Burlington Church Draws On Andy Griffith To Strengthen Faith

11:15 PM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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Burlington, NC -- Each episode of Andy Griffith has a plot we can all relate to and a lesson we all can learn.

In fact, a bible study group at a church in Burlington spent weeks studying Andy Taylor's wisdom. They found the sitcom actually strengthened their faith.

Several years ago, the First Presbyterian Church in Burlington started a bible study called, "The Way Back to Mayberry".

"Andy Griffith, the man, was not perfect. But I think Andy Taylor, the TV dad was pretty darn close," said Holt Skinner, who lead the Bible Study group.

Skinner said The Mr. McBeevee episode we all know and love is one of the best examples.

When Andy realized Mr. McBeevee wasn't just from his son Opie's imagination, it was all about having faith.

While it's the same teaching found in Hebrews 11, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see," Andy Griffith brought it to life.

"It all came together when Andy realized that sometimes you have to believe in something that you can't see, to have the kind of faith that you need to have, to be a good parent," said Skinner.

The group also focused on Andy's kindness and his patience. He was certainly patient with Otis, the town drunk, and his neurotic best friend, Barney.

The ground also talked about something else that's hard for so many to do: forgive. Andy taught it every week.

"Andy was always forgiving everyone. He was always trying to be the peacemaker and always trying to bring things together, so it would all work out for everybody and Barney could be the hero or Opie could learn a lesson," said Skinner. "The episodes are such that if you've seen them a hundred times, it still doesn't get old, you want to see it again and again. Andy Griffith left something to us as a gift that will live forever."

Skinner said he received several calls on Tuesday evening about people who would like him to lead another "Way Back To Mayberry" bible study.

This time, he plans to hold it at the Paramount Theatre in Burlington, so people from all denominations and faiths can participate.

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