Back to Mayberry

October, 1998


In the fall of 1960, America was introduced to the town of Mayberry and in many ways we’ve never left. When reflecting on The Andy Griffith Show most people say that the show represented a time to which they would like to return. A time when you didn’t have to lock your doors, a time when you knew all your neighbors, and a time when life seemed much safer and simpler than it is today. However, even a casual look back at the decade in which the series originated reveals a very turbulent time in the history of our country. The civil rights movement, the war in Viet Nam, and the escalation of the cold war with the Soviet Union are just a few of the events that shook our culture during that time. So the question lingers, what is it about The Andy Griffith Show that continues to make it one of the most popular and loved television series in history?

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Show writer Bill Idelson once shared his opinion of why the series enjoyed such success: "You know what the secret of the show is? You know why everybody loves it? It’s about man’s humanity to man rather than man’s inhumanity to man. He’s a sheriff, the police - the symbol of oppression, brutality, and ignorance throughout the world - and here’s a guy who treats his neighbors and the people on the street as if they were human beings. I think people hunger for that so much that it transcends all of culture."

A show highlighting man’s humanity to man. A deep statement to describe a half hour comedy, but a valid statement. I believe success of The Andy Griffith Show was a result of a commitment to excellence by the writers, directors, and actors. The series produced several powerful episodes that highlighted and projected good, moral themes. Themes that have withstood the test of time.

The purpose of this paper is to document the experiences of developing an informal inspirational class using The Andy Griffith Show as a theme. The paper will cover my personal feelings and observations of the show, the details of developing a class based on the morals and principles the show promoted, and some personal reflections on the experience of conducting the class. This paper also contains an appendix detailing the support information used to conduct the class.


What Makes This Show so Special?

Why the Show is Special to Me

Why the Show Makes Sense for a Bible Class

Preparing for the Class

Getting the Word Out


Personal Reflections