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First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, Wisconsin, 1848-1998; 150 years of mission and ministry

[History of the First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, Wisconsin],   pp. 8-73

Page 21

   For many years it has been the privilege of 
the writer to observe the plans and workings of 
a Sunday school in the First Presbyterian 
Church of Neenah, Wisconsin, of which Rev. 
John Logan Marquis is the pastor. I do not mean 
that the Sunday school is perfect, but it is cer- 
tainly a model and is one of the best organized, 
most faithfully conducted and efficient schools 
that I have ever known, and this is the result of 
years of development of consecrated lives and 
thoughtful attention. The school has been un- 
der the superintendency of Mr. D. W Bergstrom 
for many years, and he conducts it on the same 
splendid business principles with which he does 
his own large business enterprise. He is one of 
Neenah's foremost business men and is devoted 
to the interests of young people and gives time 
and thought in his own home to the study of 
the Word of God and to the methods of Sun- 
day school work. To quote his own words given 
in an excellent paper before 
the Wisconsin State Sunday 
School Association, he says: 
"The Sunday school of to- 
day is a big business and we 
should realize if we would 
have it succeed we must give 
the same zeal and the like 
fidelity to it that is bestowed 
upon the commercial enter- 
prise." Mr. Bergstrom is sup- 
ported in his efforts by a 
goodly number of most ex- 
cellent and intelligent 
people who manifest a like 
zeal and devotion to the 
work as himself. Among 
those is Mr. Frank Shattuck,    D.W I 
a progressive business man and a graduate of Yale, 
and is now president of the Wisconsin State 
Sunday School Association. 
   In the first place the church building is a 
model for Sunday school purposes, being so con- 
structed that six departments can meet simulta- 
neously in different rooms and each with a sepa- 
rate outside door. These rooms are so constructed 
that they may be thrown open for union service, 
and yet with double sliding doors so that the sing- 
ing in one department does not interfere with 
the other. There are five departments that meet 
regularly every Sunday at the same time, namely: 
the senior, intermediate, junior, primary and be- 
ginners. The total enrollment of these depart- 
ments is nearly six hundred. Each department is 
presided over by a separate superintendent, who 
has entire oversight of the department by the 
approval of the Superintendents' Council. 
   There is also a home department and a cradle 
                  roll, each one of which is 
faithfully looked after by a 
superintendent. One of the 
adult Bible classes in the se- 
nior department is con- 
ducted as a teachers' train- 
ing class, and there is also 
another teachers' training 
class which meets during 
the week, and these classes 
are the special charge of a 
young lady thoroughly 
trained for this work and a 
graduate of Moody Bible In- 
stitute. A teachers' meeting 
is held for three quarters of 
an hour following the mid- 
rgstrom            week prayer meeting, at 
which time the superintendent of the school di- 
rects the study of the lesson. The whole school 
is under the management of the superintendent 
and his council, which is composed of the su- 
perintendent, secretary and treasurer of the Sun- 
day school, together with the heads of the de- 
partments and the pastor of the church. This 
council holds a monthly meeting. 
   The whole spirit of the school is to keep con- 
stantly in mind the great purpose and mission 
of the Sunday school, as is stated by the Inter- 
national Secretary, Mr. Marion Lawrance. 
    First: A thorough study of God's Word. 
    Second: The Salvation of Souls. 
    Third: Training its members for active Chris- 
tian Service. 
   Fourth: The world-wide view of God's King- 
   In all the departments of the school the Bible 
is made the text book, and much attention is 
given to the teachers' thorough preparation for 
instruction, and the school is well supplied with 
Bibles and maps in each department and [an] 
abundance of song books. 
   A definite aim is to lead the scholars into a 
Christian life and to engage in some definite 
form of Christian service. Much attention is also 
given to the study of foreign missions, and 
monthly offerings are taken for this cause. 
   Much is made of three services a year that 
has to do with Christmas, Children's Day and 
Rally Day, at which time all the school is brought 
together in a common service. On Rally Day a 
regular diploma of graduation is given to those 
who have completed the work of the grade and 
who pass into the advanced department. 
   Perhaps few schools have all the material ad- 
vantages and so many competent and intelli- 
S. Frank Shattuck 
gent leaders, and certainly none have a more 
consecrated force of workers. Great effort is made 
on the part of the church and under the leader- 
ship of Mr. Frank Shattuck to hold the boys as 
they grow into young manhood in the church 
through the means of a splendid Boys' Brigade, 
that has done most efficient work now for eleven 
years, and the Sunday school is also made the 
training place for the children for church mem- 
bership and a larger Christian service. 
Reprinted here is an article which was 
published in The Examiner in about 
1915. The publication was apparently 
sent to church leaders throughout the 
country. This was one of two articles 
about the Sunday School program which 
appeared at about the same time. Photos 
from the second article are on the 
following page. 

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