I mentioned “Akron Plan” churches earlier, and wanted to explain. Here’s a quick description from
the New Jersey Churchscape website:
I was led to the story of a Methodist Episcopal church in Akron, Ohio that was built in 1866-1870, designed by George Kramer but with the plan specified by the church’s Sunday School Superintendent, Lewis Miller. It seems Miller wanted flexible space that would provide small meeting rooms for the Sunday School classes, which could open up into the regular auditorium so the classes might participate in a portion of the regular services. Sunday School students, sorted by age, would enter their classrooms and Miller would begin with a prayer and scripture reading; the shutters would then be closed and the day’s lessons would proceed. At the end of the lessons, the doors would be reopened and the concluding part of the general session would be available to all.
Indeed, at the First Christian Church, Athens, Georgia, the classroom doors remind me of a roll-top desk. Now, I don’t approve of auditorium religion, but I do like the best use of space in a church.
Another site: from “American Religious Buildings”
Is your church on the Akron Plan? Does it “work” today? Please leave a note in the comments.