First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, Wisconsin, 1848-1998; 150 years of mission and ministry
[History of the First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, Wisconsin], pp. 8-73
t 49 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 3e 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- dom. 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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