My own personal experiences with Sunday School were quite brief and occured in Mastic Beach in the early 1950's. The first Sunday School I attended was held in the Mastic Beach Property Owners clubhouse where my sister Gerry taught a class. I have written before about it in the story Oh Little Town .. Later on I attended a few classes at St. Andrews, that were taught by Larry Schulz's mom. My main recollection of that was of my regular school classmate George "Pepper" Peterson giving Mrs. Schulz a hard time in class. He would excell at that, later on in life when he became a NY. State conservation officer and boarded my clam boat on several occassions.

But moving right along ..... last week I got an e mail from a Joseph A. Trenn of Benson,Vermont. Joe runs an antique and rare book store there called The Book Shed and something had come his way that he thought I might be interested in. And so he wrote:

All the way from Brooklyn to Vermont, and who knows where else it's been? Then on to Nashville, Tennessee in just One Hundred and Thirty Six years. And to think it started out just one short block from From J. F. Knapp's doorstep in January of 1869.

It's a manual for the school which was attached to the church. 132 pages that are in remarkable condition and full of surprises, not the least the inscription below which occurs just inside the front the cover. Anthony H. Creagh was the school secretary and parade marshal which was no small task. In the late 1890's he became the School Superintendant. He was also in charge of the Real Estate department at Metropolitan Life. And when U S President Benjaman Harrison came to call at the Knapp Mansion, it was Creagh who announced the dignitaries as they arrived in the music room. His family must of took great care with this book.


A. H. Creagh from yours fraternally Jos. F. Knapp

47 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, E.D.

( before 1899 Brooklyn was a seperate city not a borough of NYC. ED stood for Eastern District)

As regular readers of this website should know, the church was a major part of Joseph and Phoebe Knapp's family and social life. With St. John's being located a hop skip and a jump from their doorstep, the Knapp's involvement with it and their abilities to support it in all matters spiritual,social and financial, played a large part in the growth of St. John's M. E. . Not the least was their part was in the support of a Sabbath School that by 1869 had 70 teachers and activities going not just on Sundays but on almost everyday of the week.

Not exactly the hall we had at MBPOA or at St. Andrews. The school could accomodate a total of 1595 people. Keep in mind that not only was J. F. Knapp the major benefactor of building the school, but that during the construction in 1868, he had another little project going on across the East River. That of taking a leadership role in converting a struggling little insurance company known as National Travelers into some else again. He was one of the original "multi-taskers"




Knapp's involvement with insurance came about in the early 1860's, when he started out doing the printing for National Travelers. He also sought out an insurance plan with them for his employees. He soon became a stockholder in the company and later a director. By the time St. Johns was being built, he was Vice President of the newly re-organised and renamed company known as The Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and by 1872 ...well that's another story.