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FBC Falkville member marks 76 years of teaching Sunday Schoolcomment (0)

January 5, 2006

By Martine G. Bates

John Knight spends several hours every week preparing to teach his Sunday School class. This is a familiar routine for him because he has been preparing and teaching for the last 76 years.
Knight, who teaches the senior adult men’s class at First Baptist Church, Falkville, in Morgan Baptist Association, recalled that he initially refused when he was asked to take the job of Sunday School superintendent. He said he just didn’t feel qualified to do it.  
“I told them I would come to Sunday School, but I didn’t want to be superintendent,” Knight said.  He compared his attitude to Jonah’s in a recent lesson. “Jonah was just like a lot of us. He didn’t want to do what he was supposed to.”
Knight was approached again and again refused. “But then my conscience got the best of me,” he said. “I told the Lord, ‘If that’s what You want, I’ll make a stab at it. I’ll do the best I can.’”
The next time, Knight agreed to take the position, which included some teaching. Although he later gave up the director’s position, he is still teaching.  
Mike Tarpley, current Sunday School director at the church, noted that Knight is faithful to his class. “I can’t remember a Sunday he has missed in a long time,” Tarpley said. “He is so dedicated — he’s going to be there.”
Knight’s son John Knight Jr. said he’s seen his dad’s dedication firsthand. “A lot of times, I’ll pop in, and he will be sitting in that chair with his Bible and his Sunday School book,” he said.
Knight said he enjoys using the literature from LifeWay Christian Resources. “They dig pretty deep.” 
In addition to Knight’s 76-year tenure, two others at First, Falkville, have been at their posts for a long time. Dean Nelson has taught for 45 years, and Connie Harper has taught for 40.
Tarpley said, “It makes the job of Sunday School director easier. When you’ve got experienced teachers with that much wisdom and experience, people want to come every Sunday.” 
Their influence is not limited to church. “They are all so respected in the church and the community,” he observed. “People ... know about their faithfulness.”
Although Knight is in his mid-90s, he has no plans to retire from his teaching position. “I suppose they’ll just haul me away one day.”
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