Davao Christian High School started in the 1950’s. Members of Davao Evangelical Church, then known as Davao Chinese Gospel Church, sought to provide Christian education to the young. This vision came to a reality on January 14, 1953 when Davao Chinese Gospel Church Kindergarten was established.
The first kindergarten class of less than 10 students was held in the church building when it was still located along Villa Abrille Street. As the number of students grew during the course of the year, Atty. Rafael and Carmen Lim offered their downstairs residence along Rizal Street for the school’s use. Later, the school moved to a rented room along Villa Abrille Street, and afterwards returned to the Davao Chinese Gospel Church building.
Miss Bona Lim, a full-time church worker, served as the preschool head. She, her sister Valeria Lim, and fellow church member Lourdes Chiew were the school’s first teachers.
The first batch of 14 kindergarten pupils graduated 1954 and a board of trustees was formally organized in 1957. Mr. Job Chen, a church elder, was elected the first chairman of the board.
In 1959, the school began offering Grades 1 to 4 classes in an academic building and student-teacher dormitory in Garcia Heights, Bajada. The first batch of 14 elementary pupils graduated in 1962. By the latter half of 1960’s, around 30 pupils were graduating every year.
Mr. Yu Chin Seng served as elementary principal for 11 years beginning in 1964. It was then that the school received from the Department of Education recognition for her elementary courses.
Mr. Go Su Lian took over the chairmanship of the board in 1969 and served for the entire 70’s decade.
In 1971, the school moved one step further by offering high school education. By 1973, the school was officially named Davao Christian High School. It was also in 1973 when the school started widely accepting children of non-Chinese descent as a result of the Philippine government’s order for Filipinization of Chinese schools.
The first batch of 35 high school students graduated in 1975.
The 1980’s saw continuous growth in Davao Christian High School. Enrollment hit the 1000-level mark in 1982.
Engr. Michael Ang served as Chairman of the Board and was complemented by the leadership of four different school directors.
The Student Council was organized in 1984 with James Loyola as the first president. The DCHS Alumni Association was also organized in 1987 with Jessie Tiu as the first alumni association president.
By late 1980’s, it was clear that the Bajada campus was no longer sufficient for the growing school needs. Thus, the school was transferred to the Vicente Mapa campus in 1988. The campus features a U-shaped building and currently holds the preschool and elementary classrooms, various laboratories, an audio-visual room, and administrative offices.
Further improvements were made on the V. Mapa campus. In 1990, the Board of Trustees constructed the second three-storey building which now houses the school libraries, elementary classrooms, and a fully air-conditioned auditorium with a 1300 seating capacity.
Beyond construction though, “accreditation” was the byword in the 1990’s. Under the directorship of Mrs. Anna T. Yu, the school enlisted with the now Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities – Accrediting Agency, Incorporated to ensure quality standard as a learning institution.
The high school and elementary departments were first granted Level 3 accreditation status in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The preschool program was granted Level 2 accredited status in 2014.
In 2003, DCHS marked its 50th year in a Golden Jubilee celebration.
Independent learning, which is adopted from the Central Visayan Institute Foundation – Dynamic Learning Program (CVIF-DLP), was introduced to the secondary level of education in the year 2005. A new canteen, canopy, Science laboratories, and Home Economics laboratories were constructed.
In 2007, the school completed Phases 1 and 2 of the three-storey academic and athletic building of V. Mapa Campus. The third phase was finished in 2013 and the building currently holds the junior high school classrooms on the first two floors and a basketball court on the third floor.
An annex to the first U-shaped building was added in 2010 after enrollment reached 1500 to house additional elementary classrooms and laboratories.
To meet the needs of a growing population, the school opened a branch along C. P. Garcia Highway (Diversion Road). Phase 1 of the building was completed in time for the school year 2015-2016 and features more than 20 classrooms, various laboratories and offices, and the mini auditorium.
The C. P. Garcia Campus formally opened on June 2015, initially offering preschool to Grade 5. Every year since then, another grade level is added to the school’s growing population.
In 2017, a senior high school building was completed on the V. Mapa Campus to cater to the additional two year levels mandated by the Department of Education’s transition to the K to 12 Basic Education Program. The building features a canteen on the first floor; classrooms, laboratories, and offices from the second to the fourth floor; and a multi-purpose hall on the fifth floor.
In 2013, the school joyously celebrated its 60th founding anniversary with the theme, “Amazed by God’s Grace”. Every year thereafter, the school celebrated on God’s grace. Focus on the theme culminated in 2018 when Davao Christian High School celebrated its 65th founding anniversary with the theme, “Only by God’s Grace”.
The sign To God be the Glory is evident in the entrances of the school and of the high school building as well as on congratulatory streamers. They serve as apt reminders that behind all of the growth and progress in DCHS history is our great and gracious God. Truly, to Him be all the glory!