Agape Corner Boarding School one of Durham’s secrets

By Bethany Sneed
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
thedurhamvoice@gmail.com

Catering to the needs of children, the Agape Corner Boarding School has been one of Durham’s secrets for over fifteen years. This Christian-based facility was founded by Louise Roudebush after a calling from God that moved her to work with underprivileged children.

Agape Corner School teachers and students gather outside for a group portrait, from left to right: Michael Stuart (science teacher), Brian Turney (math and history teacher); Sequoia (8), Michael (12), Victor (5), Kameren (5), Tyriq (10), KyiVon (8), Tyree (10), and Regina Snow (elementary teacher). (Staff photo by Chioke Brown)

The ACBS began many years ago as a daycare on Farthing Street in Durham. The daycare evolved and moved to four different occasions until it landed a permanent location at 1402 Holloway Street, also in Durham.

“God spoke to me,” says Roudebush. “He said, ‘I have given you the gift of love, so go work with underprivileged children.’” Roudebush defines “underprivileged” as those souls that needed to be saved by Jesus Christ.

Children can enroll at ACBS after a parent or guardian fills out an application and sends it in. Roudebush reviews the applications. The school has room for 25 students and as long as there is an empty bed, no child is rejected. Children from all over the country are housed at ACBS.

The school operates under a family structure. School age children live there, eat, and have classes on a daily basis. There are nine faculty members who hold roles as house parents, teachers, cooks, and spiritual leaders.

“Many children lack functional families so it’s important that we provide a loving family structure for all our children,” says Louise Roudebush.

A normal day at the ACBS consists of breakfast, bible study, class, lunch, dinner, homework, and free time. School for the children is hands on and provides a lot of one on one attention. They gain knowledge in math, science, reading, English, Bible and life. There is a goal to educate the students not only in the basic subjects, but also in handling real-life situations.

The facility has been newly renovated from the ground up. Clint Jones, ACBS staff member, headed the renovations. Jones, along with the help of volunteers, were able to complete the renovations about two years ago.

The school building has classrooms, a computer lab, director’s office, and storage areas for books and supplies. There are eight buildings that operate for the ACBS. Six of those buildings are housing for the staff, and the remaining two are the school and living quarters for the children.

Funding for the renovations as well as the general expenses of the school are all donations. The school relies on the generosity of others. An annual fundraising golf tournament is held to raise funds for the boarding school.

“Funding is supervised by God,” says Roudebush.

Volunteers are utilized, needed, and greatly appreciated at the ACBS. Each and every volunteer must be a follower of Christ, and go through an interview process. Volunteers help with everything from homework tutorials to maintenance.

Volunteers also help with activities that the children are involved in such as camping trips, visiting historic places, museums, and long distance trips to the mountains and Washington D.C.

The children of ACBS also give back. They donate their time at local nursing homes, and even work for Agape Lawn Service.

The Agape Lawn Service was started by Brent Drogie, ACBS math teacher, who handles the management of the business.

“The lawn care service helps the young men develop work ethic and money management skills,” says Drogie.

Two graduates of ACBS work during the day, and the boys still in school work after school and on the weekends.

“Our business not only teaches the kids vital life skills, but has also become a competitive business” says Drogie.

Donations from the Raleigh Food Shuttle, the food bank, parents of ACBS students, and the surrounding community, all help to keep ACBS running smoothly.

Roudebush says that ACBS is grounded upon a verse from Nehemiah 2:20 which says, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”

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