The Lamplighters Class History
The Lamplighters Class began in 1971 when the Commission on Education called for a new class for young married couples and three couples from the Cokesbury Class sponsored the new class. The sponsor couples taught the class until sometime in 1974 when new class members took over the teaching duties for about eighteen months. Then, outside teachers led the class for six months and at that time, a class committee was appointed to find a more permanent teacher. Jack Gibson was the choice of the committee and became the class teacher in 1977/1978.
In the fall of 1982, Jack Gibson needed more time to devote to professional study so he asked to be relieved of his weekly teaching duties but taught the class periodically, attended class, and supported the Lamplighters’ activities.
Since the fall of 1982, the class has been taught by members of the class, visiting teachers from our church family and community, and members of the church staff.
The Lamplighters Class has a tradition of outreach which in the past has prompted such money-making projects as fruitcake sales, bazaars, bake sales, and wood-cutting sales. In 1983, the Aldersgate Class offered their traditional Spaghetti Supper fund raiser to the Lamplighters to carry on the event. The 1984 Spaghetti Supper was the first to be run solely by members of the Lamplighters Class and continues to be held on the first Friday in March. The money received from all events has gone to help others as well as sponsor projects at the Church.
Most recently, proceeds from the Spaghetti Supper have gone to Arlington Charities, the Arlington Life Shelter, Church Growth and Development, the Church Endowment Fund, Meals on Wheels, FUMC’s Youth Group and Youth Choir activities, Mission Possible Russia, Goodfellows, FUMC’s Boy Scouts, Hope Tutoring, and the Back-to-School Clinic. Additional funds are given to special needs of class members, church, and community needs that arise during the year. Each Christmas, the class sponsors a bike giveaway through the Police Departments of Arlington, Pantego, and Dalworthington Gardens.
Over the years, the class had held social events for members and their families. Included have been family picnics, camping and fishing trips, progressive dinners, salad suppers, Christmas hot dog cookouts featuring visits with Santa when our children were young and visits to Six Flags and baseball games.
Many members of the Lamplighters Class have served and continue to serve on committees, commissions, and boards of our church. Members of the class have lead building projects, mission projects, and events from bible school to festivals.
Our class has had many classrooms. First, the class met in a “closet”-sized room in the main education building. Then, as numbers grew, meetings were held in a slightly larger room in the main education building. Next, we moved to a room upstairs adjacent to the chapel with windows overlooking Division Street. Growing pains again necessitated a move to a windowless but larger room in the basement (Youth Center). The latest move was to our existing meeting room in the new building. Each room along the way was painted and outfitted with items from draperies to lights to fans and chairs. A piano was donated by a member of the class as were the lighted wall cross and numerous framed works.
We celebrate the joys and concerns of our members and guests. We enjoy a fellowship time every Sunday as we gather. We are Lamplighters, spreading the light of Christ.