the supervision of the new board, events UBLC was renamed the Evangelical Cur- Prophecy, International Pentecostal Holi-
happening in the evangelical Christian riculum Commission (ECC). With this ness Church, and Pentecostal Church of
community would have a direct influence turn of events, the Church of God Pub- God—all of which use the PCCC outlines
on the Church of God. lishing House continued using the ECC as the foundation for their Sunday school
The National Association of Evangeli- outlines to produce Sunday school litera- lessons for adults. These lessons are found
cals (NAE) was created in 1942. Then, in ture for adults, and, with the assistance in the adult Sunday school literature and
1944, NAE, through its Church School of the Mount Paran Church of God in the Evangelical Commentary published by
Commission, called for a meeting of all Atlanta, Georgia, created its own Sunday Pathway Press (Church of God Publishing
parties interested in a new Sunday school school literature for youth and children. House). Meanwhile, Pathway continues
curriculum. From that meeting in Colum- This curriculum, named New Life, was to edit and publish New Life materials for
bus, Ohio, came the decision that “new” introduced in fall 1975. children and youth.
uniform lesson outlines would be pro-
duced, and the task would be undertaken Sunday School Literature Today Daniel L. Black is editor-
by an organization committed strictly to In 1999, the name of the ECC was writer of adult Sunday school
evangelical principles. Thus the National changed to Pentecostal-Charismatic literature for Pathway Press
Sunday School Association (NSSA) was Curriculum Commission (PCCC). Its and vice-chairman and
current members are Assemblies of historian of the Pentecostal-
God, Church of God, Church of God of Charismatic Curriculum Commission.
Evangelical Commentary Is Pathway’s Top Seller
The Evangelical Sunday School Lesson Commentary is the best-selling nonmusical
book in the history of the Church of God Publishing House (Pathway Press). Every
formed in August 1945 under the aus-
year thousands of commentaries are distributed nationally and internationally.
pices of NAE. Over the next 25 years, the
The Evangelical Commentary began in 1953 as a product of the Uniform Bible
NSSA dominated the evangelical Sunday
Lesson Series of the National Sunday School Association. Initially published by
Higley Press in Butler, Indiana, the first volume described its 11 writers as follows:
The approach to Sunday school
Drawn from a variety of denominations, they are committed to a strictly evan-
desired by the NSSA was to have all age gelical interpretation of the Scriptures without cramping sectarian emphasis.
levels study the same Bible lessons, with
To release the pure, powerful, living Word of God into the classes of the Sunday
adaptations made for each age level.
school world is their diligent aim.
Listed among the first publishers of the
The book was promoted as being for teachers of all age levels. The end of
NSSA Uniform Bible Lessons were the
each lesson contained tips for teaching “youth, junior, and primary departments.”
following Pentecostal groups: Church of
Pathway Press began printing the Commentary in 1963, when E. C. Thomas
God (Cleveland, Tennessee); Assemblies
was the publisher. Two years later, the outlines changed from a six-year series of
of God (Springfield, Missouri); Pentecostal
lessons to a seven-year series. From the beginning, new lesson topics have alwaysss hhave alwwaayyss
Holiness Church (Franklin Springs, Geor-
been developed for each series.
gia); and Pentecostal Church of God (St.
By 1970, lesson outlines were being used almost exclusively by fourr r
Pentecostal denominations. So when Charles Paul Conn (current presidentdene t t
New Life Curriculum
of Lee University) became the book’s editor in 1974, each of the main
The NSSA ceased operation in 1972.
writers were Pentecostals, and that has been the practice ever since.
Nevertheless, the Uniform Bible Lessons
In its 58-year history, the Evangelical Commentary has had only
Committee (UBLC), formed by the NSSA
six editors: Loyal Ringenberg (1953-59), Chas W. Carter (1960-61),
in 1946, continued with its work of pro-
Wilbur G. Williams (1962-73), Charles Paul Conn (1974-76), James E.E. .
ducing outlines. However, by 1968 the
Humbertson (1977-2001), and Lance Colkmire (2001-present).
only working members of the UBLC were
The Commentary is an annual volume that serves as a supplement
the four Pentecostal bodies listed above.
to the adult Sunday school materials published by Pathway Press, Gospel Publishingl l Publb isshingng
By the early 1970s, it was obvious
House (Assemblies of God), the Pentecostal Church of God, and LifeSprings Resources.
to the UBLC that their lesson outlines
In the last five years, two complimentary items have been added to enhance
were being used mainly to teach adults.
the Commentary’s effectiveness—the PowerPoint Teaching CD and the Commentary
In response, in 1974, the UBLC decided
in Microsoft Word. —Lance Colkmire
to prepare lesson outlines only for adult
Sunday school students, and in 1975 the
EVANGEL • MAR 2010 15
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