This class for mentally-challenged adults has been a wonderful ministry for our church family since 1974. Class members are brought to the church from nine area group homes and residences for hymn singing and Bible study led by church members. There are now 30 regular class members plus ten teachers and music leaders each Sunday.
Jesus’ Friends meets in Room G101 next to the east parking deck level P2.
History of Jesus’ Friends Sunday School Class – as told by Holly Watts
The Beginning (1974)
On September 10, 1974, the Spiritual Growth Group at First Presbyterian Church studied the book of Acts and focused attention on the spiritual needs of mentally- challenged people and their families in Knoxville.
In October of 1974, the group visited several families with mentally- challenged relatives who were established in the Sertoma Center. The Spiritual Growth Group visited the Sertoma Center and interviewed several clients who seemed interested in a Sunday school class if transportation could be arranged. Sertoma offered to help with transportation. In February 1975, after much prayer, the first class met and was attended by six young men and a counselor.
The following letter appeared the next month in the “Knox County Association for Retarded Citizens Newsletter” (No longer this name.) :
“Jesus’ Friends, a Sunday School class at First Presbyterian Church for young men who live at the Sunshine Center, has its first session in February.”
The response was gratifying both from the point of view of the men who came and of the group of volunteers from the church who entered into the ministry enthusiastically. It was in the providence of God that the class was founded and the desire of all involved that this ministry that it would glorify Him in the lives of those enrolled.
The coordinator for this class is Steve Doak. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org