A.V. Washburn, 85, dies; longtime Sunday school exec

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A.V. Washburn, known across the Southern Baptist Convention for his leadership in Sunday school work, died of cancer Dec. 12 at his home in Nashville, Tenn. He was 85.

Washburn was an employee of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board for more than 40 years. He was named secretary of teaching and training in the former Sunday school department (now the Bible teaching-reaching division) in 1946 and took over leadership in 1958 when he was named secretary. He held that post until his retirement in 1977.

He first came to the Southern Baptist agency in 1933 as an associate in the Sunday school department in charge of directing young people's Sunday school work.

Under the auspices of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, Washburn and his wife, Kate, spent one year following his retirement promoting all-age Sunday schools for the Baptist Union of Scotland.

Washburn was the author of several books, including "Outreach for the Unreached," as well as numerous tracts and articles for denominational publications. In 1996, a convention-wide award was named in his honor. The Washburn-Piland-Taylor Awards are given annually to four people in the SBC who have made a creative contribution to Sunday school work.

"His contributions to Southern Baptist Sunday school work are measureless," Bill Taylor, director of Sunday School Board's Bible teaching-reaching division, said. "Southern Baptists will be eternally grateful for the many gifts of this kind, gentle Christian man."

The funeral is to be held Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville.

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