The Woolen Mills Sunday School was formed in 1886 in the wake of an intense Methodist revival. A year later, with Marchant’s blessings, the workers erected a wooden, Gothic-styled building in the center of the mill community. Most members of the school belonged to other churches in Charlottesville. The Sunday school itself was affiliated with the Union Church, an ecumenical group well organized enough to sponsor annual conventions. Weekly attendance in 1910 averaged over two hundred people. Men and women attended in roughly even numbers with women slightly outnumbering the men. The school convened promptly at three o’clock every Sunday afternoon. After an opening prayer and hymn, the congregation divided into twelve groups, each led by a teacher. The groups would collect an offering and then study the assigned lessons for 30 minutes. All classes had the same lesson. Afterwards, the congregation reassembled to sing more hymns, pray, or discuss church business. Frequently, a Sunday school officer would comment on the day’s teaching.
-Andy Myers
next home