- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - A Baptist church is planning to offer a new private school on the east side of Dothan.

Bethel Baptist Church is moving forward to open Bethel Christian Academy in August this year, the Dothan Eagle (https://bit.ly/2jeP1Vh) reported. The church is currently recruiting students and teachers.

Early registration is open now until Feb. 10.

Dothan has four sizable private Christian schools including Providence Christian School, Westgate Christian School, Northside Methodist Academy, and Emmanuel Christian School. Each school is located on the western end of the city.

Pastor Ricky Plummer says the church wants to offer parents another option. He hopes the school will sign up between 80 and 100 students in the first year.

Plummer said the church is opening the school to offer residents of the eastern and southern parts of Dothan and Houston County a convenient opportunity for a private, Christian education for their children.

The school will be open to students in grades K4 to 8 and school administrators hope to add a grade each year.

“The plan is that if you start here, you’ll be able to graduate here,” Plummer said.

The school’s costs include a $200 registration fee, $500 maintenance fee and tuition of $435 month.

Plummer wants to bring athletic programs for the school in hopes of developing volleyball and basketball teams soon.

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