Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Yesterday’s Tomorrow


Two for the price of one.

That has a good ring to it, doesn’t it – a bargain in any economy. Two lessons for the price of one. Yesterday’s Tomorrow is two lessons in one. Yesterday’s Tomorrow is a series of lessons for adults which will teach the story of the Bible Fellowship Church and show its doctrinal positions at the same time.

Yesterday’s Tomorrow is twelve discussion based lessons that offer a look into history and theology that is neither dry nor irrelevant. Individual sessions offer class members opportunity to see how God led in the formation of the Bible Fellowship Church and how our convictions about what the Bible teaches evolved throughout the years of our growth. Members of your class will have opportunity to read and talk about what we believe and how we came to believe it.

You are the class leader. I won’t call you the teacher because that would imply that you must prepare lessons and do lots of study. I’ve tried to do the work for you. All you will need to do is be prepared to lead your class as they talk about the various issues raised in these lessons. You won’t be called upon to lecture, just lead.

What do you need to get started with these classes?

First, you will need three books. The most important is Dr. Harold Shelly’s new book, The Bible Fellowship Church. You will get the story of our church by reading this book. The two other books, Verhandlungen 1859-1895 and What Mean These Stones?, give you valuable background that will enhance your understanding and perhaps your appreciation for our history. Verhandlungen contains our earliest story in the minutes of our church from 1859 – 1895. You will see how our early leaders faced issues and discover their concerns. In What Mean These Stones?, you will see our earliest doctrinal statement and hear some of the stories about the people and events that shaped us. Second, you will need this leader’s guide which contains all the prepared background you need. Third, you will need the set of student sheet masters which you can use to prepare student sheets.

What do your students need?

At the very least, they should get a copy of Dr. Shelly’s book so that they can follow the reading from week to week. You will notice the syllabus has assignments that allow each student to hear the story of our church for themselves. The other two books are certainly not a necessity but I have included assigned readings that will allow them to get the background color. They will also need the students’ sheets. These sheets begin with a boxed title. You will give copies of these out at the end of each session for the following week so that your students can read the material on the sheet and look at the questions in addition to their assigned reading.

How will you conduct your class?

You can begin your class with a time of prayer. It is always nice to spend a few minutes in prayer for each other. Then you will review information from the notes provided. When you are done, go to the questions provided. You may not be able to cover all of the questions. Don’t try. If there are too many questions to cover, you can make some choices about what is most important to you. At the end of the class, hand out the student sheets for the following week and send them off to get prepared for the following class.

How should you prepare?

You will see that each lesson has a guide for you entitled, “Class Leadership Instructions.” The bit of information you meet in the text box is a statement of the doctrinal truth which forms the core of the lesson you will teach. Following that, you will see “Introduction Notes.” These notes are a summary you can use to give an introduction. After that, you will see “Question Notes.” I realize how hard it is to ask good questions. I have put these notes so that you could know what I was thinking about when I framed the question. If you don’t like my questions, you are free to make up your own. These questions are designed to allow people to think about our history and our doctrinal positions. At some places I have noted that being right or wrong is not an issue. Let people do some thinking and be stretched by facing some of the controversies.

What other material do you need?

I have not made mention of any farther reading or resources. I believe that you ought to have a theological dictionary or theology text book which you can consult to get a deeper background into the issues. If you are a pastor, you have your favorite. If you are not a pastor, go see your pastor and he can recommend something for you. I don’t think you need to be able to answer every question that will rise out of your class. I do think you ought to be aware of how theologians have faced the issues.

What should you do if you are confused about the lessons?

Contact me at I’ve tried hard to cover all the bases but I suspect you will discover some bases I didn’t know about.

I have prepared these lessons in prayer that God will use what is in them to give you a deeper appreciation for our story and our doctrinal positions.

Richard Taylor


The lessons are provided for you in the .pdf format which will allow you to view them and print them through your Acrobat Reader.


Purpose: To view contemporary issues of doctrine, life, and ministry through the perspective of the history of the Bible Fellowship Church.

SessionTopicChapters (in The Bible Fellowship Church by Harold Shelly)Articles of Faith of the Bible Fellowship Church
1The Mennonites  
2The Bible1, 21
3Sanctification, Spiritual Growth35, 16
5Sanctification, Separation5 
6The Church6, 718, 20
7Christ’s Return825, 27
8Missions98, 19, 26, 28
9Leadership10Form of Government 1, 3, 4
10Eternal Security1117
11Civil Government1223
12Salvation13, 1410, 11, 12

Additional Readings

SessionVerhandlungen 1859-1895What Mean These Stones? (title, page)
14-23Retrospect, 3
Our First Church, 6
224-50Doctrine, 23-40
351-82Camp Meetings, 15
Mizpah Grove, 17
483-126Church and Missions, 11
Jacob Moyer, 77
5126-144Midnight Robber, 57
Life Experiences (William Ellinger), 43
6145-183Church of Our Fathers, 8
8215-248Church and Missions,11
Missionary Society, 41
Living Poem (Eusebius Hershey), 61
9 H. B. Musselman, 84