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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Griffin dedicated 64 years to teaching Sunday Schoolcomment (0)

October 3, 2002


It’s rare for any church to have a member dedicated enough to teach Sunday School for half a century, let alone six decades.

But Cahaba Association’s Siloam Baptist Church has been twice blessed with two such people.

In addition to Margie McDonald’s 60-year tenure as a children’s Sunday School teacher, Siloam was also fortunate to have had Woodfin O. Griffin teach the men’s adult II Sunday School class for 64 years.

He taught until several months before his death in June of this year.

Teacher and trustee

The 92-year-old retired farmer and businessman also served as a deacon at Siloam for more than 50 years as well as on the board of trustees for Judson College in Marion.

President of Judson David Potts said Griffin had been a faithful trustee of Judson since the 1980s.

“He believed deeply in higher education for women. Both his wife and daughters attended Judson,” Potts added.

An avid golfer, Griffin played with his longtime friend, Raymond “Colonel Mac” McDonald for more than 30 years. He also played golf with his twin brother, Walter, a­n­other longtime Sunday School teacher at Siloam.

A 40-year member of Griffin’s Sunday School class, Bill Wheeler fondly remembered his friend’s teaching skills. “He was a great teacher. He put a lot of work into his lessons,” Wheeler recalled.

Wheeler also interacted with Griffin on a business level. “He never bragged about being a Christian but you could certainly tell he was one by the way he handled his business dealings. He was honest. When he told you something you could depend on it,” Wheeler ­reflected.

Dedicated to the class

Joe Richardson was a member of Griffin’s class for the last 15 years. “Woodfin was very dedicated and sincere in his teaching. He really worked at it. He was a dedicated teacher and Christian,” Richardson said.

Longtime class member R.V. Nichols benefited from almost 50 years of Griffin’s Sunday School teaching.

“At one point we had close to 60 men in that class,” Nichols remembered.

“[Griffin] would go for years at a time without missing a Sunday. And if anyone in the class missed, he would be sure to call and check up on them,” Nichols explained. “Even when I visited him after he had to enter a nursing home, he would be sure to ask me how many men were in Sunday School.”

Nichols said Griffin was famous for his inspirational quotes. “I asked him once if he would write them all down so I could commit them to memory,” he said, adding that Griffin fulfilled his request. “There were lots of them that I liked but my favorite one was, ‘Wherever you are — be noble. Whatever you do — do well. Wherever you speak —speak kindly. And give joy wherever you dwell.’”

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