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Robert Raikes: The Founder of Sunday School 1780
In 1780, the story of Sunday School began when Robert Raikes walked down the steps from his second story printing office to the street below. There, he encountered a wash woman that complained that the swearing of the children on the Sabbath Day made it sound more like hell than heaven. At that moment God dropped a word into his heart-try. Raikes took...
In 1780, the story of Sunday School began when Robert Raikes walked down the steps from his second story printing office to the street below. There, he encountered a wash woman that complained that the swearing of the children on the Sabbath Day made it sound more like hell than heaven. At that moment God dropped a word into his heart-try. Raikes took thirty children off the street and began to teach them how to read. Their first lessons were "God is One" and "God is love." He cleaned them up, gave them clothes, and taught them that vice is preventable and that a good example can draw others like a magnet. Other children were drawn so that the one school grew to seven schools; and after three years, he published to the world the effects of his experiment. He called it "botanizing in human nature." In a letter to a friend, he explained that his vision was to "create a new race out of what others called waste." By the time Robert Raikes died, over four hundred thousand children were enrolled in Sunday Schools. The story you are about to read was first told to a Sunday School class by J. Henry Harris in 1900. The author edited this story so that the testimony of Robert Raikes may inspire us to believe in the power of God's Word to transform lives and shape the future of our nation. Dr. Michael Peters graduated cum laude from Covenant Theological Seminary and holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from Saint Louis University.
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