In 1992, leaders within the Franklin community along with the future founders of New Hope Academy began Franklin Community Ministries, an outreach of Christ Community church, to serve the low-income neighborhoods of Franklin. This community development effort provided various services, which after a few years of developing relationships and seeing the tangible needs in the community began to plant the seeds of hope about a school: a school where all children could receive an excellent, Christ-centered education. Burdened with a vision to empower the poor and a hope to see a new generation of leaders rise from the disadvantaged, the founders of New Hope Academy began to pray for a new kind of school. God confirmed this vision, His vision, through His Word in passages such as Isaiah 61:1-3.
In the book of Isaiah, the writer urges the people to care for the poor and needy, commit to follow God’s ways, and pursue social and economic justice. In his 61st book to the people of Israel, Isaiah pens these words: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God to all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called of Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” They will be called Oaks of Righteousness.
The founders of New Hope Academy incorporated the school as an independent not-for-profit elementary school. Although Christ Community Christ was integral in the birthing of New Hope Academy, the school was established as a nondenominational, community school. The fall of 1995 and the spring of 1996 were spent organizing the school, recruiting an exceptional faculty and staff, developing the academic program, and initiating plans for long-term support. New Hope Academy opened its doors to the first thirty-three students, Pre-K thought 2nd grades, in September of 1996, on the historic campus of Battle Ground Academy (BGA) in Franklin, Tennessee, and later moved to rented space on West Main Street. New Hope Academy chose forest green and white to be the school colors.
On March 28, 1996, New Hope Academy acquired approximately 19 acres of property on Downs Boulevard in Franklin. Friends of the school held the property in trust for the benefit of New Hope Academy. In November 2000, New Hope Academy broke ground on the 33,000 square foot building that includes 16 classrooms in addition to library, art and music rooms. The school is now located on Downs Boulevard serving students in grades Pre-K through 6th.