About Us

Welcome to First Baptist Academy!

Since FBA’s inception our prayer has been that people would sense God’s presence the moment they drove onto the campus. As you view this website our prayer is the same. What began in 2009 as a journey of faith has become a community where lives are changed on a daily basis. FBA exists to do one thing and to do it well… “to equip students spiritually for service in the body of Christ, morally for citizenship in the United States of America, and academically for success in higher education or their chosen vocation.” This mission pervades every aspect of the school. It is the filter for decision-making.

The faculty and staff of First Baptist Academy strive to create an environment in which students are recognized for who they are individually. We believe students should be exposed to a wide variety of experiences as part of a solid foundation that will enable them to understand and thrive in the world beyond school. Educating the whole child requires that teachers implement unique approaches to the multifaceted, engaging curriculum. The learning opportunities reach beyond the core subject areas. From the rigorous academics to the arts and athletics, God’s presence and story are interwoven. We believe Him to be the author of all truth…whether secular or spiritual. FBA desires that students recognize God is not apart from all things, but is a part of all things.

In Isaiah 55:8 and 9 it states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” These verses go right in line with what has happened with this school and what God has done for us. As we look to the future, we intend to hold this school to the highest standard and will work to keep the following goals:

“The spiritual goal – We have a responsibility to share Christ with our students and teach them God s way. That the Bible is infallible from cover to cover and our view of the future includes the eternal perspective. It is our conviction that the parent is responsible for their child s spiritual and academic development and should not have to sacrifice their child s faith for the sake of providing them with an excellent education.

“The mental goal – We have the responsibility to strive to offer the finest education for your child. It is our belief that every child should have the opportunity to excel in a safe and nurturing educational environment. Your child will be offered the finest education with various curricula, Book Adventure, teaching for individual differences, outstanding teachers that love your children, and low pupil-teacher ratio.

We are thrilled to be a part of FBA and the long term commitment First Baptist Church of Covington has made to their school. Remember, we are building for the next generation with the God given potential with which to impact the world.

Julie Harpe, Director

Our Staff

Julie Harpe


I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University with an Early Childhood Education degree. I received my Masters in Education from Walden University in grades k-12. My experiences include Kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades as a classroom teacher. I have always had a passion for teaching, education, and children. Years ago, my heart was telling me to find a new way to share with others my passion for education and the opportunity of becoming Director of First Baptist Academy (formerly the Children’s Ministry Center) presented itself.

Since 2001, God has blessed us immeasurably. Having the opportunity to watch the children of FBA grow in their spiritual walk is amazing. My own family has had the opportunity to be a part of FBA for the past 9 years and to see the growth of the preschool expand into an elementary school has been an awesome experience and is all due to the Glory of God! I have seen children accomplish wonderful things and I’ve experienced the start of a new school. First Baptist Academy has been a blessing to me from the beginning and I am honored to serve this church and school.

I am a UGA graduate with a BS in Furnishings and Interiors, from the school of Family and Consumer Sciences, and have worked for most of mine and Billy’s married life as an interior designer. I still enjoy design work, but my heart has been to serve at FBC/FBA since 2001. I have served FBC/FBA for ten years. I am a member of First Baptist Covington. My start here was to teach the first kindergarten class, at the end of that school year our family was blessed with our second son, Kurtis. Upon my return, I became the assistant to the director.

I love our staff, the children and their families. I have always counted it a blessing and honor to serve my Lord here and I continually seek His will for our school and myself as we grow. I have watched as the Lord has grown His school into what we are today. Striving daily to glorify Him in all we do. He has shown His grace upon us yearly and to watch Him work is amazing. I stand in awe of how He unfolds His plan from year to year.

Patty Cates

Assistant Director

Statement of Beliefs

First Baptist Church of Covington is a member of the Southern Baptist Conference.

Our beliefs include:

We the members of First Baptist Church in Covington, Georgia believe in the one true and living God, creator of all things, almighty, and sovereign in the universe.
We believe that He is a three person God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that He has revealed Himself generally through His Creation and Moral law and specifically through His own voice, the incarnation of His son, and His written word, the Bible.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired, inherent, infallible word of God.
We believe that God created all things good, but that mankind freely sinned against God and in that sin has fallen from God s perfection.
We believe that sinful man stands opposed to God and in that sin faces the eternal just wrath of the Almighty God.
We believe that God is a gracious God and has extended His grace to sinful man through His Son Jesus Christ.
We believe that Christ the Son was made man and lived on earth.We believe that Jesus Christ lived without sin in perfect adherence to the will of the Father.
We believe that Jesus was betrayed and was crucified on a Roman cross.
We believe that in this crucifixion Christ the Son took on the full weight of the Fathers wrath against the sinfulness of man and became an atoning sacrifice for all who believe in Him.
We believe that Christ died and was buried, but after three days he was raised from the dead to live and to reign over heaven and earth.
We believe that after His resurrection He met with His disciples, commissioned His Church, and ascended into heaven, from where He reigns, and is building His Kingdom.
We believe that this Church is the presence of the Kingdom of Christ on Earth.
We believe that Christ s gift of grace and forgiveness of sin is available to all who believe in Him as Savior and Lord, and who demonstrate that belief by living faithfully to Him.
We believe that this offer of grace is exclusive only to those who confess and believe the Lordship and saving work of Jesus. Therefore, we believe in the Great Commission and that we are charged by Christ to make disciples.
We believe that followers of Christ are called to join together in localized bodies or local churches that are called to live out the life of a disciple.
We believe in Baptism by immersion in water as a proclamation of faith and an experience of Grace.
We believe in the observation of the Lord s Supper as a proclamation of Christ s work and Kingdom until He returns.
We believe that Christ will return to establish fully His authority over all things.
We believe that Christ will judge all of humanity and condemn all evil, and that He will call those who have believed in Him to life in His everlasting Kingdom.

A Brief History

In 1999, a group of families of First Baptist Church of Covington and the pastor established a new weekday preschool. They felt led by the Lord to take on this mission to help reach the next generation for Christ. The preschool served babies through pre-kindergarten for several years before adding a kindergarten class to school enrollment. After years of much success in the preschool, the school and church revisited the idea of beginning an elementary school. Following a great deal of research, thought and prayer, it was believed that a school founded on high academic standards, and an unwavering commitment to our Lord and Savior would provide a much-needed private school option for parents seeking the best Christian environment and educational experience for their children. With this vision in place, the formation of our private school now known as First Baptist Academy was approved by the First Baptist Church of Covington body in 2009.An outstanding faculty with full teacher certification was hired for the elementary school. 100% of the staff holds a Bachelor s Degree in Education and some 25% of the staff holds Masters Degrees in Education. The elementary school opened for its inaugural year in August of 2009 with grades Kindergarten to 1st grade and plans to add a grade each subsequent year.Eighteen students constituted the first year s enrollment and proved to be exactly the number God chose for the Academy s first year. The school soon became a mutually supportive and loving family. The families and faculty enthusiastically supported the school and the vision for the mission of the Academy was validated.