formosae et Praeacutae

(Arrows, Beautifully Formed & Sharpened)



2701 Rice Road    Matthews, NC  28105    704.315.5774




Volume 2 No. 7                                                        September 22, 2010



Upcoming Dates:

Association Meeting

Sept. 30, 7:00 p.m.


Mid-Semester Grade Reports Issued

Oct. 16


Fall Break

Oct. 18-22






GCA Leadership



John McGowan, M.Div.



Cliff Blair, M.Div.

Jeff Cleveland, M.D.

Gwen Firebaugh, B.S

Beth Harvey, B.A.

Lori Lawing, B.A.John McGowan, M.Div.

Greer Nabb, B.A.

Lee Shelnutt, M.A., M.Div.

Darol Timberlake, M.S.

Nathan Trice, M.Div.

Barbara Van Patter, M.E.


Board of Directors

Nathan Trice, President

Shawn Brandt, Secretary

Thomas Willingham, Treasurer





A Rousing Start to Our 2nd Year



The evening of August 23 was an energizing and uplifting start to the 2nd school year of Greyfriars Classical Academy.  After its first day of school the whole school community gathered that same evening for special convocation exercises.  Faculty donned academic regalia, joining new and returning students, Board members, and families and friends of the school in singing praise to God and in praying for His blessings. Mr. Thomas Willingham, member of the board of GCA, delivered an exhortation titled: “It’s Game Time!”  Headmaster John McGowan charged the student body regarding “What Matters Most.”  The whole evening was concluded by a delightful spread of hors d’oeuvres provided by Matthew Sganga of Stone Table restaurant in Monroe.


Visit our Convocation Website to see more pictures or to listen to the addresses:




School Verses


Psalm 127:4

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.


Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?








School Anthem


Psalm 24 (C)

“The Earth and the Riches”




On Education


For there are some who want knowledge for the sole purpose of knowing, and this is unseemly curiosity. And there are some who seek knowledge in order to be known themselves; and this is unseemly vanity . . . and there are also those who seek knowledge in order to sell their knowledge, for example, for money or for honors; and this is unseemly quest for gain. But there are also those who seek knowledge in order to edify, and this is charity. And there are those who seek knowledge in order to be edified, and this is prudence.

- Bernard of Clairvaux














I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.  Every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt.

- Martin Luther












It is quaint that people talk of separating dogma from education.  Dogma is actually the only thing that cannot be separated from education. It is education. A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching....The educationist must find a creed and teach it.

- G. K. Chesterton




Joel Belz to Speak at GCA Banquet


We are pleased to announce that Joel Belz – the founder of WORLD Magazine and a longtime champion of Christian education – is set to speak at our first annual fall banquet scheduled for Thursday, November 11, 6:00 p.m.


For Mr. Belz, Christian education is a family tradition: His father, a Presbyterian minister, founded Cono Christian School in Iowa in 1951. Mr. Belz grew up understanding how a Christian education helps shape a biblical worldview, and he applied that knowledge to the formation of WORLD – a biweekly, Christian news magazine with an international audience.


Since then, Mr. Belz – an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America – has been a keen supporter of Christian schools that help parents educate their children and prepare them for robust service in God’s kingdom. We are grateful that Mr. Belz is willing to share his years of wisdom and experience with the GCA family and the broader Charlotte community.



Please join us November 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Ballantyne Presbyterian Church for a delicious catered dinner, good fellowship, and lots of fun.  Tickets are $50 each.  Limited sponsorship opportunities are available.  Please send ticket or sponsorship requests to: .




GCA Association Meeting


September 30, 2010, 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to present reports from the Board concerning the activities and progress of the Academy, including its budget and financial status, and to receive input from the Association concerning various aspects of the life and well-being of the Academy.  Faculty, parents of current students, and the Board comprise the GCA Association.



Cross Country Club Begins


Almost half of the GCA Students have begun running with the new Cross Country Club.  Under the management of parent Beth Pearson (with help from other parents, and faculty member Darol Timberlake), the Club has begun training together every Monday, with students running on their own throughout the rest of the week.  A few of the students have begun competing in meets:

• Allison Vaught finished 13th out of 60 girls at the Trojan Invitational (held at Northwestern High School, Rock Hill, Sept. 4).

• Eli Pemberton and Eli Olson have finished two events so far, improving their times along the way.


The next meet is the 1st Annual Murrays Mill Country Invitational in

Catawba, NC, October 2nd. 


Faculty News


Mrs. Gabriela Ritterspach recently announced to the Greyfriars community some joyful, though unexpected news:  she and her husband, Chad, are expecting their first child come Spring!  The unfortunate side effect of this blessing is that Mrs. Ritterspach asked to be relieved of her responsibilities for teaching Chemistry and Algebra 2 at Greyfriars.  Her replacements are profiled below.


We wish Mrs. Ritterspach and her developing child all God's blessings!

Featured New GCA Faculty Members



Greyfriars has seen the Lord’s gracious hand at work in providing quickly for replacements to Mrs. Ritterspach in both Chemistry and Algebra 2.  We are pleased to have added the following two faculty members:


Mrs. Gwen Firebaugh Algebra II

• B.A., Mathematics - University of Richmond

• Has done extensive teaching of homeschoolers in classroom settings, as well as by individual tutoring

• Married, with four grown children


Miss Greer Nabb Chemistry

• B.A., French – Queens University of Charlotte (summa cum laude; with a concentration in music)

• Has taught Chemistry in different settings, including currently at Shanan Classical Tutorials.  Worked with the Worldview Academy for several years.

Single, comes from a homeschool family of six children.  Lived briefly in France with her family.







Feature Article




(an excerpt)


by Martin Luther (1524)



...First of all, then, we are experiencing today throughout Germany how schools are everywhere allowed to go to wrack and ruin; universities are growing weak, monasteries are declining. This grass is like to wither and the flower thereof fadeth, as Isaiah says, because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it in His Word, and shineth with so great heat upon it through the Gospel. For since it is becoming known, through God’s Word, how unchristian and devoted only to men’s bellies those institutions are; and especially since the carnal multitude see that they are no longer obliged or able to drive their sons and daughters into monasteries and cathedral schools, and to turn them out of their own houses and possessions and plant them in other people’s possessions, no one is any longer willing to have children educated. “Tell us,” they say, “why should we send them to school, if they are not to become priests, monks and nuns? They had better learn such things as will help them to make a living!”


From this confession of theirs it is very evident what such people are thinking and on what their minds are set. For if they had not sought only the belly and a temporal living for their children when they sent them into the monasteries and cathedral schools or into the spiritual estates, but had been earnestly concerned for their salvation and blessedness, they would not thus fold their hands, relapse into indifference and say: “If the spiritual estate is no longer to count for anything, then we will let education be and not bother our heads about it.” They would rather say: “If it is true, as the Gospel teaches, that this estate is dangerous to our children, why then, dear sirs, show us another way to educate them that will be pleasing to God and profitable to them; we certainly want to provide not only for the bellies of our dear children, but also for their souls.” That, at least, is what true, Christian and faithful parents would say.


But it is not surprising that the Evil One takes this attitude and inspires carnal and worldly hearts to neglect the children and youths. Who can blame him for it? He is a prince and god of this world. How can he possibly be pleased to see his nests, the monasteries and the spiritual gangs, destroyed by the Gospel, in which nests he corrupts above all the young folk, who mean so much, yea, everything to him? How can he be expected to permit or promote the proper training of the young? He would indeed be a fool to suffer and help men to establish in his kingdom the very thing by which that kingdom must be most speedily overthrown, as would surely happen if he lost that choice morsel, the dear youth, and had to permit them to be saved for the service of God at his expense and by means of his possessions.


It was a most prudent course, therefore, that he adopted in the days when Christians had their children taught and trained in a Christian manner. The young multitude bade fair to escape him entirely and to work intolerable havoc to his kingdom. Then he went to work, spread his nets and set up such monasteries, schools and estates that it was not possible for a boy to escape him without a miracle from heaven. Now, however, that he sees his snares exposed through God’s Word, he flies to the other extreme and will not suffer anyone to study at all. It is again a right and prudent course that he pursues, in order to preserve his kingdom and by all means to retain the young. If he has them in his possession, they will grow up under him and remain his; who will take anything from him? He thus possesses the world in peace. For if a really crushing loss is to be inflicted upon him, it must come through the young people, reared in the knowledge of God and spreading and teaching others God’s Word.


You Can Make a Difference!


Here’s How:


The mission of Greyfriars includes providing an education for Christian families that is financially affordable.  Our unique university model (without full-time faculty or a physical plant to maintain) means that our tuition is well within the reach of most families—but not all.


Please consider making a generous donation to Greyfriars that will help us say “Yes” to these students.


Please remember that all gifts to Greyfriars Classical Academy qualify as tax-deductible contributions under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Donations may be mailed to:

Greyfriars Classical Academy

1460 Longleaf Court, Matthews, NC 28104


Or, click below to donate securely online:

GIVE TO GCA (click here)


You can also visit out website at, and click on the “Give to GCA” button.








Here’s another way to make a difference:  The next time you are checking out at Harris Teeter, simply tell your cashier that you want Greyfriars’ account number linked to your VIC card.

Our school account number is 8280.


You need to do this again each year after August 1.


It’s that easy! 2% of your store-brand purchases are deposited into our GCA account, as part of Harris Teeter’s “Together in Education” program.  Thanks for supporting GCA!





HT Together in Education




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2701 Rice Road   Matthews, NC 28105   704.315.5774


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