Stephen Paxson,1837-1881, Sunday School
Written by: Unknown Posted on: 03/17/2003
Stephen Paxson was born with a speech impediment and later
nicknamed "Stuttering Stephen." He also was crippled and was
lame for life. Paxson was a hatter by trade, but also was the
favorite fiddler for Saturday night dances. His daughter,
Mary, begged her father to attend church and help her win a
prize. He was pressed into service and taught a class of
boys. They read the Scripture, and he asked questions out of
a book. After accepting Christ, Paxson showed sincerity in
voluntary service. He became a missionary of the American
Sunday School Union.
Paxson often returned east to raise money for librar-
ies to establish Sunday Schools. The sophisticated audiences
wept and laughed alternately, never heeding his grammatical
mistakes. They gave liberally. They became a part of founding
Sunday Schools in log cabins, tobacco barns, taverns, and
The Mississippi Valley Enterprise was one of the most
successful in the annals of Sunday School. In 1824 there were
2,000,000 inhabitants unreached with the Gospel. In a
1,300,000-square-mile area, led by Stephen Paxson and other
hard working missionaries, the American Sunday School Union
established over 61,297 Sunday Schools with 407,244 teachers
and enrolled 2,650,784 pupils in 50 years. The area grew to
Stephen Paxson was finally retired to the St. Louis
office and died in 1881. He founded 1,314 new Sunday Schools,
with 83,000 students.
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