What's in Our Name?
Fideles, properly pronounced "fee-day-lace," is Latin for "faithful ones." Its meaning reflects our desire to assist families in the training of their children to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, particularly as this training relates to their educational and vocational callings in life. Its Latin origin symbolizes our desire to pass on our scholarly inheritance from western civilization and the knowledge of the centrality of the role of the church in it. From the time of Rome's acceptance of the Christian faith, the church adopted and utilized the Latin language as it established churches and schools throughout Western Europe. From Europe it influenced North America and the world. "Today, more than 750 million people use the English language," and "it is safe to say that more than half the words we use in our daily speech come to us from or through Latin." Further, it is estimated "that 80 percent of scholarly English words are derived from Latin." Just as symbolized in the influence of this language, the church's influence has also been strongly felt in virtually every other area of our culture. Therefore, ultimately our name reflects our vision to continue that heritage of training students who will faithfully, in their various callings, be builders and influencers of their culture and world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whats in our Logo?
Our logo, the open Bible, the lighted candle, and the seven stars above is inspired by and gives tribute to an early group of Christian "faithful ones" known as the Waldenses. Tradition tells us of their existence and struggles before the 1100s in the northwestern Italian Alps, but certainly by the 1100s they are present there as witnessed by their Confession of 1120 called "the Noble Lesson," and the coming of a lay leader, Peter Waldo of Lyon, around 1170 from whom they derived their present name. In their effort to be faithful, they sought to make pure their faith and practices and to be consistent with their understanding of the Bible. Their beliefs and practices were similar to the later reformers but many years ahead of them which gives their present relatives reason to claim that "the Waldensian Church is the oldest evangelical church in existence, predating the Reformation by at least 400 years." However, because of this and other political issues of their times they became targets of cruel and unrelenting "mass persecutions, which began in the 1200s and continued intermittently for the next 500 years, up to the 1700s. The Waldensian population was almost totally exterminated during those terrible years." It was not until 1848 that they were granted religious and civil liberties.
"In 1532, the Waldenses met at Chanforan, in Italy, and voted to join the Reformation. Though their leaders had been in contact with the reformers in Switzerland, it was not until this time that they aligned themselves with this movement. The Waldenses contributed by translating the Bible into French. This was performed by Olivetan, a relative of John Calvin, and was possibly the earliest such translation. The Waldenses had translated portions of the Bible for 350 years, but had never attempted to translate the full text". After 1848, they prospered and grew in numbers and migrated to other parts of the world. One group of them came here to North America and founded the town of Valdese, North Carolina, where they still remember and celebrate their past.
History has shown them to truly be Fideles, "faithful ones." Their motto is "Lux Lucet in Tenebris," which means "Light Shines in Darkness." This motto/proclamation is reflected in the design of their emblem and we have modeled our logo after it.
The interpretation of our logo begins with the book at the base of it. It is an open Bible, and it signifies that God's revelation and guidance is our foundation and the source of our wisdom and knowledge. The candle above it represents the scholarship and study involved in applying God's word. The flame on the candle represents the necessary illumination of our study by the Holy Spirit, who gives light to us internally and to our witness in the world around us. The seven stars above represent the seven churches from the book of Revelation, and are a symbol of the Universal Church. Their color being the same as the flame represents their agreement with the witness of the lighted candle; we are both individual witnesses and a host of witnesses. The placement of the stars above represents their witness to all creation of their light, even in the darkness of night.