Churches played an important role in establishing schools in the West. One of Southern Oregon’s earliest church affiliated schools was the Wilbur Academy, founded in 1854 by Methodist minister James Wilbur. It prepared students to attend Willamette University in Salem.
The Seventh Day Adventists founded the Roseburg Junior Academy in 1899 in a private home before moving to the church basement in 1909. In 1928 the academy closed and students rode buses to a sister church in nearby Sutherlin. Six years later the Roseburg church reestablished the school in rented space in Roseburg. The school moved into a new set of classrooms constructed in 1963 with help from four Adventist churches in the Roseburg area.
The academy’s mission statement says, “Our sole purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God and be instruments in God’s hands to save souls for that Kingdom by promoting the values of true Christian education as expressed in the Bible and the gift of prophecy given to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
Adventists have 31 schools in Oregon today.
Sources: Wilbanks, Dan. “School History.” Message to author. 4 Dec. 2015. E-mail; Yoder, Peggy. Personal interview. 1 Dec. 2015; "A History of Roseburg Junior Academy." Roseburg Junior Academy. Roseburg Junior Academy, Dec. 2015. Web. 22 Dec. 2015. www.rjasda.org/article/106/about-us/history; Oregon Conference of Seventh Day Adventists. Oregon Conference. Web. 2015. <http://www.oregonconference.org/find-a-school>.