Central Day School Announces Closure

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(Collierville, TN) When students from one Mid-South school return from spring break, they'll be preparing to say goodbye to their classmates and teachers for good. That's because Central Day School is closing.

The school located inside of Central Church will close its doors for good after this semester.

Parents got word through the mail last weekend that the school's shutting down because of financial problems.

"We are so sad. We're confused. We're praying. We're very prayerful. Our experience here has been wonderful," said parent Wuday Thomas.

The private Christian school opened in 1995.

When the congregation moved from Hickory Hill and built a new massive sanctuary in Collierville, church elders made sure the school was a big part of it.

Now, all K-8 classes are ending. The pre-school will remain open.

"It's really good because otherwise I would have to search for other schools but it's good to hear they're not closing," said Ajay Devarsahetty, the parent of a pre-schooler.

But for others, it means starting all over again. They'll go from what they consider an awesome place to an unfamiliar one with many new faces.

"He has been here since preschool. He's in 4th grade now so it's very difficult to think that we're not returning back because this is family to us," said Thomas.

WREG reached out to the principal and vice principal but have not heard back.

Some parents who originally contacted us are also concerned because they've been trying to reach administrators without any luck.


  • Happy Former Member

    For all of you nieve people. Ask yourself this, since Matt Surber has come on board, some 15 months ago, have things gotten better. He makes cuts in programs and staff. Then takes them on a retreat to Nashville. Where did that money come from? He has too many “yes men” as elders. It’s time to dump Pastor Surber. Wise Up Central church

  • Former member

    Teachers losing their jobs, staff losing their jobs and students having to change school-very sad!!! Seems like the changes that have taken place since the new pastor has come in has not made a lot of members happy. I would have thought that the elders would have stepped in by now.

    • FormerCDSparent

      The elders made this decision. Enrollment has been declining 4-5 years now. This has been discussed more than once and certainly before the current pastor arrived.

  • Happy Former Member

    His father was brought in to be Matt’s admin, nothing more! But we know how that is working. Elders wise up.

  • FormerCDSparent

    There is more than 1 elder… Hence “elders”…. It takes more than one vote to pass a decision that major. It is very sad to me that this school is closing. (Any school for that matter). My children attended here a few years ago. But in reality, with the free and much improved municipal schools and other private schools that have much to offer besides a great affordable Christian education enrollment has fallen too far to recover . My prayer for this school, the families affected, and my church family that has been affected is God’s will be done and all the anger and mudslinging stop.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, the school never made a profit for the church. The tuition was inexpensive because the church helped cover the costs. Because of the announcement of the municipal school districts and other factors the school already had more than 25 students definitely not returning next year. Therefore the church could not take on that great of loss. Second, the pastor’s dad is definitely not an elder. There are some Godly men on the elder board that I can assure did not make this decision without sincere concern for all involved. Also, Briarcrest is not even one of the most expensive private school in the city much less the state. I am saddened to see all the comments about a church that are not necessarily the truth written for all to see.

    • Former Church Member

      No need for you to defend Matt. According to him he answers to no one. I hear he showed his true colors last night and it wasn’t fitting of a man in his position. The membership of Central will wake up one day. He will reap what he sows.

      • FormerCDSparent

        I actually heard he did really well. Even when his character was attacked. In the end he will answer to a higher power, but so will you. Are you certain that all your negative comments and slander are the truth?

  • Anonymous

    I was not by any means defending the pastor nor insinuating that all the elders are not godly men. It is just wrong to assume that all have made this decision callously. Just like it would be wrong for me to assume that all comments posted by “former church members” are bitter, angry and vengeful and not all a good, Christian testimony to anyone who may be reading and questioning the validity of the gospel.

  • anoyomous

    There are many reasons that CDS is closing but the most important that when the new pastor came in he brought with him many new people. He lowered the salary of some of his old staff members, made one go to part time and had another one retire. The new pastor has bought land to build a mega size home on, spent who knows what at Christmas, is now adding a new service which will cost the church more money, wants to have couches and coffee served during the 11:00 service and hired another staff member to assist with the music. Plans are for Central to build a new sanctuary, turn the old into children’s ministry wing and who knows what else. So before we talk about money, let’s get the whole truth and not some story that the elders are putting together in order to protect Matt Surber, Kia Faciane and David Darnell. They are the Leadership Team and they make the decisions and the elders make sure that it takes place. If you are going to do things that people do not like, then take responsibility for your actions and put the blame where it should be. Please stop lying and for once can the elders from Central speak the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Many of the things you speak of were never passed through or approved by the elders of the church. There are things that have been implemented that did not go through the proper channels of approval. It can be that the new staff have mistakenly or blatantly disregarded how the church has always been managed to push their own agenda.

  • hacked off long time member

    Folks if you where going to invite someone to Central church, would you do so based upon his performance in the pulpit. Matt is an average pastor that delivers average surmons. He lasts about 2 years every where he goes then quits or gets fired. Again ask yourself this question, has Central improved since Matt arrived. I contend only he, his father and new staff have prospered. Also ask yourself why doesn’t any of the new staff members have to go part time!

  • Member

    Hey, all the new furniture just arrived for the “venue”. Now we don’t even have to go to church, we can just lounge around on the couches and do whatever. They had to fire a bunch of staff to make this happen though. It is amazing the total disregard for the “people” who have help run Central for many years, all in the name of “stuff” and looking “cool” Great job elders, I am sure you are proud. !!

    • Concerned Parent

      Surber and his boys feel they don’t have to answer to us, you trust me when I say, you DO and WILL answer to GOD!!! You guys do remember who He is???? And to stand there before hurting parents and staff saying you have NO idea where your kids are going to school is unreal!!!! Do you really think anyone bought that???? Surber you could care less about anyone but your selfish, self centered self arrogant self…your past and present actions prove that. Yes, we have researched your past behavior
      at other churches. Central members need to wake up before it’s too late for your church as well. Surber is PLAYING church, and there is a ring-size seat in hell for him!!!!!

  • Former member

    So sad that the church that so many of us attended for years is being torn apart and will eventually crumble because there is no shame at all with the new staff!!!

  • Casual Observer

    I attended Central back in the 90’s and later moved back to Memphis and attended in 2003, under the tenure of Ernie Frey. There was an excitement with Pastor Ernie, he was personable, and I loved his sermons. I returned to Central a couple of weeks ago, it is like a dead or dying church, talking to staff they all seemed in fear of loosing their jobs, and have been told by the Pastor he did not want to hear them complain! I got saved at Central and it will always be important to me, but it breaks my heart to see the way it is being run now. I had one Elder who told me that everything was fine, it seems to me no one wants to tell the Emperor he has not clothes on!

  • Former Member

    Thank you “Yes Men” Steve Strong, Bill Berry, Mike Cook, Jimmy Smith, Mike Cook and Steve Gibbs. you need to listen to Frank Bartozzi!

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