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PSST & West Point Sunday School History
In 1875 the opportunity came for Susan and Anna Warner to communicate their faith to the cadets at West Point. At the request of several cadets, Susan began a Bible class for them on Sunday afternoons in the Cadet Chapel. Anna tells us: “The first day, there was a very large gathering, curiosity helping on the numbers. After that, it varied from week to week, as must be always, I suppose; especially among Cadets, where guard duty sometimes interferes; and where Sunday is the free day for seeing friends.”
“At home, in the summer, they met in our tent near the house, the forage caps tossed out upon the grass; the gray figures in all sorts of positions in and out of the tent”.
After the death of Susan Warner in 1885, Anna continued the Bible classes for cadets. Each week Buckner, her “elderly man of all work” would row her over to West Point to teach her Cadet Bible Class. She always brought with her individual nosegays of flowers from her garden to brighten up their rooms. Even though she often remained on the island up through early December, she never failed to meet her class. One time, in late November, this intrepid lady records that she started out, with Buckner rowing the boat, but was forced to turn back midway in the river because of storm and wind. So the classes continued up until the time of Anna Warner’s death in 1915.
(Excerpts taken from constitution Island website www.constitutionisland.org Published in 1925 by Olivia P. Stokes in her biography of the Warner sisters, based on words from a former Cadet)
After Anna Warner’s death the outgrowth of the Constitution Island bible class gathering developed into the Protestant Sunday School program with Cadets serving as its teachers to the children of the West Point community. Today, recognized as a Director of Cadet Activities (DCA) club, the Protestant Sunday School Teachers (PSST), continues to provide Christian education to children and adults within the West Point community. Renowned former Cadets who served as a Protestant Sunday School Teacher include: General William Westmoreland, General Douglas MacArthur, and General Dwight Eisenhower.