By Rev. Donna Strieb
[Donna’s parents, Hazel and Chester Lee, became lifelong members of this class in May 1948]
The Kum Doublers Sunday School Class recently announced they are officially retiring the class and will no longer meet. This difficult decision ended the longest-running class at AHUMC after 73 years of fruitful, vital ministry that nurtured, sustained, and blessed not only its members but AHUMC as well.
On November 27, 1947, the class allowed young couples to meet, fellowship, and grow in their faith. It started with five couples and one single man in the Pastor’s office, and they chose the name Kum Doublers (i.e. Come Double). Six months later, they had doubled in size. Prayer, hymn singing, scripture study, and fellowship filled each hour.
In 1948, a building fund was started to expand church facilities, and the Kum Doublers held their first event to help raise money—a styles show and ice cream supper for 40 cents a person! This event began the class’s long and active support of AHUMC throughout the years. Each week, their class offerings were used to support church ministries, including Sunday School expenses, ten mission projects, and Wesley Community Center. When the Live Nativity Scene started in 1950, the Kum Doublers lent their full support and participation year after year. Class parties at Christmas time and in the spring were also an essential part of their fellowship life and the best pot-luck dinners imaginable. Through this, many of their children became good friends. Most of all, blessings came through the caring, loving concern they had for one another.
The Kum Doublers Class reached its peak number of 200 persons by 1957! It was considered the largest of our Sunday School classes. This class enthusiastically supported the decision to move the Church from Broadway to Basse Road in 1994, with member Earl Odell speaking fervently in its favor at the all-church meeting. This class also fostered leaders in the Church who served many years on various boards and committees and generously supported the ministries and building projects.
Dynamic and inspiring teachers blessed the class members in their faith and knowledge of the Bible. These included Dr. Glenn Lembke (1950-1989); a rotation team of Fran Everidge, Dr. Don and Maxine Sabol, Bernice Everett, Art Riley, Dr. Allen Stewart, Dr. Claude Overstreet, Lois Parkhouse-Smith, Mary Jo Klingeman, and Rev. Hoyt Dudley; and most recently, the team of Clarence Bray, David Reed, and Roger Lind.
This class had strong leadership, dynamic teachers, a loving and caring fellowship, a deep and active commitment to Jesus Christ and the Church, and especially to AHUMC over the years. Their prayers, presence in worship, financial gifts, witness in mission, and service both within and outside the Church are hallmarks of this remarkable class. The Kum Doublers epitomize a classic adult Sunday School Class that begins with young couples who, for the most part, simply grow old together until age and circumstances lead to its end. As this remarkable and wonderful class comes to a close, we, as a church, are truly grateful to God for all the members, their contribution to AHUMC, and the blessing they will always be in our collective memory.