The Greenwood Mennonite School has the distinction of being the oldest Mennonite Elementary school in continuous operation. It began in March, 1928, after the Mennonite students were expelled from the Greenwood public school for refusal, on grounds of conscience, to salute and pledge allegiance to the American flag. Under the capable guidance of Nevin Bender, the congregation managed to keep the school alive even during the lean years of the 1930’s.
For the first 3 years school was held in the Greenwood Mennonite Church building. In the summer of 1932 the Little Brown School was built. This building was to last until 1958, when a new brick structure was erected just off Route 36, 2 miles east of Greenwood. This
second building contained 4 classrooms, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria. In 1964 an adjoining building containing 2 classrooms was constructed for grades 1-4. Kindergarten was begun in 1976 in the Elementary building. The instructional program included 8 grades until September, 1943, when grades 9 and 10 were added. In 1978, grades 11 and 12 were added to the school using the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) program. In 1979, 3 new rooms were added to accommodate Kindergarten, grades 5 and 6, and the music and art classes. By the mid-80s the ACE program was no longer being used as all classes were taught in traditional classroom settings.
In 1993, another addition was completed. It included 4 classrooms, a computer lab and library, a new gym and cafeteria. In the summer of 1996, 3 new offices and 2 classrooms were built within the original gym. Competitive sports have been a part of GMS since the mid-1980s and teams currently compete in boys soccer, girls volleyball, boys and girls basketball, softball, baseball, and track and field.
Since 2000 GMS has been a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and in 2010 GMS became accredited through the National Association of Private Schools (NAPS). In 2014 the Career Training and Instruction (CTI) program was added to our academic offerings. Junior and Senior students enrolled in CTI have the opportunity to choose a course of study based on a career interest. They then take an online course to obtain certification in that field, while at the same time working with a local business to receive hands-on experience.
Present enrollment is about 210 students in PreK to 12th grades. GMS has an administrator, an assistant principal and over 20 teachers and staff. Greenwood Mennonite School is owned and operated by the Greenwood Mennonite and Gateway Fellowship Churches. Responsibility for the operation of the school is delegated to a 7-member board. The principal and board meet monthly to make decisions on matters pertaining to the operation of the school.