"On opening day the fifty students expected arrived plus fifteen more." This is how an account of the opening of Portland Christian School reads. The school opened in 1924 with grades one through nine and had an enrollment of eighty-one students before the year was out. A grade was added each year until the full twelve grades were offered in the 1927-28 school year, which ended with the graduation of the first senior class. There were eleven members of the first graduating class and there has been a graduating class each year since 1928.
At present, the total number of graduates is over one thousand.
From the second year of its operation until the 1957-1958 school year the enrollment of the school remained below two hundred. However, when Kentucky Bible College, which had been occupying the same grounds and buildings for five years, moved to Winchester, Kentucky, the new PCS building, erected in 1949, made it possible for the school to expand. The enrollment was between two hundred and two hundred forty from 1958 through 1969 when another expansion program made it possible to handle approximately three hundred students.
During the 1973-74 school year, the fiftieth year was celebrated with the overall theme being "What God Hath Wrought". In the fall of 1978, Portland Christian School opened the newly remodeled Montgomery Street campus. The facility, formerly the Emma Dolfinger School, is on the National Historic Register and housed students in grades K-6.
Since then several lots adjacent to the Portland Avenue campus have been purchased. This has increased the parking and recreational areas. During the 1998-1999 school year, in conjunction with the 75thanniversary of PCS, a capital improvement project to connect the one-story and two-story buildings on the Portland Avenue campus was planned. This project included additional office space and restroom facilities and was completed in the 1999-2000 school year.
Portland Christian School was started with a missionary emphasis and was operated as a tuition-free institution until 1986. That mission continues today with more than one-third of the cost of educating students coming from gifts given by churches and individuals interested in supporting Christian education. Not only has the Lord blessed the school through gifts, but also through the many talented staff, teachers, and administrators that have served in this ministry.