May 12, 2017
Larry Boling, Founder of PACS Band Program, Retires from Teaching
In the earlier days of Prince Avenue Christian School, the Fine Arts Program was a new endeavor. Bit by bit, little by little, different elements were added and built upon until eventually, the school had the vibrant flourishing program of the current day. Larry Boling was an integral part of the establishment and growth of the Fine Arts program the PACS community knows and enjoys today.
Mr. Boling has taught at Prince Avenue for twelve years, but before that, he stepped forward as a volunteer. He approached the head of school at the time and offered to start a band program. This endeavor was not easy. There were no instruments. There was no band room. There were no students with band experience. But this did not deter Mr. Boling.
In 2006, Mr. Boling was officially hired as the lower school music teacher and passed the band director’s baton to Paul Rettew and then later to Miles Adams. Since that time, Mr. Boling has consistently and faithfully taught the students of Prince Avenue Christian School about God’s love through singing, playing instruments, storytelling, chapel, and musicals.
LaMurl Morris, Director of Fine Arts, describes Mr. Boling’s influence in the lives of his students. “Larry’s greatest gift is the ability to teach children spiritual principles on a level they can understand and comprehend. He will be greatly missed.”
Mr. Boling does not consider his departure from Prince as retirement. Rather, he feels he is redirecting. “I am following a dream to do my Kids First program full-time, which has been in my heart since I first began 13 years ago.” Kids First is an outreach to un-churched kids. Mr. Boling hopes to have at least four groups around the Athens area by the end of the year and to do one or two foreign kids-focused mission trips each year. He currently has plans to lead Vacation Bible School in Jamaica this summer.
When reflecting on his time at Prince Avenue, Mr. Boling expresses heartfelt gratitude for the love and support he received during the time of his wife’s illness and death. “There is a lot I could say about the importance of Prince in my life and the lives of my children, but nothing will outshine the love and support I received during the time of my wife’s illness. The school stood behind me all the way.”
In the midst of these circumstances, students and peers saw in Mr. Boling a man who walked out his faith and dealt with adversity with perseverance, joy, love, and patience. When asked what advice he would leave his current and former students, Mr. Boling said,“You are never too young or too old to follow Jesus. His plans are the only way to true peace, happiness and lasting impact – even if those plans look like the opposite of worldly success.”