Bonnerdale Seventh-day Adventist School

The School Begins

In November 1906, Elder Griffin baptized a few people and organized a church of eight members at Lucky, Arkansas. The group had already built a little church in which they had begun meeting although it was not quite finished (Griffin, 1906). Almost immediately they realized they needed a church school for their children (McCoy, 1907). From 1907 to 1910, they had such short school years that the school was not reported in the SDA Yearbook for those years. For the 1910-1911 school year they planned to have a much longer and better year (McCoy, 1910), and they did, with twenty-six students taught by Dewey Kinzer. The little community of Lucky no longer exists, but by 1931 the school became known as the Bonnerdale school (Hopkins, 1931).

A New School in 1937

The 1937 school year began in a newly built three-room school for the Bonnerdale students (Pound, 1937). In 1942, they went to eleven grades. Edith Ewing was the lower grade teacher and Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Ladd taught the upper grades (Pannell, 1942). The grade levels taught fluctuated with the needs of students.

A New School in 1980

Aerial view of the Bonnerdale school under construction in 1980

At the end of 1976, Irvin and Evea J. Bainum donated property for new church and school. The school and Ewing Auditorium were built first. The church congregation met in the new auditorium for the first time on December 22, 1979 (Record, 1979). The 1980-1981 school year opened in the new school building which included the auditorium/gymnasium, a $150,000 gift from Irvin and Evea Bainum in memory of Evea’s parents, Albert and Florence Ewing (Shain, 1980). That school year marked the seventy-third year of continuous operation for the school. Enrollment was as low as eight students one year and as high as thirty-one students. The school and Ewing Auditorium were built first. The new school was named Florence Ewing Junior Academy, and in 2010 changed to Ewing Adventist Junior Academy (Simpson, 2010).

Photos courtesy of Stephen Burton.


(1976, Dec. 17). Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Conference Association. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.

(1979, Dec. 13). Southwestern Union Record, p. 12F.

(2010, Aug. 11). Ewing Adventist Jr Academy. Retrieved from

Griffin, H. Clay. (1906, Nov. 13). Southwestern Union Record, p. 2.

Hopkins, E. B. (1931, May 6). Ibid., p. 3.

McCoy, Ava L. (1907, Feb. 26). Ibid., p. 2.

Ibid. (1910, Oct. 11). p. 3.

Pannell, G. C. (1942, Jul. 29). Ibid., p. 1.

Pound, I. C. (1937, Sep. 22). Ibid., p. 8.

Shain, Jacquelyn. (1980, Oct. 2). Ibid., pp. 4, 5.