The first academic year began in 2000 in the Launhardt Activity Center at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. The first students were considered the seven “pioneers.”

Through the efforts of Ryland “Dutch” Meyr and others, land was sought to be purchased to eventually construct a school building. A 40 acre parcel of land that the school now sits on was purchased at $8,000 per acre by generous supporters of the “40 Acre Club”.