In 1971, Paul and Gail Hanson arrived in Brownsville, Texas on the Texas/Mexico border. After being captivated with pictures of missionaries in Mexico, Paul’s heart had been drawn south from their home near the Canadian border. Their dream was to work during the week to fund their trips into Mexico to bless the people Paul had come to love.
Elwin Grundy, their pastor, was awakened in the middle of the night with a word from God, “Start a Christian High School.” He brought the word to Paul and Gail who were not interested in the idea. They did not like the idea of Christian education and their desire was to keep heading south into Mexico. A few months later, on Paul’s way to school, he heard a strong, loving, audible, and undeniable voice, “It is for this purpose that I brought you to Brownsville.” It was God.
“What would it look like to have a school that genuinely follows the Holy Spirit in all its decisions… with Christian teachers and Christian students, college preparatory but with the ultimate goal of raising up a generation to impact the world for the cause of Christ?” For 38 years, Paul and Gail Hanson gave of their time and resources, humbly and dedicatedly, to answer this question. After Paul went to be with the Lord, Gail continued alone with this mission for seven more years. We are still answering that question today, guided by the vision Paul and Gail had for Valley Christian.
Paul Hanson passed away on April 9, 2011 while running a race and cheering his students on as they rounded the bend. His last words were “Go Valley Christian!” –and so we are.