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Sunday School Superstar


She has a key to all the church doors. She teaches all ages. For the folks at St. Matthias United Methodist Church, Mary Lou Pitzer is someone everybody knows they can count on. This Virginia native joined the church at age 11 and made a commitment to always be there. So far, she’s kept it. Pitzer hasn’t missed a Sunday school class in 51 years. Kim Riemland reports.


Gene Pitzer is out at 7 a.m. this snowy Sunday, helping his wife get ready for church.

Mary Lou Pitzer (natsound): “Make sure I’ve got everything.”

Mary Lou Pitzer doesn’t let a little bad weather keep her from services. Pitzer can be counted on every week.  In fact, nothing has kept her away from church, for 51 years

Mary Lou Pitzer / Never Missed Sunday School: “I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been well. I guess the Lord has blessed me that way. If the children were sick, my husband was kind enough to take care of them.”

And if the family was traveling, Pitzer found a class to attend.

Mary Lou Pitzer: “I have been to church in London, Hawaii, Norway, all over the United States. As I’ve traveled, I’ve learned so much from other churches about how people believe and they open up their hearts to you.”

She even planned her wedding around getting to Sunday school.

Mary Lou Pitzer: “I refused to get married on a Saturday because I knew it would be asking too much to drag him to church on Sunday after we got married on Saturday.”

Pitzer became a United Methodist when she was 11. Her small church had worship services twice a month, but had Sunday school every week.

Joe Dunkin / St. Matthias United Methodist Church: “You don’t have to ask her to volunteer. Backbone of the church, backbone of the school, backbone of the community.”

Pitzer’s granddaughter, Brandi, plans to follow in her footsteps.

Brandi Wick: “I hope I do break her record of being in church that many years.”


Mary Lou Pitzer says Sunday school is a place where she feels at home. Both her parents are deceased and she is an only child. She says, “This church is real family to me.”

To learn more about Sunday school programs, visit

Also see: United Methodist makes Sunday school a lifelong commitment.

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