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Gadsden’s Fairview Baptist honors family for Sunday School attendancecomment (0)

December 11, 2008

By Lauren Brooks

Since 1958, Sybil Sitz has attended Sunday School at Fairview Baptist Church, Gadsden, in Etowah Baptist Association, missing only four Sundays.

“If I’m there, then I live closer to the Lord and my thoughts are more about Him,” Sitz said. “Unless church is called off, we’re always there.”

Church attendance is a family affair, as her two children, David Sitz and Lisa Sitz Wilson, also attend Fairview Baptist.

“David has only missed one Sunday in 47 years, and that was when he was a child and had open-heart surgery,” she said.

“His father read him the Sunday School lesson that week in the hospital.”

While Tim Hassler has only been the church’s pastor for a few months, Sitz’s commitment has already made a big impression on him.

“Miss Sybil is someone who is faithful to the church and, more importantly, in her relationship with God,” he said. “These are qualities that have been lost among younger generations — we’re all too busy.

“I know that Miss Sybil’s life is just as busy as anyone else’s, but that never got in the way.”

Wilson said her parents were never forceful, but rather loving, in the way they demonstrated their zeal for God.

“We could see a passion for Christ in them, and it put a passion in me and my brother for Christ,” she said. “My parents gave us a good foundation.”

A commitment and love for church have passed through the generations of this family. Sitz’s mother, Willie Washburn, had 47 years of perfect Sunday School attendance at Cherry Street Baptist Church, Attalla, in Etowah Association when she died at age 93.

“I was raised in church and have known all of my life that’s the place to be on Sunday,” Sitz said.

She also knows it’s a place to serve, so she has served Fairview in many ways from being Woman’s Missionary Union director to teaching third- and fourth-grade girls Sunday School to keeping the bed babies.

“My mother is always serving at church, like working in the nursery or cooking for church events,” Wilson said, adding she and her brother grew up knowing if they had the kind of relationship with Christ they should, then they would have a desire in their heart to serve God and His church.

Now Wilson and her husband, David, are teaching their 7-year-old son, Kameron, the importance of being at church and serving.

“So many children have a choice whether or not they go to church. It’s important to have them there on a consistent basis,” she said. “We want him to want to go so it will have meaning. I tell him when he’s helping fill cups of ice in the church kitchen, he’s serving God.”

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