History & Belief

We Believe

At Forest Lake Academy, our educational program is a natural outgrowth of a few core beliefs about what matters. Everything we do springs from and is infused with these foundational values:

  1. We exist because a personal, caring God caused us to exist.
  2. True education involves the development of both the intellect and the conscience, under the influence of God’s Spirit.
  3. Effective education is student-centered, providing an opportunity for students to find their own relevance and meaning within the concepts being presented.
  4. The highest human relational value is selfless love based on mutual respect.
  5. It is never acceptable to settle for good enough.

If these are your values and beliefs as well, perhaps Forest Lake Academy is the school for you.

We are always looking for motivated, spiritually-driven young people, to join is in our efforts to make our ourselves, our community, and our world, better.

Education in Action—it’s a truly exciting idea whose time has come!


The first academy established by the Florida Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists was Winyah Lake Junior Academy in 1918 in Orlando, Florida on the grounds of Florida Sanitarium. The growing school moved outside the city to its current location in 1926 and was renamed Forest Lake Academy. The first classes were held in the farm house of the newly acquired 240-acre site. Dormitories were built in the late 1920’s and a new administration building was built in 1937. Students could earn tuition by working in the school dairy farm, commercial laundry, or press. The first 12 year graduating class was 1933.

A gymnasium added to the campus in 1958 was given a total upgrade in 1995 which included a lobby, stage, offices, classroom, and storage areas. The 1960’s brought modern brick buildings to replace the old wooden buildings.

Changes began again in earnest in 2006 as the campus received an overhaul funded by the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists under the direction of the Master Plan Committee. The music department, the administrative offices, and all the classrooms were remodeled with new paint and floorings. Each classroom was outfitted with the latest technology, including computers, large-screen monitors mounted at the front or projectors and screens, and an ELMO document projection system. The girls’ dorm was completely renovated to create a new girls’ and boys’ dorm, each with separate entrances, lobbies, recreation rooms, and deans’ apartments. The old boys’ dorm was taken down and a lovely park-like area was created on the spot.

Finished in 2009, a new entrance, complete with gates and fencing that stretches along the entire front of the school property along highway 436, welcomes guests to the campus. The café has also been given a facelift, including the addition of a student center.

Forest Lake Academy’s Distance Learning Program began in 1997 as AE21, a curriculum and technology initiative by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Its initial intent was to enrich the curriculum for grades 5-8 and provide instructional support for one and two teacher Adventist elementary schools. In 2000, the program was turned over to the Florida Conference and the evolution into the secondary distance learning program as we know it today was begun. AE21 offered Adventist families an option of keeping their academy aged students at home instead of sending them to a boarding academy and still completing a Adventist education.

The Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and Forest Lake Academy mutually agreed in the spring of 2004 that AE21 would become the distance learning division of the academy. The program has continued to evolve and be incorporated into the academy program and in 2010 became officially the Forest Lake Academy Distance Learning Program.

Since 1946, Forest Lake Academy has been recognized and certified, first by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and currently by Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Today the academy continues to serve the constituency of the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists preparing young people for service to God and society.