Didn’t Study Catechize Lesson

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, February 9, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. I forget to study my catechize lesson, so I didn’t know it very well.

The McEwensville Baptist Church was torn down many years ago, but Grandma would have walked down this road to go to church.

The McEwensville Baptist Church was torn down many years ago, but Grandma would have walked down this road to go to church.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma occasionally mentioned catechism classes in the diary. The first time she mentioned it was on the very first day of the diary—January 1, 1911:

 . . . This afternoon I went to Sunday school and attended catechize after church. On my way home I received a charming new year’s gift. (Thanks to the donor.) The first day of the new year is almost spent and I feel rather sad.

The most recent time was on September 22, 1912 when she wrote:

 Went to S.S. this afternoon and attended Catechize.

Whew, Grandma’s been taking catechism classes for more than two years. That seems like a really long time. And, she also seems really old to be taking them. She’s 17—almost 18 years old.  I believe that Grandma attended the McEwensville Baptist Church.

I wonder:

  • How many years did young people need to attend catechism classes before they could join the church a hundred years ago?
  • What was the typical age when people joined the church back then?

4 Responses

  1. I don’t have much of a religious background, but my father was baptist too.

  2. I don’t know the answer but I imagine it was a form of farm families socializing too

  3. I wasn’t familiar with that word; had to research it.

  4. I don’t know if this is the answer, but I found a reference on wiki about “Baptist Catechisms” ….English Calvinistic Baptists typically adopted Reformed catechisms, modifying them to reflect their own convictions concerning the nature of the church and the sacrament of baptism. In 1680, the Baptist minister Hercules Collins published his own revision of the Heidelberg Catechism. Later, the General Assembly of 1677 adopted a catechism that was largely based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. However, this catechism was not published until 1689, after the passing of the Toleration Act. Ref:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catachism#Protestant_catechisms

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