ODACS History

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ODACS was founded in 1976 by a group of independent Baptist pastors who wanted to "establish a unified voice on behalf of local church schools in the state of Virginia."  Among the purposes spelled out by the founders was keeping member schools informed of current legislation affecting church schools, affiliating with a national organization (the American Association of Christian Schools), and organizing competition among schools in fine arts and athletics.

Throughout its history, God has blessed ODACS with excellent leadership on its board of directors.  Dr. Jack Knapp, the longest-serving executive director in ODACS history, guided the association through its formative and growing years.  During the 1980's, God used Dr. Knapp and the ministry of ODACS in Richmond to preserve the precious freedom that Virginia churches enjoy to operate Christian day schools.  Dr. Knapp is well-known at the General Assembly Building as an effective voice for Christian liberty.  With outstanding help from his wife Judy, Dr. Knapp served our church schools tirelessly for 16 years.  Dr. Knapp continued to serve for many years as a Bible quiz master at the ODACS state competition and at the AACS national competition.

In 1997 Dr. Knapp stepped aside in order to devote his full attention to serving as director of the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists.  The Lord guided the board to choose Jeff Walton to succeed him.  Mr. Walton did a tremendous job of picking up where Dr. Knapp left off and advancing the ODACS cause.  For 8 years Jeff and Judylynn Walton's labor on behalf of Christian schools was marked by great organization and innovation, including the establishment of the ODACS Educators' Convention and the annual ODACS State Government Day.  Currently, Mr. Walton (now Dr. Walton) serves as the executive director of the American Association of Christian Schools.

Since 2005, Mr. Dan Zacharias has served as executive director.  The years under his leadership have seen an increase in participation in and enthusiasm for Bible Quizzing, with the establishment of Invitational Bible Quiz Tournaments several times each year.  In recent years, God has opened the doors to Virginia's Congressional offices a bit wider as ODACS has been active on Capitol Hill assisting the AACS staff in Washington with their task of discussing current issues with lawmakers and informing ODACS members of important legislation.

ODACS students have distinguished themselves particularly well in the AACS National Competition for Bible, Fine Arts, and Academics.  Virginia young people have been perennial winners at nationals, claiming the AACS Cup of Excellence a total of 22 times as of 2019.