A History of Atlantic Christian College
KINSEY HALL, ATLANTIC CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
A History of
Culture in Coastal Carolina
by Charles Crossfield Ware
Atlantic Christian College 1902
HABEBUNT LUMEN VITAE
Official Seal of Atlantic Christian College]
Atlantic Christian CollegeWilson, North Carolina
COPYRIGHT, 1956 BY ATLANTIC CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 56-13181
Set up, printed, and bound by The Bethany Press at St. Louis, Missouri
Printed in the United States of America
ATLANTIC CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
President White advised me on February 15, 1955, that he and the administration at Atlantic Christian College wanted me to write a factual history of the institution—to give an authentic story of its background and its fifty-four years of activity. Perhaps the lot fell to me because of my forty-five years of close touch with the college and my lifelong interest in Disciple lore. Collating necessary sources, I proceeded with the manuscript and completed it within a year. Assisting me was an advisory history committee composed of currently employed college personnel, including: Perry Case, C. H. Hamlin, Sarah Bain Ward, and Mrs. Mary Wilson. Each had long been a part of the school. President White, Dean Moudy, and this committee were most helpful, for which I am deeply thankful. Nevertheless, the shortcomings of this narrative, howsoever many, are chargeable solely to me. I have no alibi.
The circumstances of my writing were congenial. Incidentally, for forty years I had been gathering the Carolina Discipliana Library now housed in the Barton W. Stone Memorial Room at the college. Here, ready to hand, pertinent to this book, are source materials, precious and partly unique. Without these bound volumes of fugitive documents, mentioned casually in the book's footnotes, there would have been serious handicap. In the building of this archival collection, many generous hands have had an honorable part. I am grateful to all. Likewise, I am indebted in no small way to the various sources, printed and otherwise, acknowledged in the references. Verily it has been a cooperative labor of love.
Out of the scores of Disciple institutions of higher learning, living and dead, only fourteen have issued sixteen book-length printed volumes, setting forth their histories. These have appeared over the seventy-year period, 1885-1955. Thus the college at Wilson is the fifteenth institution of the brotherhood to submit such record.
Atlantic Christian College carries forward a noble tradition and a worthy contribution. Truly it has cultural significance. At some length it is herewith told in words.
CHARLES CROSSFIELD WARE
Wilson, N. C., February 25, 1956.
|INTRODUCTION, Travis A. White||9|
|CHAPTER I. “Send Us Schoolmasters Qualified”||13|
|CHAPTER II. “Town in the Woods”||24|
|CHAPTER III. Tarheel Disciples||37|
|CHAPTER IV. Carolina Christian College||50|
|CHAPTER V. “More Stately Mansions”||60|
|CHAPTER VI. Ordeal||80|
|CHAPTER VII. Survival||91|
|CHAPTER VIII. “Bricks Without Straw”||103|
|CHAPTER IX. Dreams of Expansion||116|
|CHAPTER X. Charts and Channels||129|
|CHAPTER XI. Pine-needle Potencies||152|
|CHAPTER XII. Campus Humor||166|
|CHAPTER XIII. Anchors Aweigh!||175|
|CHAPTER XIV. Marching On||188|
|CHAPTER XV. Peals of Progress||200|
|CHAPTER XVI. Horizon||222|
|APPENDIX A. Roster of Trustees, Carolina Christian College||230|
|APPENDIX B. Roster of Trustees, and Alumni Representatives, Atlantic Christian College||231|
|APPENDIX C. Roster of Presidents, Atlantic Christian College||234|
|APPENDIX D. Roster of Faculty and Administrative Officers, Atlantic Christian College||234|
|Frontispiece, Kinsey Hall|
|Greville Ewing Pamphlet, 1808||65|
|Record, First Assembly, North Carolina Disciples||66|
|Announcement, First Disciple School, South Carolina||67|
|Announcement, First Disciple School, North Carolina||67|
|Announcement, Kinsey-Foy Pleasant Hill School||68|
|Page 1, Initial Carolina Christian College Catalogue||69|
|Group, Carolina Christian College, 1897||70|
|Last Diploma, Carolina Christian College, 1903||71|
|Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kinsey||72|
|First Newspaper Advertisement, Atlantic Christian College||72|
|II. PRESIDENT AND TRUSTEES|
|James Caswell Coggins, 1902-1904||137|
|John James Harper, 1904-1908||137|
|Jesse Cobb Caldwell, 1908-1916||138|
|Raymond Abner Smith, 1916-1920||139|
|Howard Stevens Hilley, 1920-1949||140|
|Denton Ray Lindley, 1950-1953||141|
|Travis Alden White, 1953-1956||142|
|President Harper's Letterhead, 1906||143|
|Senior Class, 1909||144|
|III. GROUPS AND BUILDINGS|
|Ministerial Group, 1917||209|
|Bert Hardy Dining Hall||211|
|Baseball Team, 1913||214|
|Football Team, 1949||214|
|Champion Basketball Team, 1955||215|
|Glee Club, 1948||216|
The history of Disciples of Christ in North Carolina is a long record of distinguished achievement. Very early in their development as a growing communion of Christian people, they saw the need for an educational institution to supply the churches with a trained ministry. They were aware also of the need for an institution in which their youth could receive a college education under Christian auspices. As the story to follow indicates, efforts were made to establish such an institution. With the founding of Atlantic Christian College in 1902, the dreams and aspirations for a college became a substantial reality.
With the retirement of many whose life span of service covered the years of the college history, and the passing from the scene of many trustees and devoted friends whose firsthand knowledge of the events of the years would go with their passing, the Board of Trustees recognized the need for a factual record and authorized this history. None is better qualified than Charles Crossfield Ware to make such a record. To this task he set himself, bringing all his resources of historical interest and study.
It was quite evident as the chapters were written that, rather than a mere record, from the pen of an able writer was flowing the living and thrilling story of the struggles of a people in the building of a fine Christian college. Every reader will be impressed with the life and vitality
of this which might well have been merely a record of historical facts. It is a thrilling adventure down the trail of yesteryears in Christian Higher Education.
In the pages to follow is the story of Atlantic Christian College by one who loved and cherished its growth.
TRAVIS A. WHITE
Wilson, N. C., February 25, 1956
“SEND US SCHOOLMASTERS QUALIFIED”
North Carolina had her first professional teacher, of record, two hundred and fifty years ago. In the “Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Chowan Precinct,” July 25, 1708, an allowance is entered, of “twenty pounds per annum to be paid by the publick,”1 for Charles Griffin, being shifted after three years to the “Chapell” there from the “Parish of Pascotank.” He was to be their “reader,” and in effect, their ad interim minister in the absence of their assigned missionary, William Gordon. Griffin, an Englishman, had come in 1705, by way of the West Indies to the flowering Colony of Albemarle, locating at the first Quaker “meetinghouse” to be known within North Carolina.2 It was on Symon's Creek, eleven miles south of the present Elizabeth City, near ancient Nixonton, then seat of the local government. The site has a state historical marker, with due citation for Griffin, pioneer pedagogue.
Significant about Griffin was the marked community improvement due to his service. It is thus commended clearly by responsible contemporaries. Gordon, the missionary, praised Griffin's “diligent and devout example”; said that it had improved his patrons “far beyond their neighbors”; and that he had “gained such a good character and esteem,” that “the Quakers themselves send their children to his school.”3 Moreover in 1708, North Carolina Governor Glover, refugee in Virginia, necessarily an official factor in the policies of the[note][note][note]
Church of England, commended this primitive Tarheel. He said that Griffin “by apt discourses from house to house, according to the capacities of an ignorant people, not only kept those he found but gained many to the church in the midst of its enemies.” It followed, said Glover, that on Trinity Sunday, 1706, with Griffin's clientele the transient missionary Richard Marsden, “thought it convenient to administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which is the first time I can learn of its being administered in this poor country.”4 This pinpoints the time, the place, and the circumstance, of the first holy communion of permanently settled Tarheels. Subsequently Griffin fell from Anglican grace, having joined the Friends, or Quakers, thus becoming an accused and, I believe, a persecuted man. Previously, however, his worth as the first-named educator in “The Old North State” had been strongly affirmed.
Likewise in 1712 there was commended by missionary Giles Rainsford, a “Mr. Mashburn, who keeps a school at Sarum on the frontiers of Virginia between the two Governments, and neighboring upon 2 Indian Towns.” Rainsford pleaded with his Society to “allow him [Mashburn] a salary for the good services he has done.” Mashburn had taught reading, writing, and religion, and needed a “fixed dependency” to continue. Rainsford urged, “What advantage this would be to private families in particular and whole colony in general is easy to determine.”5
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel back in London received many appeals in the early 1700's for missionaries and teachers in the rising American Colonies. The New World was pressuring the Old for the trained and approved personnel who might be induced to venture thither. The Anglicans significantly were not raising an indigenous American ministry. Wherefore in 1716 Charles Eden, governor at “Chowan,” reminded[note][note]
the Society's secretary, that in accord with a recent “Act of Assembly” the people were willing “to contribute to the utmost to the subsisting of ministers,” provided they be “Gentlemen of good lives and affable behavior and conversation.” He boldly charged that the province had not had such “necessary instructors.” Then switching to compromise he urged that if ministers were not available for the “four parishes would they but please to send us schoolmasters qualified.” They were “beginning,” he said, “to reap the benefit of peace with the Heathen.”6 He was insistent that the rising generation be well served.§ 2
John Davis, born in 1776, at Salisbury, England, was a self-educated world traveler, author, and intermittent schoolteacher. He wandered through parts of Eastern America, from 1798 to 1802, and wrote an engaging story, published in London in 1803. A bachelor, aged 25, he tarried to teach for three months his “School in the Woods of America” on “Mr. Ball's plantation” in the Pohick Episcopal Church community, near Alexandria, Virginia.
Davis gives us an insight into a southern regional school at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Here his narrative is abridged.7
The school building is described:
It had one room and a half. It stood on blocks about two feet and a half above the ground, where there was free access to the hogs, the dogs and the poultry. It had no ceiling, nor was the roof lathed or plastered; but covered with shingles. Hence when it rained, I moved my bed (for I slept in my Academy) to the most comfortable corner. It had one window, but no glass, nor shutter.
I now opened what some called an Academy, and others an Old Field School. It was pleasurable to behold my pupils enter[note][note]
the school over which I presided; for they were not composed only of truant boys, but some of the fairest damsels in the country. Two sisters generally rode on one horse to the school door, and I was not so great a pedagogue as to refuse them my assistance to dismount from their steeds. A running footman of the Negro tribe who followed with their food in a basket, took care of the beast; and after being saluted by the young ladies with the curtsies of the morning, I proceeded to instruct them, with the gentle exhortations to diligence of study.
Of the boys I cannot speak in very encomiastic terms; but they were perhaps like all other school boys, that is, more disposed to play truant than enlighten their minds. The most important knowledge to an American, after that of himself, is the Geography of his country. I therefore put into the hands of my boys a proper book, and initiated them by an attentive reading of the Discoveries of the Genoese; I was even so minute as to impress on their minds the man who first descried land on board the ship of Columbus. That man was Roderic Triana, and on my exercising the memory of a boy by asking him the name he very gravely made answer Roderic Random. Among my male students was a New Jersey gentleman of thirty, whose object was to be initiated in the language of Cicero and Virgil. He had before studied the Latin grammar at an Academy School (I use his own words) in his native State, but the Academy School being burnt down, his grammar alas! was lost in the conflagration, and he had neglected the pursuit of literature since the destruction of his book. When I asked him if he did not think it was some Goth who had set fire to his Academy School, he made answer, ‘So, it is like enough!’ [He] did not study Latin to refine his taste, direct his judgment, or enlarge his imagination: but merely that he might be enabled to teach it when he opened school, which was his serious design. He had been bred a carpenter, but he panted for the honours of literature.
Alas! Cupid strikes:
Of my female students there was none equal in capacity to Virginia. The mind of this fair creature was susceptible of every culture; but it had been neglected, and I opened to her worlds of sentiment and knowledge. It was my desire to open to my pupil the treasures of Shakespeare. But the Library of the plantation did not supply the poet of nature; and I was almost in despair, when on a shelf in a miserable log-house I found the first volume of Theobald's edition. The book I obtained for a trifle, and I removed it to my school. My pupil read aloud that
beautiful and natural scene in the Tempest; no lips could give juster utterance to the speeches of its characters than those of my fair disciple. I was wrapt in a delicious dream from which it was misery to be waked. All around was enchantment. In the Elegy of Gray and the Ballad of Goldsmith I spread before my pupil a rich banquet to exercise reflection. I breathed only fragrance in a circle of loveliness. The hours of the morning were contracted to a moment. There is certainly the same difference between an educated and uneducated woman as between one living and one dead.
The teacher relaxes:
My recreation after school in the evening was to sit and meditate before my door, in the open air, while the vapours of a friendly pipe administered to my philosophy. In silent gravity I listened to the Negro calling to his steers returning from labor, or contemplated the family group on the grass plat before the dwelling-house, of whom the father was tuning his violin, the mother and daughters at their needles, and the boys running and tumbling in harmless mirth upon the green. Before me was an immense forest of stately trees; and the cat was sitting on the barn door; the firefly was on the wing, and the whip-poor-will in lengthened cries was hailing the return of night.§ 3
Harvard University, oldest in America, in her first appeal for help announced her purpose: “that the commonwealth may be furnished with knowing and understanding men and the churches with an able ministry.”8 In 1838, more than two centuries later, this cry also came from Brantley York of Piedmont, North Carolina. He was circuit-riding pedagogue and self-giving genius at Brown's Schoolhouse, “low-vaulted” beginning of Duke University. In York's experience he could rejoice that “religion flourished and schools revived for they generally go hand in hand.”9
William Edmundson, English Friend, in the spring of 1672, preached the first consecutive sermons, noted in the[note][note]
history of the state. The place is now identified as the riverside at Hertford, N. C. It is thus memorialized. He said: “Many people came but they had little or no religion as they came and sat down in the meeting smoking their pipes,” but, “several of them were tendered and received the testimony.”10 Within a few months George Fox likewise came, making converts from Currituck to Chowan. Fox set high value on education; “advised” that schools for boys and “young maidens” be set up to teach “whatsoever things were civil and useful in the creation.”11 Earliest Tarheel church record known is that of the Perquimans Monthly Meeting, validating the marriage on April 11, 1680, of Christopher Nicholson and Ann Atwood. This is the first publicized wedding extant in North Carolina's matrimonial lore.12§ 4
A serviceable library is of basic importance to a formal education. Somehow books must be provided for the subsistence and progress of learning. At first the Anglican missionaries were sponsors in this field. It was said that Thomas Bray sent “some books of his own particular pious gift.”13 These were followed by other books housed by various parishes, to be enhanced soon by controversial pamphlets of local production written to checkmate the multiplying noncomformists. York, the Methodist, tells of his “library society,” of local function, founded in 1824. It may be considered an embryonic antecedent of today's massive Duke University Library. About his miniature lot of books, York said, “My thirst for knowledge led me to read too much, more than I could assimilate.” Nevertheless it was “no small source[note][note][note][note]
of improvement to myself and others, and any similar institution cannot fail to be a blessing to any community.”14
The state library at Raleigh, established in 1840, was housed in the new capitol. It continued for eighty years thereafter on an annual appropriation of but $500 for “increase” of books and other media.15 This is indicative perhaps of a relative indifference to libraries, apparent throughout the state, as of that period. William Hooper, native Tarheel, grandson of the “Signer,” and sometime president of Wake Forest College, took occasion in 1858 to say: “The bulk of our population may be called an unreading people . . . but they are fond to excess of public speaking.” Of John Kerr, Baptist preacher, itinerating in North Carolina, Hooper said, “His sermons often were protracted to three hours’ length, yet the people continued to sit with unsated ears, and the same throng who heard him yesterday, would ride miles to hear him to-day.”16 As a corollary to this, newspaper circulation in the state was abysmally low, in 1842. Possessing no daily, but with one semiweekly, twenty-six weeklies, and two periodicals, they were anti-climaxed with the worst support in circulation upon the entire national scene.17 At Kinston, the Free Press editor noted in 1906 that it was 1880 before any local paper there could get “more than a short lease of life.” He also said of Kinston: “I saw books burned in the great fire of 1895 which had been on shelves for sale for nearly twenty years.”18§ 5
The state constitution, 1776, had made provision for common schools. This was the first such action in the[note][note][note][note][note]
South but it was not activated for 63 years. Murphy, Caldwell, Morehead, and Wiley worked heroically to set up the system. Potent cumulative resources were the augmenting literary and school fund, a substantial federal appropriation, and the state-owned million and a half acres of swamp land, estimated to contain the equivalent of an eighth of the state's over-all fertility.19 The situation called for a Horace Mann. In Calvin Henderson Wiley, first state superintendent of schools, 1852, they found the type.
Mann, observing the best European schools, was impressed with the heritage there of the great Swiss reformer, Pestalozzi. Concepts had changed and the old order was passing. The improved method was to inspire the true self-development of the respective pupil, under humane teaching, intuitive and fraternal, to mark the adept master. Far too much of the inane and the brutal had inhered in the old regime. Now the teacher ideally was to be so animated as to stand while he taught; have no book in his hand except for reading and spelling; so instilling the passion for knowledge that the pupil was neither punished nor did he fear punishment.20 This evolution brought the end of teaching careers for a legion of the inept and the incompetent.
Indeed, it was high time! Wiley could prove by the federal census of 1840 that fully a third of the adult whites in North Carolina were unable to read and write. In the General Assembly at Raleigh in 1852, it was acceptably reported that of the total of 3,000 teachers then serving in the state, a third “can scarcely make a readable return”; that two thirds “cannot teach English grammar; 1,800 are deficient in geography; 1,200 cannot teach the whole of ordinary arithmetic.”
Glad hearts hailed the dawn![note][note]
There was need that the educational renascence be kept in balance. Resurgence might obscure the fact that a sound mind without a sound body could often be a distressing anomaly. In Our Living and Our Dead, Devoted to North Carolina—Her Past, Her Present and Her Future, a magazine published at Raleigh in 1874, it is said that there are 446 muscles in the body, and that exercise is a law of education.21 Dr. Solomon Sampson Satchwell was first president of the reorganized State Medical Society of North Carolina, 1849, and Confederate surgeon at Wilson in the 1860's. He addressed the Wake Forest Literary Societies, October 18, 1858, on the subject: “The Influence of Material Agents in Developing Man.” He said,
We have not the vigor of our ancestors. . . . At the time of David the average duration of human life was three score years and ten. Now it is in the United States about thirty-three years. . . . Visit almost any of the colleges and universities of the country! Observe the pale, feeble appearance of most of their students! Thousands of them, before as well as after graduation, are annually going down to premature graves . . . the melancholy victims of a neglect of the laws of health while obtaining an education.
Again, “Clergymen, too, are noted exemplars of this disobedience. They every where show it by their dyspeptic looks and feeble bodies.” He commended those who strove “to promote the public good by sanatory enactments,” to the end of transmitting “to their descendants a free, prosperous and happy country.”22 Herbert Spencer's philosophy gave favorable emphasis to the place of physical education. This seems to be integrated to a notable extent in modern education and its accessories.23[note][note][note]
The first college in the state, Queens at Charlotte, was incorporated January 15, 1771. It was projected by local Presbyterians, tied in, of necessity, with the Church of England. Its charter was revoked by King George III, April 22, 1772. This arbitrariness of George tended to “The Hornet's Nest,” for his invading Redcoats, within a few years, at the Mecklenburg village.
In 1795 there opened for service at Chapel Hill the first State University in America. The beginning was humble. During the first two weeks just one student, Hinton James, enrolled for the initial faculty of four. The hesitant state took it under direct control in 1821. In its early career it was geographically isolated. In classical learning it has been outstanding in cultural service for a hundred and sixty years.
Horace Mann instituted the first normal school in America at Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1839.24 Braxton Craven led with the first such school in the South, empowered to grant teachers’ training degrees, at Normal College (Trinity) in 1851. Wiley was the only state superintendent of schools in the South before 1861. In 1855 he said of the women who taught in North Carolina, that their average salary surpassed that of any state in America.25 However, this champion feminine pay was just $18 per month. By 1860 Wiley could say, “North Carolina has the start of all her southern sisters in educational matters.”26
Four years of devastating war, followed by the eleven of corrupt reconstruction, left the state prostrate. Nevertheless, the National Yearbook of Education, 1878, listed for advanced learning in North Carolina forty-four places, having an aggregate of fifty-nine schools, institutes, academies, seminaries, colleges, and universities.27[note][note][note][note]
An accreditation survey by the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities, as of 1952, lists thirty-one institutions of that qualified class within North Carolina. Of these, nineteen are white, eleven Negro, and one Indian. Aggregate number of volumes in their thirty-one libraries is 2,831,394. Of these volumes 2,496,430 are in the white libraries; 315,847, in the Negro; and 19,117, in the Indian.28
When Charles Brantley Aycock became governor in 1901, a new era for education in the state began. Concretely, within the first decade 3,000 new schoolhouses were erected. From 1900 to 1952, public school property increased in value from $1,000,000 to $350,000,000 and the annual administrative maintenance from $1,000,000 to $125,000,000. On January 15, 1901, Aycock had said, “With the education of the whole people, with a fair and impartial election law, with peace everywhere, there will be nothing to prevent us from working out the high destiny of our state.”29[note][note]
“TOWN IN THE WOODS”
The colonial woodsman blazing his trail southward a rugged day's journey from the Falls of Tar River came to an elevated plain. Covered by virgin forest it was on the Neuse watershed in the Toisnot-Contentnea basin. Here was to be a city on the forthcoming Toisnot estate of Benjamin Farmer, soldier of the revolution, neighbored three miles to the east by John Thomas, father of Jonathan and John. It was to be Wilson, North Carolina, twentieth-century home of Atlantic Christian College. First a crossroad village; then an expanding town; finally, today, the city of seven square miles, with 74 miles of streets, and 25,000 inhabitants.
Many settlers in early America clustered their homes near the wharves of the commercial water courses. There was found usually the double advantage of easy communication and fertile soil. Two centuries later came transportation by steam. Hence the delay in the development at Toisnot. Midway between the Tar and the Neuse, at this inland site no important navigable stream was of ready access. By 1840, however, the locomotive brought the diminutive Toisnot Depot within a third of a mile of Hickory Grove Primitive Baptist Church. This church, originally named Toisnot, and oldest of the area, dated from 1748. It had moved to a new chapel set up for it in 1803 three miles west from the old location. The post roads from Tarboro to Smithfield, and from Raleigh to Greenville passed, in 1803, at what is now the intersection of Tarboro and Barnes Streets in Wilson. Here the old church stood for the thirty-seven
years before the first passing of the trains at the depot where the A. C. L. railway freight station is today.
The depot and the church were but the equivalent of four city blocks apart. There was initial realty development around each. Alfred Moye, prominent Disciple layman of Pitt County, had served for twelve years in the state senate, and knew the ways of the legislature. On December 20, 1848, through B. F. Eborn, he “presented a bill to incorporate Toisnot Depot and Hickory Grove in Edgecombe County into a town by the name of Wilson.”1 The bill passed and on January 29, 1849, the town became the corporate village, named for General Louis D. Wilson, Mexican War hero, who died at Vera Cruz, August 12, 1847. The Wilson hamlet then had 89 persons including slaves. Back in 1790 Arthur Dew alone of the Toisnot Dews had 16 slaves. Tarboro, seat of justice, was 28 miles away. For the Toisnot locale, upon which fortune so kindly had smiled, there was rightly to be a new county centered at Wilson. By good strategy this was effected on February 13, 1855, and General Wilson was also honored in the county name.
First North Carolina Disciple periodical was The Christian Friend beginning June, 1853, and edited by John Tomline Walsh, M.D. It was then published in Wilson. In July, 1853, Walsh described Wilson in an abridged article, as follows:
The town now presents a neat appearance as the town in the Woods. The plank road from Greenville to this place has been completed; cars on the railroad pass four times every day for carrying the mails and to accommodate travelers. There are five turpentine stills and the sixth is about being set up; four dry good stores; two of them on a large scale; and three grocery stores; two public houses [hotels] liberally patronized; although as yet but one meeting house, while the large Temperance Hall over one of the stores is where all denominations can hold worship.
There are two physicians well supplied with medicine; a large coach-making establishment; a boot and shoe shop where the[note]
best quality of work is done to order; one milliner's and three tailoring establishments; a gun-smith shop; a number of cooper shops; carpenters who are constantly erecting new and elegant houses; one cabinet shop, and one candy store to supply all the children. Upon the whole Wilson presents an encouraging prospect for those families who have children to educate and desire a healthy location.§ 2
Carolina's piney woods began to supply basic products of naval stores, used the world over, in 1704.2 Here was the land of tar, pitch, and turpentine. The development of this resinous resource marked grimly the coastal plain landscape for two centuries. Thereby Wilson was visibly encompassed.
Beginning with the first warehouse auction here on September 10, 1890, tobacco auctions and processes became radical factors in the commercial rise of Wilson. The recorded county acreages of 1884 are graphic in the light of the eventual “largest bright leaf market in the world,” at Wilson. That year, 1884, Wilson County cultivated but seventeen acres of tobacco yielding 8,745 pounds. The market was too far away. Other counties in the area did less: three acres only in Edgecombe; three also in the great county of Pitt; eight in Greene; twelve in Pamlico.3 There had been a provincial warehouse in 1734 at Bellair in Craven County, apparently the first of a countless succession.4 An early quarrel with Virginia referred to her shipping restrictions on the “golden weed” from Albemarle. But for a century and a half, eastern North Carolina played Rip Van Winkle on this agricultural potential. Voluble travelers branded this turpentined terrain as a wilderness of the poor. Armchair speculators low-rated the land of the[note][note][note]
omnipresent pine. They knew not that by proper farming in this postoceanic loam, the lucre-laden cigarette leaf might grow abundantly on relatively infertile soil. With one-crop cotton selling for four cents a pound in 1894, planters were already awake to a more promising cash commodity.5
For the year 1954, there were nineteen tobacco warehouses in Wilson, with nearly two million square feet of space, selling 97,000,000 pounds of the weed for $53,000,000.§ 3
A community of religious atmosphere is of prime relevance to Christian education. After the climax of independence in the new America, there seemed to be a dark age for the gospel. An English traveler observed in 1800 that North Carolina was almost “lost to the sense of religion.”6 Barton W. Stone, Orange Presbytery licentiate from Hawfields, came down to meet classic rebuff by Tarheels in the midcoastal “lower parts.” There were no churches then of that faith in this section, but the Presbyterial perimeter ran far down by Diamond Shoals. Stone and Robert Foster, his preaching associate, found the glacial hardness of the field beyond their capacity to suffer. They would flee to some chance oblivion. At the beginning of their runaway, May 1, 1796, they were confronted by a perceptive faithful woman, truly a handmaiden of the Lord. She reversed their course to the Western waters, where intuitively she said that a grand harvest should await them.7 Thus “beyond the ranges” in Kentucky, Stone fathered the Christian church movement within a few years among his fellow Tarheels at Cane Ridge. It grew into the largest Protestant communion of indigenous origin in America. This[note][note][note]
eastern Carolina romance of redemptive turning is now commemorated in the Barton W. Stone Memorial Room of the Atlantic Christian College Library.
In December, 1796, there came to “Tarborough,” Francis Asbury, continental Methodist bishop. In a courthouse room in that cold season, a fire glowed. He said, “I thought it was for preaching, but it was for dancing and the violin lay on the table.”8 Again at Tarboro in February, 1803, he wrote: “There are in this place about thirty-three families: The people have more trade than religion, more wealth than grace. We have about thirty Africans in fellowship, but no whites.”9
A teen-ager and free-lance itinerant preacher was Joseph Thomas, the “white pilgrim.” He came into Edgecombe in June, 1809. He was a Christian Baptist disciple of William Guirey. He was in the baptismal line of Virgil A. Wilson, extending through Landon Duncan and Chester Bullard. This Wilson and Moses T. Moye cofounded the First Christian Church of the village of Wilson, April 27, 1871. Joseph Thomas sought lodging at an inn “not far from Tarborough.” He was rudely refused. The landlord, said Thomas, “thought I was a runaway apprentice boy, and that the horse I was on was a stolen one . . . he cursed me to be gone off.” Whereupon the youth left “by the light of the moon,” in “a path that led through a thick dark woods.”10
At Chapel Hill is preserved the excessively rare pamphlet published at Tarboro in 1834, from the depressed heart of Thomas Campbell, father of Alexander. The elderly Campbell had done far better in Carolina than he knew. Moreover he was nearing a climax of worthy achievement beyond his obscure dreams. Still in symbol, Carolina was his Patmos, not unlike that of the beloved Apostle, in the long ago.[note][note][note]
The passing decades brought welcome change. Frank M. Jordan, Missionary Baptist evangelist, coming to Wilson in April, 1878, related, “Bro. John B. Brewer met me at the depot and carried me up to the Female Seminary where he was the President, gave me a nice room and a seat at the table with all those pretty girls. I thought this looked like a favorable beginning.” Again: “I want to say that Bro. Cob Moss was one of the sweetest spirits I have ever met. He was so full of the Spirit that he would give life and soul to any meeting.” There were forty baptisms, and Jordan concluded: “Thus closed a great meeting of six weeks.”11
Today thirteen communions are represented by fortynine churches in Wilson. There are more than a hundred churches within the county. Some local founding dates are: Primitive Baptist, 1803 (Toisnot, 1748); Methodist, 1853; Episcopal, 1856; Missionary Baptist, 1865; Disciples of Christ, 1871; Presbyterian, 1885; Free Will Baptist, 1925; Roman Catholic, 1928; Seventh Day Adventist, 1928; Lutheran, 1942.§ 4
Sundry and diverse temporary private schools served Wilson for more than a half century. The parent county antecedent to Wilson, Edgecombe, had in 1839 voted against the state-wide free school system. The Edgecombe majority was over six to one against the establishment, but in the state, as a whole, the schools won.12 In 1885 it was said of Wilson, for 1853, that “a small unpretending school house located under the shade of the old hickory, which still stands near the jail, afforded the only academic advantages of the town,” yet it was the “humble Alma Mater of leading businessmen.” But “during this year  they built two academies, one for each sex.”13[note][note][note]
Source materials, 1853-1895, are not definitive for full and exact listing of Wilson's private schools, with their respective principals, for that period. What I have gathered follows:
1. First Academies, male, 1853-1863, female, 1853-1859; Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Adams (1853-1856); Mr. and Mrs. D. S. Richardson (1856-1861); John F. Keenan (1857-1859).
2. Wilson Female School, 1857-1858: Mrs. W. H. Hughart.
3. The Methodist Academies, male, 1859-1861, female, 1859-1863: C. F. Deems.
4. Hooper's School, 1867-1875: J. De Berniere Hooper, and his uncle, William Hooper.
5. C. W. Arrington's School, 1869.
6. Wilson Collegiate Institute, 1872-1875, 1877-1886: S. Hassell.
7. Wilson College, 1875-1877: S. Hassell.
8. Margaret Hearne School, 1875-1881.
9. Wilson Female Seminary, 1875-1881: J. B. Brewer.
10. Wilson State Normal School, 1880's: S. Hassell.
11. H. McMillan School, 1887-1889.
12. Wilson Male Academy, 1889-1891: Kelly and Middleton.
13. Wilson Collegiate Institute, 1886-1895: Silas E. Warren.14
14. Wilson Military Academy, 1895-1896: Major J. W. Yerex.
Josephus Daniels in his Raleigh State Chronicle, May 31, 1889, declared that Wilson had become the cultural “center of a large section as well as the commercial depot.” About the same time the enthusiastic Wilson Advance, claimed that the town in an early heyday had been “the leading educational community of North Carolina,” and was such a “center while she was yet in the forest.”§ 5
It had been necessary for these private schools to carry a heavy load catalogued by them as “Primary” and “Preparatory.” Academic standards were incredibly low, as viewed today. For instance at Wilson College, in 1875, their “Freshman Class, Collegiate Course”[note]
studied spelling, practical and mental arithmetic, English grammar, manual of geography, history of the world, a first Latin book, penmanship, drawing, composition, and declamation. By the senior year, the student, among other subjects, had reached Cicero and Horace, Johnston and Brown's English Literature, Peabody's Moral Philosophy, McCosh's Logic, and Barnes’ Evidences of Christianity in the Nineteenth Century. No electives are indicated. The course of study is outlined in sextet: “primary, preparatory, commercial, normal, musical, and ornamental.” Some of the ablest leaders this commonwealth has known were given adequate foundations in these Wilson schools. To call their names is to evoke a just and lasting pride.
Meanwhile a long and severe battle raged to ensure effective public schools, stymied in North Carolina for a generation by the Barksdale Decision, of 1885. This judgment by the State Supreme Court on a technicality in the state constitution had tied the hands of respective county commissioners, by limiting their special-tax prerogatives toward meeting the proper needs of the schools on the various district levels. Contrariwise, the minority decision given by Judge Merrimon insisted that the constitution must rightly be interpreted as a whole. This plainly set forth the free thought of the North Carolina people that the cause of education was of “transcendent importance.” Therefore the technical, arbitrary limitation should be ignored, he said, and the people be permitted by their own vote to levy the necessary tax for the fully intended adequacy of the schools. Merrimon had strong support in Josephus Daniels. This young editor forthwith virtually said that the Barksdale Decision was an obliquity in the state's jurisprudence. Yet it stood until 1907. Then Henry Groves Connor, sitting on the court, gave his vote with the majority to reverse the decision. This unshackled the schools. Connor lived
in Wilson for the last sixty-nine years of his life; Daniels for twenty years of his youth. Both were inveterate friends of education.15§ 6
The Wilson Collegiate Institute, after twenty-three years, was closed in 1895. Now the way was opened for a new and perhaps larger school. The Wilson Educational Association was a corporation functioning through a group of local citizens, all of whom were proved and resourceful friends of education, and some were experienced administrators thereof. They negotiated with Kinsey Seminary in 1896, looking to its removal to Wilson. It had been in successful operation under Joseph Kinsey at LaGrange, North Carolina, since 1886. Kinsey accepted the call and announced that he would open in Wilson, September 15, 1897.16
The Wilson site for Kinsey was bought April 28, 1897, by the Wilson Educational Association. It was a rectangle, “containing five and a third acres more or less,” bought for $700. It was described as “being situate in the northern suburbs of the town of Wilson.” The land was in two parcels, owned by Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Gold, and Mr. and Mrs. Warren Woodard. At this plat, only Whitehead Street (later Avenue) was open. Lee and Rountree Streets had to be extended to line the boundaries, and Gold Street had to be named as well as extended. It was an undeveloped area. By details of survey, “stakes in the woods” were corner markers. Visible habitation there was none, save “a tenant house on Whitehead Street where the Water Works road begins.”17
The main building for Kinsey Seminary in Wilson was erected in the summer of 1897. The building cost was[note][note][note]
approximately $20,000. It fronted “126 feet on Whitehead Avenue, and 121 feet on Lee Street,” with a “tower 75 feet high.”18 The announcement said, “This building will surmount a slight hill and will be very convenient from the resident portion of the city.”
Named on the Board of Directors were: George Hackney, president; Joseph Kinsey, first vice-president; George D. Green, second vice-president; Jonas Oettinger, secretary and treasurer; J. F. Bruton; F. A. Woodard; P. D. Gold, Haywood Edmundson, Henry Groves Connor, Silas Lucas, and Johnathan Applewhite. These were all Wilson men.
First faculty of Kinsey, at Wilson, were: elocution, art, chapel management, Ina Kinsey; Latin, mathematics, Alice Hines; science, English, history, Miss D. B. Rogers; preparatory department, Alice Saunders; voice, Lottie May Dewey; and piano, Misses C. B. Yelton, Dora L. Norton. Others serving also before close of Kinsey in 1901: principal, Mrs. Joseph Kinsey; piano, Laura J. Marshall; voice, Misses Kate I. Robinson, M. B. Swan; violin, Bernice Rogers; matron, Mrs. J. B. Gunter, and attendant physician, Dr. Albert Anderson.
The catalogues called it “a female boarding school.” The girls wore uniforms which the principal said was “perfectly satisfactory,” and “elicited the admiration of the public.” Further “It obviates the difficulty of invidious distinction in dress, saves expense, time, thought.” Tuition and board, September to June, was $150. The specials in music and art each rated $30 extra. Nowadays one has to see this in official print to believe it. There was a four-year course of study; also “additional exercises in the prep school for spelling, reading, composition, penmanship, and sight-singing”—a wholesome drill in the grass roots of culture.
Listed among the seminary's advantages were two literary societies helping students materially to “self-reliant, confident expression”; the “wonderfully low”[note]
expense account; “a fine auditorium”; “a retired location,” in “progressive Wilson” marked by “healthfulness and beauty,—an admirable place for study.” This was all true and was good promotion.19§ 7
Joseph Henderson Kinsey never used his middle name. It was always simply Joseph Kinsey. He was born in a log house in Jones County, North Carolina, two miles east of Pleasant Hill Christian Church, January 17, 1843, and died at his LaGrange, North Carolina, home on January 12, 1929. He and his wife, Frances, had four sons, James, Herman, Robert, and Bingham, and four daughters, Ada, Eva, Ina, and Elizabeth. Joseph Kinsey was of German Palatine descent, but of the fifth American generation from John Kinsey who settled in April, 1710, at New Bern, North Carolina. This John Kinsey, who died in 1752, married Mary Isler, daughter of Christian Isler, secretary to Baron Christopher de Graffenried. Their son Joseph Kinsey I married Mary Williams; their son Joseph II married Mary Brock (second wife), and these were parents of Joseph Brock Kinsey, father of the subject of this sketch, whose mother was Nancy Brown Kinsey.20
The story of the Palatines in Colonial North Carolina is complicated and sad. Driven out of their Rhine homeland by the villainous Louis XIV, and taking refuge with Queen Anne in London, they were attached for protection to the adventurous Swiss, de Graffenreid, preparing to voyage to Carolina. In a miserable sail of thirteen weeks to America more than half of the 650 Palatines were lost at sea. Arriving at New Bern, April, 1710, five months ahead of their protector, their lot was desolate. Cary's rebellion was in full swing, and widespread[note][note]
Tuscarora massacre impended. Some survived, however, and were given lands on the Trent which they improved until they were altogether dispossessed by a tyrannous quip in the variegated government. In 1747, John Kinsey and forty-one other Palatines petitioned for redress which Governor Johnston honored October 16, 1749, when he granted a hundred acres to John Kinsey. This is the beginning of the family's later ancestral lands.21
Joseph Kinsey, trained in the old field schools, taught a while, earning $80, with which he went to Trinity (Duke), for one year, 1860-1861. On March 14, 1862, he was a private in the Confederate army at the Battle of New Bern. Shortly he rose to the rank of lieutenant, then was captured by Federals and imprisoned at Johnston's Island near Sandusky, Ohio. While in prison he studied diligently, helped both by his captors and his fellow captives. This fitted him for a remarkable career. Arriving home in May, 1865, he resumed teaching at $25 per month, first at Comfort, in his native county, later, 1868, in the Pleasant Hill Christian Church where the Kinseys were members. This was the Pleasant Hill Male and Female Academy. He occasionally had the teaching assistance of the brilliant Joseph Henry Foy. It was at Pleasant Hill that he trained Furnifold M. Simmons, who served long and ably in the Senate at Washington, D. C. Simmons said that Kinsey was “one of the greatest educators the state has produced.”22
Before he came to Wilson he was principal of Kinston Collegiate Institute and for a long period with his brother, R. B. Kinsey, conducted schools at LaGrange. After his retirement from Wilson he served as Lenoir County Superintendent of Schools, 1909-1920. When his Wilson venture closed in 1901, he had given to education thirty-six years of honorable service. There was good patronage at Kinsey in Wilson. Prestige mounted.[note][note]
Fond tradition breathed. Friends numerous and increasing were favorable. On the contrary, other aspects were darkening to the end. Wartime inflation of 1898 was a trap. Tuition income alone was rashly insufficient. There was a pall of debt. Health of the principal failed. The school closed.
It remained for Kinsey to aid with his big heart and magnanimous spirit in conserving the institution to which he had given so much.
This he sacrificially did. And it opens a new story.
Doors of the passing Kinsey Seminary were opened in 1902 by North Carolina Disciples of Christ, to the incorporation and dedication of Atlantic Christian College. A briefing on the origin of Disciples of Christ in this state is relevant.
Spontaneous movements arose for an unsectarian attainment of Christian union simplified and fortified by loyal adherence to the Bible alone. Some were in America in the first half of the nineteenth century. Two places from which charter documents were issued were Cane Ridge, Kentucky, 1804, and Washington, Pennsylvania, 1809. Another was Little Sister Meetinghouse, Lenoir County, North Carolina, March 28-30, 1834. Similar beginnings, like tributaries flowing to a main stream, were to make Christian churches to be known in the federal census as Disciples of Christ. The North Carolina event was indeed obscure, the original document being lost for 117 years.1 But its inherent soundness of principles withstood all tests, and there was growth, slow, but substantial, through the years.
In Kentucky and Pennsylvania the Disciple pioneers’ background was Presbyterian; in Carolina it was purely Baptist. Here General William Clark was the first to articulate the pivotal reforming idea of the sufficiency of the Bible alone for a creed. This all Christians might accept and thus become one body. He had been preaching in the Kehukee and Neuse Associations; driven from the first because of their crystallized antimissions concept, and from the latter by their applying a test of[note]
fellowship geared to a decadent creedal pattern.2 Moreover, the prevailing religionists of his day practiced a “mourners’ bench” technique of conversion which was often to appear as a spectacular vagary. A reformation was sorely needed. Some mature minds candidly contemplated it.
Clark, a wealthy planter of Pitt County, had much strength of character and influence. He readily gathered preaching colleagues. These were John Patrick Dunn, Abraham Congleton, Jeremiah Leggett, and Willie Nobles. In their first convention at Little Sister, six churches were represented by fourteen delegates. A contemporary, Thomas J. Latham, of the Bethel Conference, had reached like convictions. He was the leader for uniting his group of nearly 2,000 members on May 2, 1845, with the Disciples, as the Reformers began to be called. The earliest churches were in Pitt, Lenoir, Martin, and Beaufort Counties, spreading by evangelism to contiguous areas. Clark was the pastor at Rountree, Pitt County, October 5, 1832, when that church affirmed its congregational adherence, making it the oldest now functioning in the state's Disciple fellowship.
Clark had received Thomas Campbell of Bethany, Virginia, in good faith at his Greenville home in February, 1834. However, Clark himself has left the record that he did not join with Campbell at this period.3 And Thomas Campbell attended that first convention 1834, but the minutes make no mention of him. In truth, these Tarheels were free and independent. They would do their own thinking. And the world must know it. Emphatically they were not Campbellites. Yet their opposers were prompt to trigger their assaults with this contraband appellative.[note][note]
A cleavage about creeds in the past century is beyond today's ready understanding. Certainly there were other issues in Carolina but this was the focus of division. Countless extrabiblical creeds of the Protestant era proclaimed the supremacy of the Bible for faith and practice. And Disciples fain would be the first in Carolina to practice simply and consistently what had been preached for ages. A classic creedal example is that of John Knox of Geneva. Formulated in 1560, it was more than a quarter of a millennium ahead of this nineteenth-century creedless crusade of Disciples. This creed of Knox is in Scotch dialect, but without philological finesse one may see the main points in the following excerpts from his Ane Schort Somme of the First Buik of Discipline.4
I. Doctrine: The word of God onlie, quhilk is the New and Auld Testament, sal be taught in everie kirk within this realme, and all contraire doctrine to the same sal be impugnit and utterlie suppressit.
We affirme that to be contrarious doctrine, to the word, that man has inventit and imposed upon the consciences of men be lawis, counsallis, and constitutions, without the expresse command of Godis word. . . .
The word is sufficient for our salvation, and theirfoir all thingis neidfull for us ar conteinit in it. The Scriptures sal be red in privie houses for removing of this gross ignorance.
II. Sacramentis.—The sacramentis of necessitie are joynit with the word, quhilk are twa onlie,—baptisme and the tabill of the Lord. . . . All ceremoneis and reittis inventit be men suld be abolisheit, and the sympill word followit in all poyntis.§ 2
North Carolina, an original state, was naturally a seedbed of nativity for the nation. Her contribution to pioneering Disciples in this category is notable. Clark of Pitt left in 1835 for Mississippi. Carolina's loss was gain for the Magnolia State, since in Jackson where he settled and built the first plant, there is today a superb[note]
building of a resourceful church of his faith—among the best of such in the southland. David Purviance, of Iredell, became the lone, dependable preaching colleague of Barton W. Stone in the tumultuous origin of the Kentucky Christians. Early Indiana could say that nearly a third of her people were of Tarheel nativity. In this cavalcade to Hoosierdom were: John Wright, John B. New, and Joseph Wilson, Christian preachers born in the “down-home state.”5 Others outgoing include: John R. Howard, of Granville, who published the first Disciple periodical west of the Mississippi; Joseph Thomas, “the White Pilgrim,” of Orange, to Virginia and Ohio; J. J. Trott, missionary to the Cherokees and Tennessee evangelist; Charles F. R. Shehane, first South Carolina Disciple editor at Evergreen; Nathan W. Smith, of Rockingham, founder of the “mother church,” at Antioch, Georgia; Andrew J. Kane, of Guilford, “passionate lover of the Bible,” at Springfield, Ill.; Phillip Mulkey, of Halifax, Separate Baptist ancestor of the famous Disciple Mulkeys, in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois; the two Creaths, uncle and nephew, inspired religiously by the Grassy Creek Separates in Granville to help heroically in Kentucky; Dr. William Defee and Joseph Brice Wilmeth, “making Disciples,” in Texas when the Lone Star first twinkled; and last but not least, a layman, J. F. Robertson, of Martin County, building a church and a college, in West Tennessee, where Davy Crockett killed his ballad-famous bears.§ 3
This westward course of empire had effect beyond statistics in the old seaboard state. Here the Disciples were of necessity growing slowly. In 1892 they had but forty-seven ministers enrolled, only four of whom were college graduates. The majority were without semblance[note]
of collegiate training. There had been more than one voice in the wilderness to stress this obvious and crucial need. It was the age-old alternative, educate or die!
John T. Walsh, of Kinston, was a Disciple teacher, editor, and preacher. A contemporary called him “a lifelong friend of higher education.”6 He earned the distinction. We glimpse his educational philosophy written in his last years for his Living Age. I abridge it as follows:7
Whatever has the power to educe, bring out, or lead forth is an educational factor or influence. Education is mental, moral, and physical growth. It therefore embraces everything. It is not only world-wide, heaven-wide, but, alas, often hell-wide. The living may learn to educate themselves for eternity. Education should include the whole man. It therefore divides itself as follows: (1) The education of the mind; (2) the education of man's moral nature; (3) the education of his physical nature. These may all be conducted at the same time, and indeed they should go hand in hand from the start and should continue through life. Educated men and women in the full sense of the word are few, if indeed there are any. I certainly know of but one man, among men, fully and perfectly educated, and He was no other than the Lord Jesus Christ.§ 4
North Carolina Disciples of Christ function corporately yet democratically through their annual convention. Local churches each have a highly antonomous polity, but look to the representative convention for united progress in brotherhood activities. Hence convention resolutions sponsoring educational objectives have specific validity.8
In 1849, with no school of their own, they agreed to help the new Baptist Female Institute (Chowan College), at Murfreesboro, with individual contributions,[note][note][note]
and with two trustees, John P. Dunn and Thomas J. Latham. In 1854 it was agreed that “a Female Seminary of a high order be established by the Disciples.” For this a committee named Kinston as the location. The subscriptions amounted to $9,000. This was insufficient, hence null and void. In the same year it was proposed in the press to erect a Female College at Hookerton, an early center of Disciple wealth. John P. Dunn was president of the board of trustees named in a cooperation meeting, functioning on a district level. Nothing came of it, save a certain value of publicity. Then, in 1856, Dunn called serious attention to the propriety and importance of educating pious young men to the gospel ministry. Later surveys were to show that 90 per cent of the trained ministry in the brotherhood would have to come from their own colleges.
In 1857 at Farmville, then a tiny village, a local movement sought to build a Disciple school in that resourceful area. It failed from “too little concert of action.” But Josephus Latham continued his private school there with success. In 1857 Mrs. M. J. V. Hughart, Disciple from Virginia, “with thirteen years’ experience as an instructress of youth” opened her Female School at Wilson, N. C. She taught English, French, Latin, and music. W. H. Hughart, her husband, assisted with lectures on chemistry and animal and vegetable physiology. Beyond her announcement of the second session beginning February 1, 1858, we have no record.
On January 16, 1860, J. T. Walsh opened Kinston Female Seminary, and served as principal, assisted by Alice Mallard. It was “the best schoolroom in the village to accommodate 50 or 60 pupils.” They taught “the solid, the useful and the ornamental,” in a comprehensive course. To the Disciples, Walsh said, “it is high time for the brethren and sisters to patronize their own schools.”9 Thus Wilson and Kinston supplied the scene for these pioneer schools.[note]
Following the frontier, ante-bellum Disciples grew rapidly in the central Mississippi valley. Of their several colleges founded, Bethany, in Brooke County, Virginia (later West Virginia), seemed to be of most importance to Carolina Disciples. Graduating there from North Carolina were: W. P. Craig, 1854; W. C. Brown, 1855; Moses T. Moye, 1858; Abram J. Moye, 1874. To meet rising demands, “these four and no more” needed greatly to be multiplied.§ 5
At the Southern Confederacy's close, Tarheels began to rebuild their commonwealth. The war dealt formal education a heavy blow, diverting North Carolina Disciples for almost three decades from their token support of it. However they were moving up in strength by their aggressive evangelism. They numbered 2,895 members in 1868; 7,824 in 1888; an increase of almost 160 per cent. In 1868 there were 43 churches in 14 counties; in 1888, 106 churches in 25 counties.
In 1873 there was a Convention proposal for an Orphan School, befitting the tragic time. Again an appointed board of education came up fruitless. Two years later it was voted to relinquish the idea of a school “under special control of the brethren.” Commended to Disciple patronage were Foy of Wilson, and Kinsey of LaGrange. In 1883 a Convention directive called for the purchase of The Farmville Academy. This did not materialize. The committee on education persevered in agitation, saying in 1886 that tangible losses for lack of a church-related school were serious. Special offerings to assist young ministers in training began to be taken in the churches. With the first $25, J. F. Sumrell was sent to Clarella Institute in Greene County.
In 1891 Disciples in convention turned a new leaf. J. L. Winfield was made chairman of a widely representative board, “to secure unity of action and hearty
cooperation to found an institution of learning.” This meant something. There would soon be report of a tangible start.
Meanwhile some well-established private schools were making their mark for the Disciples. There was a two-page leaflet, very quaint, announcing the Pleasant Hill Male and Female Academy, Jones County, North Carolina. It was the Kinsey-Foy school opening the “Fall Session,” July 13, 1868. This is the earliest such document in the Carolina Disciple archives and is the only known copy. By a very liberal stretch it might be called a catalogue. It is a unique item of educational interest. The building was the old log house of Pleasant Hill Disciples on a little round highland above the winding Trent. It stood sixteen miles through the piney woods south of Kinston. Here these two redoubtable men taught 21 academic subjects. Included were: Latin, Greek, French, German, trigonometry, surveying, natural philosophy, mental algebra, and mental arithmetic. For the elementary pupils there were drills in spelling, reading, and writing. Foy was to give “regular tri-weekly lectures on History, Logic, Mental and Moral Philosophy before the more advanced pupils who will be required to write them out from notes taken as they are delivered.” This presentation of Foy sounds a bit modern. But the last announcement in the miniature is a semantic puzzle. It says: “The Erasmian and Kuhnerian pronunciations both taught.” A far cry indeed from the toiling teachers on the Trent to the relics of Rotterdam and the belles-lettres of Berlin.
In June, 1882, Henry C. Bowen, a Disciple leader, was in the Wilson, N. C., State Normal, preparing to teach. On October 23, 1882, he began as principal at Catherine Lake Academy, Onslow County. Here, he said: “Thorough instruction, prudent discipline, healthy locality,
pleasant building and grounds, combine with other advantages to make it a desirable home for the student.” Monthly rates were: tuition, one to three dollars; board, seven to nine dollars; music, two dollars and a half.10 Bowen's early training had been at Farmville, under Josephus Latham, while he roomed in the home of Tom Dixon. With nostalgia he later wrote: “Many and happy were the associations of those youthful years. We owe to that, much of what we are, or may hope to be.” Abram J. Moye assisted Latham at Farmville, 1880. Bowen and a schoolmate, R. W. Stancill, were the only “ministerial students” there. Stancill said:
at Farmville in the little frame church we practiced the art of preaching every Sunday night. Some of the brightest days in our entire life we spent in the Academy. We played in the large grove and recited all in the one large room in the presence of the entire school.
A notable teacher at Wilson in the 1870's was Sylvester Hassell. Some Disciples under his training there were: women, Alice Hines, Cynthia D. Tull; ministers, Isaac L. Chestnutt, C. W. Howard; laymen, James W. Hines, George Hackney, W. D. Hackney, Julius R. Hardy, Calvin Woodard, and Kinchen H. Watson, whose daughter, Clyde, was the first matriculate at Atlantic Christian College.
The College of the Bible at Lexington, on the campus of Kentucky University, began in 1865. It made strong appeal to a resurgent North Carolina. The ten earliest Tarheel graduates were: James Benjamin Jones, and Samuel Alexander McCall, 1871; John Robert Farrow, 1872; Junius Washington Perkins, 1878; Robert Albert Bishop, and Baxter Stephen Tipton, 1879; Marshall Clement Kurfees, 1881; Robert William Stancill, 1883; Robert Alexander Helsabeck, 1891; and Benjamin Huron Melton, 1895. Others from Carolina attended at Lexington for this period, but did not graduate.[note]
Perhaps further characterization is due three Carolina pioneers, namely, Thomas Jordan Latham (1797-1862); John Tomline Walsh (1816-1886); and James Latham Winfield (1852-1897).
About 1812, Latham attended the noteworthy Lumberton Academy in Robeson County. Old gazetteers say that the Lumberton of that day was a “posttown on the east bank of Drowning Creek; containing a courthouse and a few houses.” Latham became “one of the best informed men” in Beaufort County, “a thorough English scholar, possessed fine attainments in Greek and Latin, and adopted the profession of teaching school which he followed for many years with marked success.” He was on the county's examining committee for validating teachers, and served with W. B. Rodman in selecting their textbooks. Various other civil offices he held.11 Due to Latham and his son, Josephus, the complete file of minutes of Disciples’ annual meetings are extant from 1841 onward. This, for continuity, is a state service resource for scholarship without parallel among Disciples in America.
Isaac Errett, a Disciple of National prominence, gave Walsh merited praise. He said that Walsh had “large knowledge and ripe experience” enabling him “to speak wisely and forcibly on the important issues of the times.”12 That was one editor's evaluation of another. Over a thirty-two-year period (1853-1885), Walsh edited intermittently in North Carolina what was virtually his one journal, but with fourteen different names. Always he crusaded for Christian education. His service to the Disciple press was monumental. His was no halcyon day of material abundance and ease. Rather was it a time of[note][note]
personal self-effacement. Dying in poverty a few days before the Charleston earthquake, he left his brotherhood a cultural heritage rich beyond esteem.
Winfield was in Lexington, Kentucky, College of the Bible, 1873-1874. A Sulphur Well correspondent who sat under his monthly preaching in that Jessamine County, Kentucky, Church, declared that he was “a young man of great worth.” Further “his Kentucky brethren are greatly attached to him personally. He is extraordinary and destined to do a great work.”13 Editing The Watch Tower for eighteen years his influence was decisive for the actual beginnings of the educational service of Carolina Disciples. Printed memorials at his untimely passing in 1897 are impressive. The Raleigh News and Observer said that he was “a strong friend of good government, an educator of wide usefulness, an excellent editor, and a successful and popular preacher.” The Ayden paper called him “the great originator” of Carolina Christian College. Others said that he was “a man of very superior native ability . . . of good scholarship, well versed in the literature of the day, combined with broad and comprehensive views.” J. J. Harper recalled that Winfield “was chairman of the Board of Education of Beaufort County,” and that “he was a fine organizer, a born leader, a pungent writer,” with a mind, “inventive, vigilant and intense.” Moreover, said Harper, Winfield “loved the plea of the Disciples and in its defense was wary, adroit, skillful, and uncompromising.”14§ 7
At New Bern, in 1891, the die was cast for the first convention-related school. It directed that a “Board of Trustees consisting of fifteen representative brethren”[note][note]
proceed to set up a school amenable to the convention and in accord with best advantages proffered. There was no money in hand and none promised—just faith and the impassioned urge. This seemed to suffice for Winfield, a natural for public relations. By his personal contacts and editorial releases, bids for the location of the school soon came from Wilsons Mills, Dunn, Grifton, and Ayden. But ready equipment was needed for a timely opening. The baby must be subsisted at birth. At Old Ford, a Disciple rural center six miles north of Washington, the Carolina Institute building was offered rent-free. It was owned and administered by a group of local Disciples. Transition to the convention de facto would thus be easy, immediate, and secure. And that was a desired preliminary to the more representative venture. The governing board would be jointly that of the local directors and the convention trustees.
Lewis T. Rightsell (M.A., De Pauw University, 1890) was secured for principal and the school opened September 26, 1892. Rightsell (1862-1927) was a native of Indiana, a Disciple educator and minister, who spent his last thirty-four years in North Carolina. Coming as a bachelor he married, first, Willie Rountree of Kinston, and after her death, Ida Estelle Fields of LaGrange. Both were of prominent Disciple families.
In his first announcement, September 15, 1892, Rightsell said that Carolina Institute was to be more than a “local school.” The academic level would, of course, be above the public schools. Further, he said: “The expenses at Carolina Institute are next to nothing, only about $80.00 per year.” The English Bible would be used as a textbook, but those who would study it “in the original languages will be accorded that opportunity.” Winfield later reported for the Institute: “Already six ministerial students are enrolled and the outlook
for more is very hopeful.” Rightsell concluded: “Full and free discussion of all subjects will be permitted and encouraged in the classroom. In time arrangements will be made for the conferring of degrees upon those who hold out faithful and complete the course.”15[note]
CAROLINA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
Dramatically the visible beginning of their church-related education by Carolina Disciples was a “day of small things.” Taken in faith they would not despise it. James A. Garfield (1831-1881), an Ohio Disciple, and our twentieth president, gave a famous lecture in his Hiram College days, on “Margins.” He began: “Life is almost wholly made up of margins”; and closed: “The world is made up of little things.”1 Sherwood Eddy, in his recent autobiography, tells of his weird experience hunting elephants in India. In the dark, surrounded by the beasts, his lone native helper came to their rescue by imitating the squeak of a field mouse.2 This alarmed the herd which made away immediately, leaving the hunters safe. The big wild elephant is frenzied at the presence of this tiny pest, which he has no technique of handling. Today we have “mouse,” a mechanical midget. An experiment in geophysics, it may reveal something of value from a vast unknown.
Historically significant is the year 1893. Disciples in the state then numbered less than 7,000. Their Sunday school enrollment totalled 2,051. Their combined church property was valued at $25,650. In Pitt County they were relatively well entrenched with nine churches, all rural. These nine had 870 members, while in five adjoining counties, Beaufort, Craven, Greene, Lenoir, and Martin, were 38 other congregations with 3,190 in fellowship. Modern surveys were to show that of the students[note][note]
from Disciple homes going to any college, only ten per cent would go to Disciple institutions.3 Even at that low average a Pitt County school, under Disciple auspices, might have an encouraging chance.
Sixteen years before, in 1877, American Disciples had a total of twenty-four “regularly chartered institutions of learning,” scattered through eleven states. Nine of these were in Kentucky, eight were west of the Mississippi, and only two (Florence, Ala., and Thorp Spring, Tex.) were in “the late Confederate States.” Altogether the 24 enrolled 2,915 students, classified as follows: 20 per cent, “preparatory”; 30 per cent “irregular, or special courses”; and 50 per cent “about equally divided among the classical, scientific, and literary courses.”4 Today only ten of these twenty-four institutions of 1877 survive.
In the World Almanac covering the year 1893, there are listed, “Principal Universities and Colleges of the United States.” This gives eight Disciple institutions with a total student body of 3,867; 169 instructors; 46,200 volumes in all of their libraries; and 3,601 alumni. This represented two thirds of a million American Disciples, in over 7,000 churches. Clearly, in education, this fast-growing church had not come into its own.§ 2
After eighteen months of casting about for “strikes,” the convention trustees met in Ayden on April 19, 1893. It was in the flowering springtime. The local townsmen gathered for greetings, and a neighbor from Greenville, former Governer Thomas J. Jarvis, perennial friend of education, gave a heart-lifting speech. The trustees accepted the only offer before them, that of Ayden's $100 in cash and five acres of land given by W. H. Harris and J. S. Hines. Later for $250 they bought five adjoining acres to complete their ten-acre campus. Neatly[note][note]
named Carolina Christian College, it was more than an alliteration—it was a whisper of hope. The new school was to open with seventeen students in the new village on September 18, 1893.5 Full enrollment for the year was 75.
Folks on the fertile farmlands of Pitt, south of the Tar River, long considered the coming of “the romance of the rails,” to enrich their contacts with the trading world. With dreamy expectancy a post office, Ayden, was set up in 1884, at a likely crossroads nine miles south of Greenville. The village was incorporated in 1890, and was a station on the Kinston branch of the W. and W. R. R. A press agent said it was named for the Garden of Eden because of “nestling in the bosom of a paradise of agricultural glory.”6 There were already twenty-five post offices named Eden, including one in Randolph County, North Carolina. But this “Eden” in Pitt was not to lose its paradise by such handicap. Euphonious alteration for the first syllable would do nicely. It is still the only Ayden in America, while the rural routes have cut the Edens to a bare sixteen. Nine have perished by carburetted speed.
Ayden, originally laid off on the lands of W. H. Harris, soon became a trade center with eleven mercantile stores, and a steam mill. There was one resident physician. Giving cultural lift were the two schools, Carolina Christian College and the Free Will Baptist Seminary, founded in 1896. Of the town's population of 300 in 1893, Disciples of Christ formed a prosperous segment. Their first bank was officered completely by Disciples. Ayden Christian Church was organized in 1893 in their college building with 32 charter members by Peter S. Swain, a ministerial student there. The convention appointed seven trustees to function by rotation in administering Carolina Christian College. The first seven[note][note]
were: from Ayden, Jesse Cannon, Caleb Cannon, J. R. Tingle and R. W. Smith; from Wilson, Moses T. Moye; from Snow Hill, I. L. Chestnutt; and from Kinston, C. W. Howard. Others serving included: from Falkland, Willis R. Williams; from Jamesville, S. L. Wallace; from Greenville, Elbert A. Moye; and from Ayden, M. F. Sumrell, A. R. Holton, and Dr. Joseph Dixon.7 Abram J. Moye was financial agent. The property was deeded to The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, and valued at $1,500 after the first buildings were erected. Later to facilitate safe financial adjustments, stock was issued and bought mainly by Ayden Disciples, with the convention holding twenty shares.§ 3
During the five short months from April to September, 1893, there was to be provided the plant, the equipment, and the support. Nothing toward this could come from Carolina Institute, where Principal Rightsell and his wife had enrolled 61 pupils the year before. Nothing, that is, except the transfer of faculty which would have to be doubled. Also a student or two would trail along. Manifestly, efficient workers for the Ayden opening were needed in all phases of the preparation.
An unfinished two-story frame building and a separate music room were provided and occupied for the calendared start.8 It was in a beautiful oak grove “on the eastern side of the town less than one-fourth mile from the depot.” By the first commencement the original building was completed. Later a recitation building 20 × 32 feet was built alongside, at a cost of about $700. Then an auditorium 28 × 58 feet, seating 350, was made of the first floor of the initial building. Principal Manning said: “The school has increased to such an extent as to make additional room necessary.” C. W. Howard,[note][note]
a trustee, pronounced it “a very convenient and comfortable school building.” Later, in the closing year, 1902-’03, a “handsome dormitory” to “accommodate 40 boarding pupils” was erected at a cost of $2,000.
Among the gifts was a piano from Henry C. Bowen. The Bowens have been giving pianos, in like manner, for sixty years, from Carolina Christian College to Camp Caroline. Books were given by three preachers and maps by two friends. April, 1894, was the month agreed for church offerings for this brotherhood school. First in history was the three dollars remitted promptly that month by Scranton Church in Hyde County.9 An early visitor from there had seen the school and knew something about it. As announced by J. J. Harper, the first endowment gift, $500, was from Col. A. T. Uzzle of Wilsons Mills in 1897.10 Each $30 annuity from this was given to the Bible Department at Carolina Christian College, which reported a maximum of twelve ministerial students there in 1900.
Disciple youth at Pantego Convention pledged through their Christian Endeavor Societies, “to raise the mortgage indebtedness hanging over” C. C. College. The appointed day for this special offering was February 22, 1898, after which “the mortgage papers will be burned.”11 The amount of this proposed giving I do not know.
Two terms of eighteen weeks each made the school year. Tuition was one to three dollars per month; boarding in private homes, eight dollars per month. Sixty-five was passing grade. Students were required to attend daily chapel, and some religious service of their choice each Lord's Day. “Prudence and good behavior” were expected of all students. Detailed yearly reports by trustees showed total annual income for 1897 of $864.11, for enrollment of 129; for 1898, $775, for enrollment of 140—a miracle of the diminishing shoestring.[note][note][note]
The entire teaching personnel throughout the ten years was evidently praiseworthy. At any rate those who knew, by association or as objective observers, thought so and were articulate about it. This and the personal satisfaction in work well done were the chief compensations of these educators. Their pocket pay was a paltry pittance. It was such a trifle that no record of it remains for posterity's audit. But it was a time of thrift—tenacious, and unashamed—with an agrarian live-at-home economy. There was a gracious sharing of things to eat by brotherly lords of the soil. Merry was the teacher's festive board with food donations. Not even a trace of complaint by any of these teachers is of record. However, the burden may have been too great for the first principal's young wife, who died after the first two years at Ayden. She was a great-granddaughter of Jesse Rountree (1765-1831), soldier of the American Revolution, and head of a noted “first family” of North Carolina Disciples.
Principals at Carolina Christian College were: L. T. Rightsell, 1893-1896; A. F. Moon, 1896-1898; and Asa J. Manning, 1899-1903. Succeeding the first, who has already been sketched, was Albert Foster Moon. He was born in Walton County, Georgia, January 15, 1859, and died at Arlington, Virginia, April 6, 1941. Graduating at Emory College, Oxford, Georgia, in 1884, he taught, before coming to Ayden, North Carolina, at Burritt College, Spencer, Tennessee, where Alvinzi Gano Thomas presided.
Asa James Manning was born near Jamesville, N. C., December 9, 1869, and died at his Williamston, N. C., home, July 10, 1927. He attended Vine Hill Male Academy, Scotland Neck, N. C., and Shenandoah Normal College, Reliance, Virginia. Teaching in the public schools for fifteen years, he served also for nine years as superintendent of schools in Martin County, N. C. Ordained to the Disciple ministry in 1907 he held long
pastorates in rural churches and in Williamston. He married Blanche Hodges in January, 1900. Their children included two daughters, Ruth and Grace, and five sons: James C., Robert, Henry S., A. J., Jr., and Charles. At the time of his passing, it was said: “he has buried and married more people than any man in the county [Martin].” Further: he “always brightened the path, no matter how dark, by the lamp of faith.”
Serving respectively at appointed times as assistants to the principals, 1893-1903, were: piano, Mollie Winfield; voice, P. S. Swain; Bible, J. R. Tingle; primary, Mrs. L. T. Rightsell; music and art, Almeda Kennedy; lady principal and teacher of English, Mrs. A. F. Moon; French, Marie E. Hill; music, geography, and history, Myrtie Moon; Latin, French, bookkeeping, and mathematics, Stancill Hodges; piano and voice, Maude Koonce; primary, Mrs. Minnie Manning; English and elocution, Lizzie Anderson; primary and Latin, Ruth Dawson.
Some of the above personnel were university-trained at Chapel Hill, Greencastle, Lexington, and Nashville. They were of a type then found in many academies.
Visitors took occasion to boost the school. J. L. Winfield, the reputed founder, came in 1894, and said of Rightsell: “His ripe scholarship, high moral and Christian culture, qualify him to turn out sound intellectual boys and girls.” Prophetically he challenged: “Where are the young men in the state thirsting for an education and have not means to pay exorbitant prices? Here is the open door. Now is the golden opportunity!”12 Speaking of the environment, Dr. W. H. Cobb said: “Quiet, moral influences abound; board is cheap and good; the water is pure; the people of Ayden, social and kind, abound in good works.”13 W. G. Johnston, Kinston Disciple minister, held: “Our small school at Ayden[note][note]
seems to be taking on new life. We have plenty of strength to enable it to do great good.” B. H. Melton, Disciple pastor at Wilson, said, “The spiritual life of this school is as good as I have ever seen. The heart is educated as well as the head.”§ 5
The curricular complex at Ayden is seen in its catalogues. Of these the Carolina Discipliana Library, at Wilson, has the only copies so far as I know. There were three departments, primary, intermediate, and collegiate. Five subjects were scheduled, time indeterminate, in the primary; twenty-six subjects for three years in the intermediate; and thirty-six subjects for four years in the collegiate. Four or five teachers were to handle this. The subjects were freely intermitted, and well staggered through the varying terms. Moreover, Greek and bookkeeping were elective studies. This was “believed to be up to the standard of the educational institutions already in existence.” In the last years of the school, Principal Manning taught a normal course. Significant cultural aids were the literary societies: Philolethean for women; and Zeta Sigma for men.
The policy was coeducational, and the attendance was preponderantly local. In 1894-1895, there were 30 men and 50 women, of whom 76 were from Ayden and Pitt County. In 1897-1898, there were 73 men and 56 women, of whom 115 were from Ayden and Pitt County. The spring commencements overflowed with radiant fellowship, “entertaining” large community gatherings. May, 1902, marked the close, said Principal Manning, of “the best year in the history of the school,” when 160 students were enrolled, “an increase all along the line.”14[note]
With a growing sense of its necessity, Carolina Disciple leaders sought to ground their leadership training at home. W. G. Johnston observed in 1898 that North Carolina “has sent out some splendid preaching talent in the past,” but sent it “so far that not many return to take regular work in the State.” Hence the “Bible Department” was projected at the Ayden school to meet an appreciable need.
Thomas Smith Grimke (1786-1834; Yale, 1807), of Charleston, South Carolina, was a notable reformer. Brilliantly and cogently he contended for the thesis that “the Bible ought to be a prominent and never-ceasing part of all education from the primary school to the university.” This he sadly knew was “adverse to the theory and practice of all existing institutions.”15 This indeed was made a curricular cornerstone at the start of Bethany College, on the Buffalo, in 1841. President J. B. Shearer, of Davidson College, North Carolina, in the State Teachers’ Assembly at Morehead City, July, 1899, offered a resolution which recommended that “the Bible be used as a reading book in the primary classes of all schools, public and private, and that Bible history be taught in the higher classes, and if necessary that the General Assembly of North Carolina be overtured to prescribe the same in all public schools.”
At The College of the Bible, Lexington, Kentucky, John William McGarvey, who had been trained at Bethany College, taught sacred history for forty-six years by this textual principle. There J. R. Tingle prepared in 1887-1888 to head the Bible course at Ayden a few years later. Tingle (1858-1928) was born at Arapahoe, North Carolina, reared under the ministry of Dr. J. T. Walsh, and gave 45 years of constructive Disciple leadership in his native state. It was a two-year Course of[note]
Study, with two terms each year. Tingle said: “The Bible will be the textbook, but every student will need Lands of the Bible; Josephus’ Complete Works; and a Bible dictionary.” Tuition was free to his students in his course, and at half-rate for their other schoolwork. Board was seven dollars per month. Seventy-five was passing grade. In the late 1890's Tingle did not teach during his term as superintendent of schools in Pitt County.
At the start of the Ayden venture, J. L. Winfield had warned: “Don't expect to see a state university the first year. . . . Give the good seed planted time to germinate. Have patience and a sprinkling of faith.”16 After six years of development, C. W. Howard, a trustee, said: “I believe the school is now a success. And while it is not the college that the name implies, it is a college in its infancy.”17
At the convention in 1896, at Washington, N. C., there was an open forum on paying accrued convention debts at Ayden. It was then suggested that Carolina Christian College be consolidated with Kinsey at LaGrange.
Even then Kinsey was on the way to the Wilson location. It was the trending of a realizable dream.[note][note]
“MORE STATELY MANSIONS”
Oddly, Carolina Christian College was parochially isolated from its American brotherhood by mischance. National Disciple Year Books for 1895 and 1897 each carried a “Schedule of Universities, Colleges, Institutes, and Schools,” affiliated with that communion. Nothing from Carolina is listed. Listed in 1895 are 41 institutions in 12 states; in 1897, 43 in 15 states. Peter S. Swain in 1895 was corresponding secretary of The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, which owned the Ayden property.
He was a highly respected student at Ayden, and could have reported directly from the scene. This it was his prerogative to do, but in all probability he was unaware of it. The occasional Year Books of the 1890's were prepared by Gustavus Adolphus Hoffman (1847-1937), and issued by The American Christian Missionary Society. Obviously the Carolina project was not on their mailing list. Thus the annual reports from this cooperative brotherhood school for its ten years are oblivious by default—a case of undesigned “localitis.” State pride reacted to this acutely. This chapter is meant to reflect, authentically, the turn of events.
Surveying concretely the 43 Disciple educational units tabulated in the Year Book of 1897, there is discernible no just cause for the omission of Ayden.1 Listed are five universities, twenty-four colleges, and fourteen institutes and schools, all founded from 1836 to 1895. Of these forty-three as recorded in the table, Ayden equaled or[note]
exceeded 28 in number of students; 14 in number of teachers; 22 in the amount of endowment; 16 in the number of ministerial students; and 11 in the number of alumni. Quantitatively this was a good showing, and likewise, qualitatively, by all odds the story was similar. But the world outside Carolina was to know little or nothing of it. This hole in their public relations occasioned an emotional build-up for a reversionary tack.§ 2
Among North Carolina Disciples in 1901, there was an atmosphere favorable to concerted action for reaching an educational objective which would at once gratify Disciple pride and test their beneficence in continuity. They must needs advance the sacrificial way. Some, however, may have dreamed of a fortuitous landfall. At home an excellent medium was The Watch Tower, an eight-page, four-column weekly. It was entirely cooperative, edited natively by Dennis Wrighter Davis, of Greenville, and later by Joseph Daniel Waters, of Washington. These men had been trained by John W. McGarvey, of Lexington, Kentucky, world-famous Bible teacher and ardent promoter of co-operative missions.
Daniel Esten Motley (Ph.D., Johns-Hopkins, 1899) was the Disciple state evangelist in North Carolina, 1900-1901. He had a resourceful position to exploit in Carolina the educational dream of the new-born twentieth century. Of Carolina Christian College, he said: “Who knows but that it is the beginning of great things?” But, he added: “It is my positive belief that the Christian Church of our state will not go on to much higher and greater things until we have an able educational institution to help us . . . equal to any in the state.” Further, he confessed: “I believe it will be a sin for some of us who see so clearly the need of it, if we do not
do all in our power to get it.”2 Motley was commencement speaker at Ayden in 1900. There, prophetically, he concluded: “In a vision that shall be more than a vision, I see yonder in one of our beautiful North Carolina towns, a Christian College with an able and Christian faculty. To our College I see young men and women gathering from all parts of the state and from South Carolina and Georgia, spending years in hallowed association, developing their God-given powers and preparing themselves for life's great work.”3 This was timely eloquence, and well reported for eager readers.
Meeting Joseph Kinsey at Wilson for the first time on March 10, 1901, Motley remarked: “His heart is full of his school work and he is doing all he can for education.”4§ 3
On October 4, 1901, it was reported in The Watch Tower: “Bro. Kinsey's health is so poor that he cannot run the Kinsey seminary. The truth is Bro. Kinsey has had to do too much work both physically and mentally.” Whereupon the seminary trustees offered the building for negotiation with the local public school board.5 A previous legislative act provided for the financing of a new building when needed by the local high school at Wilson. This potential facility was preferred to that of the seminary. Thus the way opened for a deal with Disciples.
The Wilson Times, October 18, 1901, announced that purchase of the seminary would be seriously considered by the forthcoming annual meeting of The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention at Kinston. The Wilson Educational Association named two conditions.[note][note][note][note]
The seminary's debts were to be paid within six months, and a “high-grade” school must be maintained on the premises for ten years. The latter condition was removed shortly after the purchase. As materially worked out, the over-all cost was $9,000, but in addition this represented a net gift estimated at $14,000 by the Wilson Educational Association. For the occasion it was an attractive proposition indeed. The editor of The Wilson Times said:
The entire town, irrespective of sect or creed would be delighted for the Christian Church to locate its school in our midst. . . . We sincerely hope that it [the Kinston Convention] will with great enthusiasm accept the very liberal proposition of our citizens.
The Convention did accept. Drafting the enabling resolution adopted at Kinston, October 31, 1901, were: D. W. Davis, B. H. Melton, W. J. Crumpler, E. A. Moye, and Dr. H. D. Harper, Sr. This committee said that it was a bona fide offer of “a valuable school property upon terms that are exceedingly liberal,” and therewith “the Christian Church should build up in North Carolina a great institution of learning . . . conducted under auspices and control of the . . . North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention.”6
The climactic procedure followed the age-old democratic pattern of representative Disciple assemblies. Crusader Motley's “most thrilling address” was followed by eight impromptu talks, sustaining with much warmth the identical educational cause. Then the affirmative vote registered by standing. None opposed. It was an epochal decision. The leaders surely knew that throughout the fellowship at large there would be formidable inertia to overcome. But on the scene there was nought but blissful harmony, with no entanglement of dissent.[note]
Two visiting out-of-state educators observing the drama with interest, were Burrus A. Jenkins, president of Kentucky University (Transylvania), and A. McLean, former president of Bethany College. Two other noted visitors were B. A. Abbott, and Benjamin Lyon Smith. These men liked to come to Carolina. Something attractive, inspiring, permeated the Conventions.
The Raleigh, N. C. News and Observer promptly congratulating this Convention said:
They have purchased a handsome brick property that cost more than $25,000, admirably equipped with every modern convenience and built for college purposes. There are few buildings in the south so well built and so perfectly arranged for the establishment of a great institution of learning for this progressive people.7
The board handling the purchase promptly had an executive session, on November 15. J. J. Harper was chairman. He suggested the name Atlantic Christian College. It was adopted, and accepted generally since it was currently the only college of the type in this coastal area. Harper was elected chancellor, to be general assistant to the forthcoming president.
Deed for the college is of record November 22, 1901, from The Wilson Educational Association to the nine men, as trustees who were then serving on the Convention's Board of Managers.8 The college was incorporated on May 1, 1902, and the number of trustees raised to fifteen, to be appointed rotation-wise by the Disciples’ annual State Convention. The chartered name is Atlantic Christian College, Incorporated. Article III of its constitution and by-laws, says:
Its object shall be the dissemination of knowledge, religious, scientific, and practical, to white persons of both sexes, in all branches usually taught in colleges, and such as are necessary to meet the requirements of advancing Christian civilization and enlightenment.[note][note]
Title Page, rare pamphlet in Carolina Discipliana Library. Greville Ewing was both host and instructor of Alexander Campbell, in 1808, at University of Glasgow, in Scotland.
First page of the four-page printed record authorized by the first representative assembly, North Carolina Disciples of Christ.
Announcement, January, 1838, of the first Carolina school under Disciple auspices. Liverett, teacher-minister, and Captain S. G. Earle, landlord-sponsor were Disciples.
Advertisement for first North Carolina Disciple school. Dr. and Mrs. W. H. Hughart were Disciples.
Last page of the two-page announcement of the Kinsey-Foy school, Pleasant Hill, Jones County, N. C., which opened July 13, 1868.
First page of the initial catalogue of the Disciple school at Ayden, N. C.
Group, Carolina Christian College, Ayden, N. C., 1897.
Copy of a Carolina Christian College diploma]
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kinsey
First newspaper advertisement of Atlantic Christian College June, 1902
The question before the first executive board meeting was: Who shall be elected college president? Daniel Motley was well known throughout the state for his eloquent agitation of the issue, while evangelizing and serving the Asheville pastorate during the successful completion of their first church plant. He was thus a logical choice. About eastern Carolina he said: “I feel at home in this level country of sand and pines—how could one feel otherwise when the people are so kind and there is so much work to do?”9
He was born in 1870, near Chatham, Virginia. His father, Bedford A. Motley, was a war veteran of the 1860's. Daniel spent altogether twenty-one years in school (1878-1899), and in his youth was bookkeeper and purchaser of goods for his father's store at Chatham. Receiving his B.S. and A.B. at Milligan College, Tennessee, 1894, he was valedictorian of his class. On a three-year scholarship at Johns Hopkins, he earned his Ph.D. degree there in 1899. He was a brilliant student, winning special prominence in philosophy. Ordained to the Disciple ministry in 1893, he evangelized and held temporary pastorates in Virginia and North Carolina.
In 1902 he married Stella Bullard, of Texarkana, Texas, a daughter of W. S. Bullard, and granddaughter of Chester Bullard.
After preaching the baccalaureate for the Milligan Class of 1901, he declared: “At Milligan can be found some of the best of human life—a spirit that is invincible . . . it commends itself to the best that is in you.”10 This experience, added to that of Ayden the year before, evoked his saying: “I feel the need more and more of [our] having a good college in North Carolina.” But Motley declined the call to Wilson. Another situation was beckoning. He removed on January 1, 1902, to the[note][note]
national city, and within two months had “traveled in eleven states in the interest of Christian College to be in Washington, D. C.” He urged: “The need of a college here is great indeed—is something terrific.”11 His school lasted ten years and trained some worthy leaders before its passing in financial prostration.
An indomitable Disciple crusader for higher education in “the new South” was Josephus Hopwood (1843-1935), native Kentuckian and coming to Tennessee by way of Illinois and Iowa. He founded Buffalo Institute (Milligan College), 1878; Virginia Christian College (Lynchburg), 1903; and Lamar College, near Stone Mountain, Georgia, 1913. The last-named perished but his great spirit abides in the first two which have flourished through the decades. Furthermore, at Milligan he nurtured a vision and a dynamic outreach for planting educational outposts in the advancing Southeast. Motley was but a step ahead of Hopwood in his dream for Carolina.
Next the trustees called for president James Caswell Coggins of Decatur, Illinois. He accepted. He was born at Bee Tree, ten miles east of Asheville, on March 3, 1865. He attended Newton Academy in Asheville; graduated at Milligan in 1894; was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, 1894-95; received the LL.D. degree, Nashville College, June, 1900, and A.M. degree from both Christian University and Bethany; and Ph.D. from American University at Harriman, Tennessee. It was said that he was a “most thoroughly educated man.”12
Coggins wrote as follows about his birthplace:
There is something very peculiar and inexplicable about the little dell known as Bee Tree. . . . It is said to be filled with a strange power resident in the air. As the traveler or tourist approaches the invisible line at once he becomes conscious of an invisible power taking possession of his entire being. He involuntarily begins to quote passages of scripture, and soon[note][note]
he can recite whole chapters. And by the time he passes through the valley he will have quoted nearly all the Bible, and preached a sermon or two. Should he reside any length of time in there he will be a preacher.13
The new president spent ten days, early in 1902, in the Wilson Christian parsonage as guest of B. H. Melton. Melton, publicizing Coggins, said: “He is six feet high, weighs 185 pounds . . . is a preacher of unusual power . . . knows the Bible and . . . can teach it in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, or English, whichever you prefer . . . and takes up this college work at less than half the salary his church [Decatur, Ill.] is paying him.” Melton added that until September, 1902, Coggins would share his time equally in evangelizing service and promotion of the college.14
In his first press release, Coggins said:
The office of teacher is a sacred trust. For upon him depends in a large degree the destiny of those trained under his direction. . . . We will have teachers who will honor God and bless humanity, teachers we can trust, whose intellects and consciences are working in harmony . . . to bring out the angel forms from the granite slab of character.15
An early promotional visit of Coggins to the Kinston church occasioned Johnston, the pastor, to say:
Our President disappointed us not, but greatly pleased and instructed us. . . . He proposes to put the school on a high plane from the very beginning. . . . It is to be a real college. This ought to encourage our people. Our school will enlarge us in the way of giving.16
J. S. Basnight, a Trustee, said in 1902:
I am proud of Atlantic Christian College. This property was worth when our Convention purchased it three times more than we paid for it. The college is now finely equipped; the faculty is second to none in the state.17[note][note][note][note][note]
The health record at Wilson was a known asset. Throughout the four years of Kinsey Seminary there, the students had not so much as one case of serious illness.18§ 5
On May 9, 1902, the president announced the faculty roster. Quotations are from Coggins’ printed commendations of his initial colleagues.19
Abdullah Ben Kori, from Illinois, native Syrian, trained at Rome, Italy, Hiram College, and Drake University. “He is one of the finest linguists in America having mastered eleven and fluently speaks ten different languages.”
Ruth Alderman “is easily one of the ablest scholars in Kansas.” She was to teach German, French and English.
Luther Reic Shockey, of Illinois, “is a young master who sees music in everything. His soul is one great ocean of music whose waves beat the keys of a piano with sublime masterpieces of eloquence.”
Adele Martin, of Illinois, “spent several years under some of the finest and most accomplished specialists in Chicago . . . she is in great demand in that city as a soloist.”
Glenn Gates Cole, of Ohio, “has taught mathematics, science, and civil engineering in two colleges . . . and is recognized as one of the best all-round men in the State of Ohio.”
Ethel McDiarmid, of Virginia, “a three-year student and graduate of the Emerson College of oratory, the leading institution of its kind in the world.” She, however, did not come until 1918 when she was Mrs. Fred F. Grim. In her stead in 1902 came Christine Arnberg, a classmate of Miss McDiarmid at the Boston, Mass., school.[note][note]
Bessie Rouse, “Garden Spot” Tarheel, “favorably known as one of the most-cultured, most-talented, and best-educated ladies in North Carolina.”
In conclusion, said Coggins, “The citizens of Wilson will certainly appreciate the kind of talent which this able faculty represents.”§ 6
Courses of study were departmentalized as ten Schools. By catalogue sequence these were: English, Modern Languages, Ancient Languages, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Oriental Languages, Piano, Voice, Art, and Oratory. There were also two three-year courses, English, and classical, set up for ministerial students. In the English, a diploma would be given at completion, and in the classical, the B.S., A.B., or B.D. degree would be respectively conferred. Also offered were postgraduate advanced courses, for qualified attainment of M.A., and Ph.D. degrees.§ 7
The initial opening of Atlantic Christian College was on Wednesday, September 3, 1902. Student registration the first day numbered 107, of whom 20 were men and 87 were women. Enrollment for the entire year totaled 218, representing ten States: Illinois, Kansas, New York, North Carolina, Montana, Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The earned B.S. degree was given to Ada Tyson, the first graduate, in 1903. Students organized three literary societies: Alethian, Hesperian, and Demosthenian.
First matriculate of record on the opening day at the college was Clyde Watson, of Wilson, N. C., now Mrs. J. L. Clements, of North Wilkesboro, N. C. I asked her to give us a reminiscence of 1902.20[note]
I remember that I attended as a day student for a time and later as a boarding student. When I became a boarding student, the school was so filled that there was not a room for me and I was assigned to room with a teacher, Miss Ada Tyson, who was very nice to me. I was most grateful to my father [Kinchen H. Watson], for sending me as a boarding student—it proved to be a very happy year.
One outstanding recollection I have of the college is of the piano teacher, Professor L. R. Shockey. He seemed to make the greatest impression on the school and the town, for not only the college students wanted to take lessons from him but many ladies from in town. He wore his hair long, was very tall and handsome, and apparently thought so well of himself that he seldom spoke to any of us if he could avoid it. He announced that he would not give any of the piano students a piece until certain finger exercises were learned perfectly. All practiced diligently, and finally in late November he gave me my first piece, “The Flower Song,” by Lange.
Another teacher I remember as liking so much was my expression teacher, Miss Christine Arnberg. She impressed me as being very charming. By the way, she seemed to be the only person that Professor Shockey had any time for.
There was a Greek class of which I was a member for a time. We were very young and why we were studying Greek, I do not know unless we were out for the unusual. I don't recall that we learned anything and no doubt we were a trial to the teacher who was a young preacher.
There were some very nice young men attending the school and when we were given “a social hour” boys and girls enjoyed talking together.
J. Walter Reynolds, ministerial student at Wilson, reported high lights of the first week. “It is an evident fact,” he said, “that the college is now a success.” Sunday sermons, September 7, by Melton and Coggins made “a great day for the college and the church.” Melton's “was a masterpiece of thought, logic, and eloquence. Many of his friends said it was one of the greatest efforts of his life.” Coggins’ “address was timely and great. . . . He declared that the Bible was the grandest textbook of the world.”21[note]
At the executive meeting of the college board in May, 1903, Coggins was re-elected president for the ensuing school year.22 Glenn Cole, Luther Shockey, and Abdullah Ben Kori were named as continuing professors, while the remainder of the faculty were to be procured in season by President Coggins. The board also voted to build “a modern dormitory building for boys at a cost of $10,000.” Eight years elapsed, however, before this building was erected.[note]
President Coggins announced that the second year at Atlantic Christian College would begin September 12, 1903. The courses provided for four years in preparatory, and four years in college with thirteen departments: English and History, Mathematics, Science, Pedagogy, Ancient Languages, Modern Languages, Piano, Stringed Instruments, Voice, Art, Bible, Oratory, and Business. Correspondence courses were catalogued for those in absentia, and physical education was to be given in “calisthenical drills.”
“The Bible Department will be first class this year,” Coggins said, since he had engaged D. R. Dungan, “one of the world's ablest writers,” for a series of lectures. Kori had left, and his ancient languages would be taught by J. A. Shoptaugh, “recognized as one of the best scholars and one of the ablest preachers in the state of Texas.” An overflow attendance was expected. The release of the catalogue had been delayed, he explained, by “the necessity of securing so many new teachers,” who were to care for the “large family of North Carolina's brightest and purest children.”1§ 2
The Disciples had mainly arisen on the American frontier. Long after the passing of it, they yet maintained the characteristic frontier approach to education. There was inherent hazard for any college thus founded. Pioneers in this field needed an honest thesis,[note]
plainly expounded, entitled “A Guide to the Founding of Church Colleges.” None was available. If there had been such a book, it would have received scant attention. These heroes of yesterday were bold, independent, imbued with faith. Intrinsic results were intriguing, and gratifying, where educational efforts were judiciously founded, and followed through with sacrificial devotion.
From 1865 to 1942 a multitude of church colleges arose in America. A survey in the latter year shows that more than eighty per cent failed in the period and were forever bracketed with the dead. The chance for any such school to survive was demonstrably less than one out of five. The lost ones served briefly “on stony ground doomed from the beginning.”2 Sad as it may be, this experience-centered proportion of collegiate cenotaphs is but factual routine for the responsible historian.
Yet there is another and pulsating side to the story. Consider “the words of the preacher,” King David, in Ecclesiastes 11:4.
He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
The springs of action face an imperative, perennial for both society and the church. For observers in education the relatively large incidence of Tarheel illiteracy punctuated the dawn of the twentieth century. Manifestly, tax-supported education stood in need of all possible support from the church.
A table compiled from Who's Who of 1903 had luminous and positive point. It set forth that the 8,752 names appearing in that publication represented notables among the 40,782,500 living Americans of that date above 21 years of age. An analysis, somewhat tedious to read, but graphic and revealing, follows.
Of the above number of adults, 32,862,951 were untrained; 31 were named in the book.[note]
Of the 4,682,478 having only common-school training, 808 were named.
Of the 2,165,357 having only high-school training, 2,145 were named.
Of 1,071,200 having had college training, 5,768 were named.3
Another statement would be of interest. How many readers were passive agnostics as to the connotation of the above figures? Some educators, however, used the table for its promotional worth, howsoever it might have been appraised.
The general situation for the church was no less serious. From a Mississippi Disciple came the cry: “At one time we had colleges at Whitestown, Senatobia, West Point, and Macon. We do not have any now. We have to send our boys and girls to other colleges, or out of the state, which has cost us a tremendous price in leadership.”4 J. L. Burns, Tarheel Disciple evangelist, exclaimed:
Too long have we neglected the things that make for prestige and power in intellectual culture among us as a people in North Carolina. Agitate, agitate, until the Disciples are the peers and leaders of intellectual force in North Carolina.5§ 3
There were warnings, mild and otherwise, as to the future of Atlantic Christian College. Henry C. Bowen, The Watch Tower manager, visited Wilson in January, 1904. Apropos of the college, he said:
We should beware of the reaction which usually follows the first overflow of enthusiasm and imaginary success. We are prone to allow ourselves to expect more than can be realized. This has been just the history of the college. The work was new to all and some mistakes were made. We are learning by experience.6[note][note][note][note]
B. H. Melton exulted in November, 1901: “Thank God, our people are learning that it is much easier to do a big thing than a little one. God's people when thoroughly in earnest can do anything.”7 Two months later, concerning the new college, Melton declared: “A few of our people are doing their part grandly. The majority have so far done nothing. God have mercy upon them!”8
Divided counsel was occasionally indicated. D. Heaton Petree, editor of The Watch Tower, suggested that the Ayden school property still owned by the Convention be converted into an orphanage. He was “heartily” for the college, but not “to the neglect of other crying needs.” Further, he said: “There are wails of ignorance, and wails of suffering too; and to us the wail of the sufferer appeals with more power and strikes a deeper chord of sympathy.”9 To this, W. G. Johnston rejoined:
Because the attendance at A. C. College has been large the first year does not argue that the college is impregnable. As I see it, the thing for the Disciples in North Carolina to do is to concentrate on Atlantic Christian College and make a school out of it worthy the name. Would it not be better to have one or two first-class things and not so many mediocrities? I fear many of our people have but a scant conception of what it takes to sustain a real institution of learning. I speak frankly.
Rarely an itinerant evangelist roving the South would stab regional pride with a catchy caricature. An example was Claris Yeuell, native of England, holding southern revivals, 1899 to 1903. Trenchantly he observed:
It takes intelligence to be a Disciple. An educated and paid ministry is the crying need of the churches in the south. It is truly pitiful to hear the average sermon. Sickly sentiment, pious platitude, senseless superstition, glittering generality, superfluous sound are its chief constituents. Nothing but the schoolmaster can remove such conditions.10[note][note][note][note]
Preaching in the Albemarle Sound area in Carolina in 1903, Yeuell reported:
I found religious conditions very peculiar and confusing. The Disciples are being ground to powder somewhere betwixt the “devil and the deep blue sea.” Brethren who know the situation here say that we are on the eve of a collapse or a revolution in our ranks. Ignorance and selfishness are at the bottom of the situation in North Carolina.11
This diatribe by a transient was apparently ignored. It might have been considered merely as a flamboyant report on what looked like a disintegrating brotherhood, and as such, of course, it was cynical and misleading. Yet positively, to the wise, it has another significance. There were in truth on their extensive borders, nebulous missionary potentialities, the neglect of which was eventually to bring piognant regret to Disciple leaders.
Of immediate concern to the college at Wilson, at this initial period, was the shifting of residence of ten persons who gave strong support to its early life. Leaving the state were: B. H. Melton, from Wilson; W. G. Johnston, from Kinston; W. E. Powell, from Greenville; Lewis Omer, from Asheville; J. Merritt Owen, from Washington; M. S. Spear, from New Bern; J. Walter Reynolds from Plymouth; J. C. McReynolds, from Dunn; and Daniel Motley from the State Service. Also Joseph Kinsey retired to LaGrange, to sell insurance.§ 4
To pay the outstanding building accounts of Kinsey Seminary fully, The Wilson Educational Association borrowed $10,000. The securities were in three interest-bearing notes, each bearing date, January 15, 1898. At the time the property was conveyed to the Disciples’ Convention the entire principal had been reduced to $9,000 and the interest had been paid to July 15, 1901. One note, and the first to be paid, was for $1,700; another[note]
for $1,500, and the remaining one was for $5,800. A condition of the transfer of property was the payment of these obligations by the Convention within six months. From 1901 to 1904, George Hackney, college treasurer, reported the total cash gifts as approximately $6,000. Much of this cash had to be used in seasonal furnishing and reconditioning of the college building. Retirement of the notes was effected by the cash proceeds of a bonding operation among Disciples and friends. These mortgage bonds were fully amortized by the time of the college commencement, 1911, when they were ceremonially burned with joyful acclaim. I have gone ahead of the story to outline the financial panorama for the ten years of epic struggle.
The Carolina Christian College property had been sold in 1903 for $500. Of this amount Atlantic Christian College inherited $140; the remaining $360 went to the Ayden, N. C., Christian Church.12 The list of first donors to Atlantic Christian College names 105.13 Selecting a few from the initial roster will show significant contrast respectively with some later gifts. In 1901, J. W. Hines of Rocky Mount was one of the 20, each giving $100; later in 1927, from his estate matured $103,000 in one gift. Another, Mrs. J. O. Proctor, of Grimesland, one of 36, each giving $5, later made one gift of $15,000. Yet another, Mrs. Heber L. Coward, of Greenville, one of 7, each giving $1, later made a bequest yielding $27,000. Charles N. Nurney, of Wilson, whose concern in the beginning is not of record, bequeathed his entire estate of $30,000, nearly twenty years later. Thus appears the cycle of a redemptive tide, which came not in the earliest years when it was so desperately needed.
An early gift known as the “W. N. and Orpah Hackney Memorial Fund,” consisted of Wilson real estate valued at $3,000. From this the interest only “was to be dispensed to approved, needy students,” after “the entire[note][note]
debt of the college shall have been paid.”14 This was later applied “to give free room rent to students preparing for the ministry.”
Chancellor J. J. Harper in the canvass of 1902, appealed for “an earnest cooperation that the whole debt” might be speedily paid. Pointing to the possession of the “magnificent property,” as “an opportunity for the Disciples that comes not once in a hundred years,” he urged, “There must not be any flinching, dodging, or hesitating on the part of our generous people.”15
Joseph Kinsey contributed an “Educational Column,” appearing in a few issues of The Watch Tower. There follow a few of his briefs:
We have thrust upon us a real school. Heretofore it rested on the shoulders of one man; now ten thousand are bearing the burden. It would cost $30,000 to put up such a building on the present site now. Streets have been opened, many residences built, and real estate sells at tribble [sic] former prices. The Disciples of North Carolina must trust and work to become equal to this great undertaking. At times all will seem dark but our ascent does not begin at the bottom round of the ladder. The donation of $14,000 is a great thing. The payment of $9,000 is the small part.16
President Coggins announced at the opening that “every item of expense” for a student, “including board, regular tuition, doctor's bill, vocal, or instrumental music, for one year will come within $145.”17 Of this amount the tuition was $1 per week for the 35 weeks.18 This was on a level with some other church colleges. But Motley, agitating the year before through the press, observed: “Colleges gain in no way by putting tuition down at starvation rates. They cannot give the material comforts, much less educational advantages, and the result is the students are dissatisfied.” At Milligan he said he had paid the annual tuition of $36, as contrasted[note][note][note][note][note]
with $150 for the same at Johns Hopkins. He submitted: “I was better satisfied with paying the $150,” and urged: “Put tuition at living rates.”19§ 5
The second year at Atlantic Christian College opened September 12, 1903. Only 36 registered the first day, as compared with 107 on the corresponding day of the preceding year. Enrollment for the entire second year numbered 113, of whom 31 were men, and 82, women. Eight were ministerial students. The faculty numbered fourteen as compared with eleven for the preceding year. The number of honorary degrees conferred were six: LL.D. to J. J. Harper and George P. Rutledge: A.M. to J. P. Whitt, and W. H. Mizell; Sc.D. to G. G. Cole; and B.D., to Ira A. Holbrook.
H. C. Bowen, a visitor at the college in January, 1904, reported:
I have learned from different sources that the heating plant is not efficient to warm the entire building in the coldest weather. The auditorium has been abandoned and all the furnace heat turned into the classrooms and sleeping apartments. All are allowed to make themselves as comfortable as possible.20
D. W. Arnold, appointed business manager in December, 1903, rejoiced in the following March, “we have somewhat revived from the discomfort of the cold, sleety, winter, which has caused much anxiety, no doubt, on the part of the parents who have entrusted their dear girls and boys to our care.”21
C. Manly Morton, a student there at this time, declared:
The trustees began the planning for new buildings but soon the enthusiasm wore off. There were other disadvantages and[note][note][note]
at the close of the second year it seemed that failure was inevitable. A number of mistakes had been made. The people had lost confidence in the school, and it looked like the doors would never be opened again.22
Professor Cole at the college, stressing the essential element in Christian education, avowed:
A hundred thousand dollars could be advantageously used at Atlantic Christian College. But what we do need with or without such contributions is for the brotherhood to awaken to the fact that with all our lack of means, our schools are as good as any, and just as worthy of patronage upon the score of true merit alone.23§ 6
Ada Tyson was first to graduate at Atlantic Christian College. She was born near Farmville, N. C., March 25, 1876. First a student in Farmville Academy, she was enrolled from 1893 to 1896 in Woman's College, at Greensboro, N. C., then known as The State Normal and Industrial College. After teaching in public schools of her native state for five years, she attended for a year at Claremont College, Hickory, N. C., graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Didactics. Engaged to teach the secretarial course at Wilson during the first year of the college, she also worked as a senior student, receiving in 1903 the first earned degree conferred by the institution. Returning to her home community she assisted in organizing the first Farmville graded school, teaching in it until 1910 when she married Wesley Y. Swain, of Henderson, N. C. Of their two children, Mary Catherine Swain graduated at Woman's College, Greensboro, and later taught at Wake Forest, and Thomas Tyson Swain received his B.S. degree from North Carolina State College.[note][note]
At Waynesville far up in the North Carolina mountains, Coggins had conducted a summer school in 1903. He returned to the Blue Ridge to open another school on September 12, 1904, at Black Mountain. This was a village of 300 population, fourteen miles east of Asheville on the Southern Railway, and described by Coggins as “the most important place, outside the great cities, to be found in America today.”24 He had resigned his charge at Wilson, effective at commencement, 1904. His new school, which continued for three years, was first called “The Black Mountain College and Preparatory School,” and lastly “Holman Christian University.” Among his teachers were three of his former students at Wilson: C. Manly Morton, John W. Tyndall, and W. H. Mizell. Other teachers he said were there from Milligan, Kentucky, Yale, Harvard, and Chicago Universities. Also he advertised: “This country university makes it possible for boys and girls of limited means to get an education by reducing the expenses to the minimum.” He reported in August, 1904, a citizens’ mass meeting at Black Mountain, which “unanimously voted to combine the public school with our school.”25 He bought land and sold lots and projected “the College Colony . . . being located around the magnificent fifty-acre park, College Place, just a half mile from the Southern depot.”26
Early in 1905, one of his school group wrote: “Rosy cheeks, manly forms, pretty girls, handsome boys, model lives, ideal students, are what you will find at B. M. C.”27 At close of their first school year, the same reporter frankly said: “Occupying as we have, only rented buildings and they very poorly arranged for school use, the[note][note][note][note]
accommodations have not been the best, or as good as we wished.”28 C. Manly Morton was valedictorian for his graduating class of six.
Mrs. Sarah A. Holman was publicized in March, 1905, as having “donated 240 acres of Kansas land, valued at about $10,000 for the benefit of the school at Black Mountain, and the school will be named Holman Christian College.” She was described by an Illinois Disciple historian as a “unique personality, intelligent, cultured, independent, self-reliant.”29 She was a world traveler visiting widely the various continents. She paid $1,000 of the total $4,000 budget at the Asheville, N. C., Christian Church in 1901, when Motley was there. Dying at the age of 93, she was for the last 21 years of her life a member of the Central Christian Church, Peoria, Illinois. She gave an aggregate of $22,000, distributed to her local church; to Eureka College, Illinois; and to the National Church Extension Board of Disciples of Christ.
Meanwhile down on the Coastal Plain at Wilson, Atlantic Christian College was making a new start. J. Boyd Jones, the new chairman of trustees during that critical summer, promised: “We begin at once to put the heating plant in first-class condition. We expect to hire the president and teachers and pay them a salary—not a commission. The catalogue will soon be ready. Remember Atlantic Christian College is not dead nor dying but fully alive.”30[note][note][note]
John James Harper, of Smithfield, N. C., was elected President of Atlantic Christian College, in May, 1904. The Raleigh, N. C., News and Observer commented: “The trustees have chosen wisely. Dr. Harper has long been the wisest leader of his church in North Carolina, ‘abundant in labors,’ sound in judgment, wise in council. He is widely known throughout all Eastern North Carolina, and his acceptance is guarantee of the increasing success of the institution.”1 Harper responded:
It is a position of great responsibility, and in the strongest sense a sacred trust. I hesitated long, and pondered over it well, and prayed over it much, before I could consent to undertake the work. The office will require and shall receive my closest personal attention in all details. My daughters and I will reside in the college building, and I shall have no other work but that which pertains to the institution. I shall give to its interests the best thought and effort of which I am capable.2
Nearly a quarter-century before, Harper had served the Wilson Disciple pastorate, preaching itinerantly on the second and third Lord's days of each month. Thus to the people of the college town it was a familiar fellowship. Writing of this in January, 1883, he said:
The church here numbering about 25, though small, has a surprising amount of vitality in it. The members are upright in life, loyal to the truth and zealous and liberal in the support of it. Peter E. Hines and Moses T. Moye are efficient and faithful co-workers with me. The people are generally social, frank and hospitable. The outlook is encouraging.3[note][note][note]
Henry C. Bowen called Harper a “prudent, Godly man.”4
Harper was by nature conservative, yet truly ecumenical. About the college he said that he would “scrupulously avoid extravagant statements, preferring to have the words of our patrons and the work of our pupils speak for us. We are building slowly but surely and substantially. As the church grows, the school will grow, and the indications point to greater growth of the school than of the church, for the school has many warm friends and supporters ‘which are not of this fold,’ and whose encouragement is always highly appreciated.”5
Only 32 students enrolled at the opening, September 6, 1904. By commencement in 1905, however, a total of 103 had attended, of whom 25 were men and 78 were women. There were three ministerial students. Serving on the faculty were eight named in the catalogue, but with five vacancies to be supplied if expedient. The new president observed: “Friends are increasing on all sides and if the Disciples will concentrate on their own school they will soon have a college of which they will feel justly proud.”6§ 2
President Harper was born near Bentonville, N. C., April 10, 1841. The old Harper home is a battle shrine at the site of the largest effusion of blood in the military history of the “Old North State.” He was planter, merchant, preacher, teacher, editor, statesman, and lastly, college president. He was of Norman-English-Quaker ancestry. The immigrant John Harper I arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 3, 1682. His lineal descendant, Joseph Harper, settled at Harper's Ferry, Va., naming the place, and incorporating it in[note][note][note]
1763. Joseph had a son, John Harper II, who lived from 1719 to 1793. This John Harper II had a son John Harper III (1762-1834), who soldiered in the Revolution, 1781-1782. Continuing the family line, John III married Ann Covington of Staunton, Va., and their son, John IV, was born near Staunton, February 18, 1803, and came with his parents to North Carolina, settling near Mill Creek in Johnston County. John IV married Amy Ann Woodard (1820-1900), daughter of James Woodard. President John James Harper was a son of the lastnamed couple, and the two other sons were Dr. Henry D. Harper, Sr., of Kinston, and Dr. Martin W. Harper, of Dunn. A daughter was Mrs. Nathan B. Hood, whose husband left a bequest of $30,000 to the Hood Memorial Christian Church in Dunn, N. C.7
President Harper was baptized by Henry D. Cason, July 29, 1860; preached his first sermon, May 18, 1861, and was ordained in 1862. As state evangelist, 1863-1865, he suffered the ravages of war. He married Arrita Anderson Daniel of Pitt County, N. C., May 1, 1862. They had four sons and three daughters. He was not a college-trained man. His academic training was in the Beaufort County school of Thomas J. Latham, and son, Josephus Latham. He was privately tutored in the classics.
When he became college president, he resigned his Dunn pastorate. He had ministered at Kinston, at Washington, and at other resourceful churches in the state. He presided at eleven state conventions. He was ever a constructive planner and worker, and the most potent factor in the effective working of the Disciples’ unique state constitution. He stood as a faithful sentinel for his people against the marauders of the night. He was a living scourge of the ecclesiastical cheat, the sacerdotal tramp, who would fain make a carnival in Carolina for fleecing of the flock. He persisted in a thorough conserving of state convention documents with the[note]
loyal help of his daughter Fanny. To them the present Carolina Discipliana Archives is peculiarly indebted. His record as commissioner and state senator, in his native county, Johnston, was worthy; and he was ever a consistent friend of education.§ 3
The first year at Wilson under Harper, 1904-1905, was given to stabilization and recovery. The success was beyond anticipation. A trustee, J. Boyd Jones, reported in March:
Last summer we spent about $1,400 on the heating plant, putting it in first class condition. This winter, in the coldest weather, the building was very warm. The campus has been improved and now it is an ideal home for boys and girls. Brother Harper's report was ahead of what we had expected. We re-elected him by unanimous vote, and he has accepted, which means that the school is safe. He has the confidence of the Wilson people and his credit is good anywhere.8
Jones also reported that Raymond Abner Smith (B.D. Yale, 1905) was coming June 1, 1905, to be state evangelist, and also to teach at the college. Smith was described as “a young, vigorous, cultured man of fine social qualities” having “had experience as a pastor and evangelist.” Jones, summarizing the year's work, again said of Harper: “His work has been almost marvelous. He has fine executive ability and good business sense, and a fine Christian character which at once fits him for his arduous duties.” Harper's modest summary:
The growth has been normal and substantial. We have lived and labored economically and in this way have been able to make “both ends meet.” The Lord has raised up friends whom we knew not of a year ago. Viewing the year's work from every standpoint, we can but thank God and take courage.9[note][note]
There was need of a student loan fund, Harper emphasized, for those yearning to attend college, “but could not because they did not have the money.” Well administered, this would be a vital help to worthy students and likewise to the college. “One good brother has offered to assist,” he said, “let us hear from others.”10
A series of urgent appeals for brotherhood loyalty now appeared in The Watch Tower, grown to a sixteen-page weekly, and a promotional medium of incalculable value to the college. Typical was that of J. Boyd Jones: “If all our people would unite on A. C. College, there is no reason why in a few years we should not have a strong college. Unless our brethren do cooperate we will drag along in the future as we have in the past.” Harper appealed: “We want 300 honest, industrious boys and girls with high aims and noble purposes.”11
The catalogue promised: “Ample opportunity will be afforded for recreation necessary for health and comfort.” Discipline was strict. The campus was the girls’ exclusive playground. The male minority played as well as lodged outside.§ 4
“Atlantic Christian College Company,” was the corporate name “inadvertently” given in the original charter. The Convention of 1905 directed that the trustees have it amended to “Atlantic Christian College, Incorporated”; this proper designation continues to the present time. At the same time the trustees were also empowered to liquidate the floating debt by “issuance and sale of bonds . . . to an amount not exceeding $20,000 . . . secured by trust deed.”12 Chairman George Hackney, publicizing the sale of these bonds, stirred Abram J. Moye, Farmville layman, to say:
Our people who can possibly spare the money should subscribe. Since the incipiency of this project two brethren have[note][note][note]
gone to their Maker, who, if they had only loved enough and had the proper teaching could have put this Institution upon a firm basis, and their children and grandchildren would have fared just as well. If we succeed with this school we can double our membership in ten years. Should we be so niggardly, short-sighted, and so far lost to all self-respect as to fail, then the Lord will not be with us and our preaching will be in vain.13
Harper reported for 1905 an increase in students. “Five young men,” he said, were “preparing for the ministry who are industrious and worthy.” Moreover “free tuition in the ministerial course including what literature they need” was offered, “regardless of denominations when they come well endorsed by their churches.” He noted that “Prof. R. A. Smith has returned from Indianapolis with his bride, a teacher of experience, who will be a valuable addition to our force.”14
At commencement in 1906 total enrollment was reported as 114, of whom there were 16 men, and 98 women. About forty per cent were Disciples. A cheering Watch Tower editorial said that the school was “growing and increasing in influence with the general public,” wherefore “in these days of plenty we should do something generous for the College.”15§ 5
“Our dormitories are full,” wrote Professor Elam T. Murphy shortly after the opening in 1906. Reporting at the Dunn Convention that fall, Harper said the college had enrolled 96 students, exactly half of whom were Disciples. Work continued in the six departments: literary, elocution, art, piano, voice, and business. A club for boys afforded room and board, not to exceed $10 per month for each.16 The convention directed State Secretary W. Graham Walker to give four months to fund-raising[note][note][note][note]
to offset the college's bonded debt. As an effective aid, Walker launched a new weekly state paper, The Carolina Evangel, in March, 1907. Also on the sixth of that month he set up a constituents’ rally, held with enthusiasm in the college chapel at Wilson. Students had a holiday and attended both sessions in a body numbering 123, manifesting by orderly yells and songs a resurgent college spirit. This gave significant quality to the occasion. Harper's opening speech at this rally was said to be surpassingly good. Other ministers to speak were: P. B. Hall, of Kinston; J. A. Hopkins, of Winston-Salem; C. W. Howard, of Kinston; A. F. Leighton, of Macclesfield; F. L. Davis, of Wilmington; B. T. Bitting, of Dunn; A. J. Edmundson, of New Bern; and J. C. Caldwell, of Selma, Alabama; Professor Murphy, of the faculty, and George Hackney, chairman of trustees.17 This highly articulate fellowship was a morale builder of real importance. Upon motion of Mr. Hall, of Kinston, a “dollar crusade” was launched against the college bonds. First of record to give a dollar was Elizabeth Tesh, state field secretary of the Disciples’ Christian Women's Board of Missions. This moved editor Walker to write:
- Not in vain was it written of woman:
- Not she with traitorous kiss her Saviour stung.
- She was the last to leave his cross,
- The first to seek His tomb.18
Commencement in 1907 was said to have been “the most successful ever held at the college.” The North Carolina governor, R. B. Glenn, gave the address. Executive report to trustees pointed out “a gratifying increase in attendance but not enough to make the institution entirely self-sustaining.” Harper “was reelected President for the ensuing year.” The annual Alethian-Hesperian intersociety debate was held on the question: “Resolved that the interests of the people would be best[note][note]
subserved by government ownership and control of interstate railways.” Speakers for the Alethian affirmative: C. Manly Morton and Maud Davis; for the Hesperian negative: J. T. Moore and Arah Davis. The negative won. The medal in the oratorical contest went to C. Manly Morton; whose subject was “The Men Who Wore the Grey.”19
First death of a student in the history of the college was that of Faye Harper, of Kinston, niece of the president, on November 26, 1906, at the Wilson Sanatorium, “after most careful treatment and patient attention” by physicians and nurses. A memorial characterized her as “a bright student, beautiful and accomplished, highly esteemed by faculty and students.”20§ 6
There was a private eastern North Carolina school conducted by three Disciple ministers, first opened January 14, 1907. It continued under three heads respectively for twenty-two years. Colloquially known as “Tyndall's School,” it was located in Lenoir County, eight miles north of Kinston in the Dawson community. It was named Industrial Christian College, under John W. Tyndall, 1907-1914; Industrial School and Music Academy, under J. M. Perry, 1914-1916; and Carolina Institute and Bible Seminary, under J. A. Saunders, 1916-1929. At major physical development it had about seven acres of ground, a three-story boys’ dormitory, a two-story girls’ dormitory, and two dwellings. Ground floors of the two large buildings provided classroom, dining room, and other facilities. Tyndall said that in addition to the Dawson equipment “we are putting up a branch school in seven miles of Pinetown, N. C.” An associate said that Tyndall was “the maximum of energy and faith.”[note][note]
The school at Dawson opened with 102 students and the enrollment varied on an ascending scale until in 1911 it was said to be about 200.21 From the several catalogues available, no roll of students appears for any year. It is known, however, that a sizable number of successful men and women received basic training here for useful service.
John William Tyndall (1877-1933) was a native of Craven County, N. C. He said: “I was born in a two-room, unceiled house, and the first thing that greeted me was not a silver spoon but mad poverty. With this hard master I contended, not even going to public school but three months in all my life. I fully made up my mind that I would give my life to the poor. I would wear myself clear out for their uplifting and culture.” Ideally he proposed for his Dawson school: “The lack of money shall not keep one out of this Institution. No-accountness may keep one out, but not the lack of money.” For the fortunate with a bit of cash there was a bargain. “For $75, paid in advance, on entering school in September,” he said, “we will give board and tuition in the literary course for one school year.” Three of Tyndall's rules: “We do not allow the use of tobacco in any form, under penalty of expulsion; we do not allow hazing, under penalty of expulsion; love cases, writing and passing notes to the opposite sex will not be tolerated.”22
Tyndall died at the age of 56 in an automobile accident near Altus, Oklahoma, while he was president of Randolph College at Cisco, Texas.
James Mack Perry (1880-1952), a native of Windsor, N. C., was trained at Shenandoah Normal Institute, in Virginia, and at the Dawson School, and graduated at Atlantic Christian College in 1920. He was ordained March 31, 1916, and married Juanita Jones, at Kinston,[note][note]
N. C., May 21, 1911. He gave many fruitful years to a constructive ministry, lastly with a lengthy pastorate at Robersonville, N. C.
Joseph Albert Saunders (1876-1945), native of Richlands, N. C., was ordained in 1907. He was trained at the Dawson School, and married Annie Bell Pipkin, November 15, 1911. He taught in public schools in Onslow and Johnston Counties, in addition to his thirteen years of principalship at Dawson. He was later associated with J. W. Lusby, at Grayson, Kentucky. At his passing he was minister of the Reelsboro, N. C., rural group, giving an excellent cooperative leadership.§ 7
The college was too poor in the summer of 1907 to afford a paid press assistant. But Harper had promotional acumen of his own. He broadcast a small fourpage leaflet, a model of concise information about the school. It bears some marks of J. C. Caldwell, whom Harper in his wise planning had brought upon the scene to be dean of the college and coincidentally the pastor of the Wilson Christian Church. The leaflet, wasting not a word, delineated the eight schools of instruction, the “particular advantages; what A.C.C. stands for; and facts concerning A.C.C.” It was a capital brief. He that ran could read it. It had evidently a happy impact. Harper could now state: “The good name of the College is reaching broader limits. We are mailing catalogues frequently to persons in other states. The idea has got into the minds of the people that the college has come to stay.”23 A pastor voicing enthusiasm cried: “I want to see A. C. College turn out about one hundred preachers a year.”
Speaking at Belhaven Convention 1907,24 Harper said: “I believe, that the college is destined to become a great center . . . a radiating center of knowledge, secular and[note][note]
religious.” There were 21 men and 84 women in the Wilson student group. Charges were “exceedingly low,” at $149, for table board, room, and tuition, per student, per year.25 Religious motivation was dominant; “We keep Christ prominently before the school; we have a missionary society which supports a heathen orphan at Deoghur, India.” This Belhaven meeting sponsored an infectious financial rally for Christian education. The dollar crusade took the stage and reported an aggregate of nearly $1,500 in cash receipts. Caldwell gave one of his inspired “logic on fire” speeches. There was an electric effect pervading the throng, the like of which had not theretofore been seen.
This was all so moving that J. A. Lord, fifty-eight-year-old editor of The Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, participating at Belhaven, filled his editorial columns for two issues with praise of the unprecedented occasion. He observed: “For the zeal of the entire convention and the intensity of purpose and feeling directed to one object this event stands apart in the editor's whole convention experience.” He declared it was entitled “to a place of high honor among the assemblies of the brethren.”26
While the fortunes of A. C. College advanced, the health of President Harper declined. The burdens were engrossing. A brief illness culminated in pneumonia, and he passed from earth on January 17, 1908. Obsequies were at the Wilson Christian Church where J. C. Caldwell ministered, and interment was in the family plat in the Smithfield, N. C., cemetery. True words, solemn and beautiful, were said and printed in his memory. Representing the faculty: “We loved and honored him”; the girls: “To us he has been a father”; the boys: “Our late president has left us a noble example”; the world at large: “He was a model citizen, a true man in every relation of life.”27[note][note][note]
Morale of the Wilson students was high. The college in spirit and life was well integrated. Every student remained to finish the year. The editor of The Carolina Evangel concluded: “There is no doubt that the school is on the high road to complete success.”28
And an early Wilson student ventured: “It may not be too much to say that he [Harper], died that Atlantic Christian College might live.”29[note][note]
“BRICKS WITHOUT STRAW”
At the inception of the college at Wilson, Chancellor Harper dared to say: “A school of ample capacity and of sufficiently high grade to meet the demands of our young people in this progressive age of schools is absolutely indispensable.”1 At the same time President Zollars of Hiram College, a successor to Garfield, warned:
We have demanded of our colleges to make bricks without straw. We have insisted that they shall do work that in amount and quality, shall rank with that of the best institutions of the country, but have utterly failed to provide the means necessary to back up such a demand. The college standard has been materially advanced by the tendency to specialization, nowhere more apparent than in the educational field. This makes a larger number of teachers an imperative necessity and adds to our perplexity. We have been content to see our teachers doing more than double work in many cases on half-pay. Is it not time for us to endow our colleges in a way to enable our teachers to stand in the very front rank of educators, not simply among our own people, but among all people?2
This was a factual challenge to all sponsors of Disciple colleges although the rub at Wilson was the clearance of the original debt, before an effective outreach for endowment. This debt was erased after ten years of suspension, to be followed by another of like amount incurred in the building of the Men's Dormitory. This too would be canceled after another nine years; making a full twenty years of sinewy wrestling to yield right of way for endowment promotion. Evidently nobody would[note][note]
give to endowment, where current debt accumulated, however ungenerous and illogical on the part of the contributor that might be. That Wilson, through this score of years, could produce superior quality of training, with resources inferior and halting, is a superlative memorial to her college executives.
When Harper passed in 1908, there were 29 church-related colleges for whites in North Carolina. Of these, 12 were coeducational, and 17 for women only. As to whites in public schools, the state's officials reported: Total youth of school age, 475,477; served by 5,175 schoolhouses, valued at $3,199,595; in which the average annual term was 95 days; the city teachers each receiving average annual salary of $351.91; rural teachers, $130.07.3 A perceptive study of these figures might point up the state's low position in the American educational exhibit of that time.§ 2
Acting promptly, the trustees elected Jesse Cobb Caldwell president, on January 24, 1908. He was born near Liberty, Missouri, January 15, 1873, and died at his Des Moines, Iowa, home, February 22, 1941. He was the only child of Robert and Mildred Cobb Caldwell; his paternal grandfather was a Disciple preacher in Central Kentucky. He was reared at Excelsior Springs, Missouri, where, as a newsboy, he distributed the Kansas City Star. His mother, ever a devout Christian, and a schoolteacher for 18 years, with timely tact inspired Jesse to become a preacher. On October 18, 1898, he married Mary Settle, of Owenton, Kentucky, daughter of Congressman Evan Settle; their two children were Elizabeth (married Leatherwood), and Mildred (married Wright). After Mrs. Caldwell's death in 1926, he married Ruth Wilkinson, of Des Moines, Iowa, on August 10, 1927. Ordained in 1897, his pastorates were at Owenton, Ky., 1897-1902; and Selma, Ala., 1903-1907; coming thence to the Wilson,[note]
N. C., church and college. At the Drake College of the Bible, Des Moines, Iowa, he was dean, 1916-1937, and professor of history of religions, 1937-1941.
In Missouri he was the first graduate of his local high school set up in the 1880's. A course at Warrensburg, Mo., State Normal, was followed in 1896 with A.B. degree at Kentucky University (now Transylvania College), and the next year with the classical diploma from The College of the Bible there. His B.D. degree he received at Yale in 1903, LL.D., at Transylvania, 1916, followed in the summer of that year by study at the University of Chicago.
His administrative ideals for Wilson were thus articulated: He was “striving to develop” as citizens, “men and women of breadth in general culture”; for high schools, effective teachers to supply the growing demand; for the ministry, and mission field, persons with a compelling sense of mission, trained in mind and heart for effectual Christian leadership; for the artistic world, the burgeoning out of gifted souls to enrich society; for those readying for college entrance, an adequate preparation, taking up the respective academic slack.4
The editor of The Carolina Evangel was reminded of his former days under McGarvey at Lexington, Kentucky, while visiting Caldwell's sacred history class at Wilson. He wrote: “Our people should be delighted to know that we have a Bible course at Wilson equal to any in the land.”5 A mature student witnessed: “Life is full to overflowing. The same Christian unity and fellowship prevails that has always characterized our work and association. Caldwell leads us by gentleness and kindness, prompts us to act from a sense of duty rather than from fear of punishment. It is a pleasure for the students to do the bidding of our leader.”6[note][note][note]
Caldwell came to Carolina when Disciples began to face intriguing missionary opportunities in their growing cities. Rural in their resources and their outreach, so largely and so long, they welcomed this resourceful champion. Wilmington had made a good start, but needed his encouragement. Perhaps a dozen other cities had Disciples waiting to come to organized life. Transcending ordinary limitations, he gave such inspiring help as he could, at Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Roanoke Rapids, Williamston, and numerous smaller towns. He dedicated church plants far and wide.
He was adaptable. He did acceptably for the little brown church in the piney-woods pocosin or for the city-bred crowd on the metropolitan twelfth floor. He led a prayer meeting with spiritual charm, or he spoke with unforgettable eloquence to a Confederate Day throng.
He was versatile. He could tinker with a dead electric switch, and make the light come on. Or he could untangle a Greek root for a spate of jigsawed English. If by native sagacity he bought potatoes for his boarding students, by the same gift he fed to his hearers some ancient saga of the church, simplified and illuminated.
He had no independent income. Year in and year out his salary was just $125 a month. He worked and inspired others to work. If his pants were frayed at the cuff, he might in time migrate West for better breeches.§ 3
Pledges to pay the college debt were multiplied at the Belhaven Convention in 1907, and afterward. However, it was a year of depression, then called “panic.” Thus many of the promises were stymied in payment. Harper's death came within three months. Two years and a half after Belhaven, Jack R. Rountree, The Carolina Evangel editor, wrote: “Caldwell of Atlantic Christian College has started a crusade and has so far met
with very much encouragement and success. If the present strain of success continues, we can have a bond burning at the next commencement.”7 Eight months later Caldwell exulted: “The people are paying up splendidly; $10,500 to December 7, 1910. I want us to vindicate the honor of the Old North State by having every pledge paid. Nothing will give us more moral confidence in ourselves.”8
C. B. Mashburn, ministerial student at the college, described the triumph at the commencement of 1911 as follows:
We celebrated the occasion by burning the bonds. Col. J. F. Bruton, Pres., First National Bank, Wilson, N. C., who has been so faithful a friend to the college, was asked to come to the rostrum. While he conducted the burning, the students and friends sang “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” He told of the struggles of Dr. Harper and Dr. Caldwell and how by earnest hard work they stood by the college, and how our president in his noble work has gained the love of all the town and brotherhood. This frees the college of debt excepting some current expenses amounting to $1,500 to $2,000. Our college has grown and enlarged until now it is worth about $40,000.9
With the building of the men's dormitory, later named Caldwell Hall, and the debt raising, the years 1910 and 1911 were indeed strenuous for Caldwell. He was far spent. He needed a rest. A long sea voyage would do. Editor of The Radiant, students’ magazine, suggested that the trip would “be of inestimable worth to a student and teacher of Sacred History. We hope that he may return to us refreshed in spirit and strengthened for the great work to which he is giving his life.”10 His perceptive, generous friends contributed the necessary travel funds.
He sailed from New York, February 8, 1912, on the White Star Liner “Arabic.” In the party was E. M.[note][note][note][note]
Waits, then of Fort Worth, Texas, who was a classmate of Caldwell at Lexington, sixteen years before. Waits was a congenial traveler. He was later a president of Texas Christian University. From the island of Madeira, their first landing, Caldwell proceeded to Cadiz, Spain, and Seville, to Gibraltar. Traveling to Athens, Greece, he stopped in Algiers and on the Isle of Malta. Next he visited Constantinople, Smyrna, Ephesus, and Damascus, before his six weeks in Palestine, during which he also toured Cairo, Egypt, and steamed up the Nile to Luxor. There followed a short tour through Italy and other European countries, and the return home in May, 1912.11
Some two years after this trip by Caldwell, J. Fred Jones was serving as state missions secretary of North Carolina Disciples. Jones said that Caldwell was so modest that one might long be associated with him and never know that he had been overseas. Twenty-five years before this, George William Gardner had written a series of letters published in the Raleigh, N. C., Biblical Recorder, and signed “Uncle Chris.” C. T. Bailey, the editor, declared that Uncle Chris had made his name famous in North Carolina, by creating the best material ever written for his paper, and that these letters of Gardner were widely and eagerly read.12 The essence of Gardner's debunking thrust was his caricature of persons who had been “abroad for a few months and returned to lecture and make it known by divers means that they had crossed the ocean.” One doubts that Caldwell ever knew of this famed exposé by Gardner. There was no need. The idea with him was inbred.§ 4
By analogy the management of a small constricted church college was not unlike tight-rope walking at high[note][note]
suspension. One escape factor in such hazard was the engaging and retaining at top efficiency of qualified dependable teachers in a stabilized faculty. This, on the whole, Caldwell seems to have done. Some who remained throughout his incumbency must be mentioned, while other colleagues are listed fully in Appendix D in this volume. Kathleen L. Salmon, professor of English, was a graduate of Christian College, Columbia, Mo., and studied later in the University of Missouri; State Normal, of Missouri; and at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Beloved by faculty and students, she consistently generated the best of college spirit. The two daughters of President Harper, “Miss Fanny,” and “Miss Myrtie,” were graduates of Kinsey Seminary, and special students at Knoxville, Tenn., Normal, and at the University of Virginia. Both of these remained throughout three administrations and beyond. For 36 years “Miss Fanny” gave “kindly tutelage” in “the intricacies of mathematics.” Of the “best traditions of the college,” she was “one of the finest representatives,” and “a power to stabilize for the good and true.” Her sister, “Miss Myrtie,” began as an assistant in the “Preparatory” and lastly, for many years was the faithful librarian.
Curricular functions were balanced throughout for the courses in liberal arts. The limited resources of a small college would not, as a matter of course, attract many eligible prospects who were highly trained specialists. Unless there was a deep sense of loyal devotion and a spirit of sacrifice in them, they would not come, or, if they did, probably would be unadaptable. In view of this, the college was fortunate beyond what was then generally known and appreciated.
No honorary, or postgraduate, degrees were given in Caldwell's day. He felt that the time had not come for this. It followed, of course, that no faculty member “doubled” to pick up such honor. Once only a graduate (in 1909) was offered an A.M. degree. He accepted the
offer and did the assigned work approvedly. Then he thoughtfully, freely, declined the degree, seeing that it might set an untimely precedent. Caldwell never ceased to be thankful for this student's self-denial.§ 5
An editorial in The Carolina Evangel, April, 1910, said:
A. C. College now occupies a place in the educational realm of North Carolina and in the minds and hearts of the Wilson people that has never belonged to it before. Gradually the standard has been raised. Year by year the courses have been broadened and made more thorough. A diploma from A. C. College admits its holder into Yale or Harvard alongside of those from our other colleges.13
The first graduate at the college to receive the A.B. degree was Mrs. C. S. Eagles (Mary Moye, 1906). Six other women graduated there, each with the A.B. degree, 1906-1908, prior to Clement Manly Morton, the first man, who received his A.B. in 1909. Morton was born at Newport, N. C., February 25, 1884. Reared in Wilson he attended the college, 1902-1904, 1906-1910. President of Alethians two years, he represented that society four times in the annual debate with Hesperians, losing only once; twice he won the J. Boyd Jones oratorical medal, and carried away other medals as well. He fathered The Radiant, first student publication. In 1910 he was editor-in-chief for the first issue of The Pine Knot, students’ annual. His ministries while in college were at Farmville and Ayden. He served as state missions secretary in 1910. His later ministries were at Wilmington and Winston-Salem. His A.M. degree, he received in 1923 at the Indianapolis College of Missions; M.R.E., 1928, Hartford, Conn., School of Religious Education; and D.D., Atlantic Christian College, 1953.[note]
He married Sarah Louise Beam in 1916. She was a Kansas City nurse training for the mission field with Morton at the College of Missions. Together they served as Disciple missionaries at Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1916-1918; they pioneered in educational missions at Colegio Internacional, at Asuncion, Paraguay, 1918-1921; and from 1923 onward, at Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, where he became incidentally the secretary of the largest Sunday school unit in Latin America.
Caldwell's outstanding contribution at the college, and which later sent him to the Drake College of the Bible, was in the ministerial department at Wilson. During his first year at Wilson appeared the first picture of the preacher students there. They numbered eight. A year later, Rountree, editor of The Carolina Evangel, observed:
The value of A. C. College has never been more forcibly attested than through the work of the young men there preparing for the ministry. Not young men half prepared. Not mere novices. Not babes. But young men of character, of decided mental capacity, well taught in the Word of God. It will be but a short while when the College will be furnishing well-educated, consecrated young men to fill our pulpits.14
In October, 1909, five of the ministerial students accompanied President Caldwell to the great Centennial Convention of Disciples at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Ministerial Association at the college was organized in September, 1913. They were to meet “every alternate Friday night” in the boys’ dormitory, “for training and fellowship, and to discuss subjects of vital importance pertaining to the church and its extended needs.” In December, 1914, these student preachers were serving 31 churches, and had the preceding year preached over 900 sermons, baptized over 300 persons,[note]
and spoken “from the mountains to the sea.”15 The next year, John M. Waters reported: “The ministerial body continues to grow.”§ 6
Extracurricular activities at the college were varied and important. The season of 1908 saw the first organized baseball team with J. J. Walker, captain.16 They lost only two games that season. On the squad for 1910 appeared Robert B. Anderson, shortstop, whose death eight years later was the first casualty from Wilson County in World War I. He is memorialized in the name of the local American Legion Post. Another on that squad was Allie Fleming, second base, for whom the local municipal stadium is named. It was announced in 1908: “Croquet and basketball have given way in part to tennis.” The Girls’ Tennis Club of 1910 numbered 23, of which Bess Hackney was president; in 1916 there were 18, Daisy Manning, president. In 1916 the Boys’ Tennis Club had 15, Joel E. Vause, manager. Boys’ basketball had a squad of 10, J. B. Farmer, coach; the girls’ squad had eight, Mary Proctor, captain. Twelve boys made the baseball team of 1916. In the literary societies, John M. Waters was Hesperian president of 42 members; W. T. Mattox, Alethian president of 43 members; Sam M. Jones was president of Adelphian Debating Club (men) of 24 members.
The student publications were creditable. The Radiant, a quarterly, continued from February, 1908, Vol. I, No. 1 to December, 1920, Vol. XIII, No. 1. The editors were: C. Manly Morton, Horace Settle, Lossie Davis, Mattie Phillips, Hayes Farish, Sallie L. Bridges, Ben F. Oden, Bessie Hodges, Claire Hodges, Clem Bridges, Ernest Paschall, Marion B. Brinson, and C. F. Outlaw. The Atlantic Christian College Bulletin is an official quarterly publication of the College. Edited by C. C.[note][note]
Ware, general secretary, at the beginning, it was first issued November, 1915, as Vol. I, No. 1, continuing to the present.
The college was an annual participant in the regional Intercollegiate Peace Oratorical Contest. S. Lee Sadler won first place for A. C. College, February, 1915.17 The mission study class at the college was taught by “Miss Fanny” Harper. Men's fraternities did not appear until after 1916. Sororities before 1916 were: Phi Sigma Tau, founded 1912, and Phi Delta Sigma, founded 1914. There was a ladies’ quartette, and a men's quartette, the latter being often used by Caldwell in his special services. The choral club numbered 25 in 1916. Other clubs, mostly temporary, were numerous. In September, 1914, the first band (13 pieces), was organized at the college, Sam Braxton, bandmaster. It was announced: “The prospects for a fine college band are very good.”
The college was a charter member of the American Disciples’ General Board of Education when it was set up in 1914. It then comprised 26 colleges, having 7,000 students, 542 faculty members, and $6,000,000 in assets. By 1955 it had grown to 34 colleges, having 25,000 students, 1,200 faculty members, and more than $80,000,000 in assets.§ 7
The summer of 1915 sadly troubled the executives of education and missions in America. Mars was taking a terrible toll in Christian nations. It appeared that the Kaiser was winning his World War. American isolation began to be shaken. The nation was neutral by profession, and administratively extended an apprehensive peace beyond the political campaign of 1916. Offerings for missions declined in the best of organizations. The[note]
Disciple Women (national C.W.B.M.) announced an unusual deficit at their year's closing, September 30, 1915. Farm products were basic in the eastern Carolina economy. Their forthcoming values were in exceptional doubt.
Average annual enrollment of students at A. C. College, 1908-1916, was 156. In 1914-1915, it was 168; in 1915-1916 it was 105, when the faculty numbered 18, as compared with 14 for the previous year. This drop of 63 students meant a catapulted deficit of more that $3,000 for that year. The entire debt of the college, July 1, 1916, was $24,000. There was specific promise of $50,000 for the college, allocated in the over-all $7,000,000 objective of The Men and Millions Movement which had campaigned since 1913. But the bulk of this amount realizable by the college, would not come until after 1916. Not a dollar had come to the exchequer from endowment. There was no cushion for a bad year, save the ready borrowing from the bank. Yet potentialities gleamed for a better day.
Some permanent improvements at the college gave solid ground for cheer. The new Caldwell Hall had served for four years. By a building extension, Kinsey Hall's rooming capacity had structurally gained by fifty per cent. The total outlay for these two projects was $20,000. In 1914 the college had acquired, by annuity contract with Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Murrill, a 672-acre farm at Verona, N. C., a hundred miles southeast of Wilson. The larger part of this tract was sold under federal demand for the use of Camp Davis in World War II. In this sale there was considerable financial gain for the college. There “was a well-selected library of more than 2,000 volumes,” much of which had been personally given by Presidents Harper and Caldwell.18
There were scores of alumni now. Nearly a hundred ministers had received a part or all of their training here. They were serving 60 pulpits within North Carolina.[note]
In “Au Revoir, President Caldwell” appearing in The Pine Knot of 1916, it was said that he had promoted the school with singular efficiency against heavy odds through memorable years.19 Among the students he had created and maintained a remarkable esprit de corps; had entered warmly into all phases of their life—religious, academic, aesthetic, social, forensic, and athletic. Fervently, yet rationally, he had led an impressive number into the ministry. Now one could say that one third of all active North Carolina Disciple preachers had been trained at A. C. College. Mrs. Caldwell had consistently a large share in the college life, with their two small girls making lovely childhood joy for all. Those who had lived and learned with the “Prexy” would cherish his ideals. Some would unconsciously reveal their obsession with his characteristic methods of thought and speech. All, with the refinings of time, would go into the imperishable traditions at Wilson.[note]
DREAMS OF EXPANSION
Wilson in 1917 had 12,000 people, and 35,000 within a ten-mile radius. Annual post-office receipts were in excess of $30,000, and total freight charges at the two stations topped $1,000,000 a year. Twenty-four passenger trains stopped each day. Manufacturing plants numbered 40, and 150 traveling salesmen made Wilson their home. Yearly payroll at the two Hackney factories was $200,000. There were six banks and two building and loan associations. Churches numbered nine, and public graded schools, three.1 Before the decade closed unprecedented prosperity came.
As recently as 1910, the total value of farm products in North Carolina ranked the state as twenty-second among the forty-eight. But in 1919, with a $700,000,000 value, the state pushed to fourth place in that category. Her sheer gain in bank resources in 1919 was equal to the entire aggregate of such resources just three years before. She was getting rich at superspeed in a prejet age. What was Carolina to do with this flood of money?
Another story is the educational predicament. After two and a half centuries, North Carolina had 31 white colleges, junior colleges, and technical training schools, including the University at Chapel Hill. Together these 31 had aggregate resources of $14,000,000, just about the value of a single year's sweet potato crop in North Carolina. The combined annual working income of these 31 institutions was less than $2,500,000, while Tarheels annually spent $20,000,000 on their motor cars. At the[note]
University of Michigan, alone, the annual working income was $500,000 in excess of the entire Tarheel outlay in administering higher education. High schools in North Carolina were graduating 3,000 a year, of whom 2,308 each September were rejected by the colleges for lack of room.2 It was a situation unbelievable and unendurable. In America the state was fourth from the top in farm-product values, and fourth from the bottom in education. Her agricultural glory was eclipsed by her cultural shame. Oriented by these facts, her college executives became bold as lions.§ 2
There was announcement in February, 1916, that J. C. Caldwell would go to The Bible College at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, as dean. The trustees at Wilson promptly called Raymond Abner Smith to succeed him. Smith was born in Gibson County, Indiana, January 14, 1875, the son of William Franklin Smith and Rosa Frances Williams Smith. Enlisting in the Spanish-American War, he was First Sergeant, later Second Lieutenant in the 159th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
He graduated at Vincennes, Indiana, University in 1894; received his A.B. at Butler College in 1900; his A.M. at the University of Indianapolis in 1904; was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, 1902-1903 and received his B.D. at Yale in 1905. He was ordained in January, 1899. His ministries included Kensington Christian Church, Philadelphia, Pa., 1900-1903, when he also taught there in Elhanan Institute; Hillside, Indianapolis, 1904, 1907; and at Centenary, Indianapolis, 1909-1913. While in Indianapolis he was an active member of the city's Commercial Club, president of the Christian Ministers’ Association, and wrote an excellent tract on “A Short History of Our Plea and People.” He[note]
married Grace Jean Clifford, of Indianapolis, December 27, 1905. Their children were Raymond Clifford, Marian Frances, and Ralph Emerson. He was professor of education, A. C. College, 1905-1906; in the manufacturing business, 1906-1913, and superintendent, 1913-1916, at Beckley, W. Va. (Mountain School, C.W.B.M., founded 1907), before his presidency at Wilson.
During Smith's last year at Beckley the enrollment was 304, of whom 134 were in high school, graduating 12; and 17 in normal school, graduating six.3 Beckley was retained in the Southern Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools. Among those at Beckley later to be associated with Smith at Wilson, were: Mr. and Mrs. Fred F. Grim, C. F. Whitney, Nellie Mae Krise, Carrie Lee Krise, Lida Pearl Clay, and Lura Neuby Clay. Also W. R. Howell, who succeeded Smith at Beckley, had served earlier at A. C. College.
President Smith was an excellent teacher. He moved in a realm of high ideals. College curricula then everywhere felt the rising demands of vocational education. He was fortunately qualified to take worthy advantage of the changing educational tide. Comparing “the college man and the man who has not had the advantage of a high school education,” he said, “the former has an economic productive capacity of $1,500 per year, the latter of about $450.”4 In articles for the press and in regular college advertising he drove this point home. It was an appeal to pragmatic instinct. It was readily understood by the boy at the plow-line, or the girl at the dishpan. But he kept the emphasis in balance. Further, he said:
Men and women must learn somewhere to correlate activity with intelligence and goodness. The real problem of the college today is to preserve the spirit, ideals, or soul of America in this age of unsurpassed material significance. To this end the[note][note]
church college will contribute no small part. It will seek to make its product justify all the effort and means put forth in its support.
The inauguration of President Smith, at Wilson, was on March 22, 1917. George Hackney presided. Preceding the address by Smith were the “Addresses of Congratulation,” by J. Y. Joyner, state superintendent of public instruction; W. A. Harper, president of Elon College; and T. P. Harrison, dean at N. C. State College. Delegates attended from 24 colleges and universities. Toastmaster for the occasion at the Briggs Hotel banquet was T. C. Howe, president of Butler College.§ 3
The spring of 1916 was to see a flash heresy trial, mostly epistolary, involving president-elect Smith. C. F. Outlaw, then editor of the Disciples’ state paper in South Carolina, had been a Bible student under Smith in 1905-1906. He, with some others, had disagreed with the instructor on the collateral use in the class of a book entitled: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth, A Study,5 by Rush Rhees, published by Scribners, N. Y., 1904. Rhees (1860-1939), a graduate of Amherst, and Hartford, was professor of New Testament Interpretation at Newton Theological Institution, when his book first appeared in 1900. Later he served at the University of Rochester for 35 years. He was a native of Chicago and a Baptist preacher. Outlaw, with forthright sincerity, at that time, thought that Smith was demonstrably a “destructive critic.” Wherefore he protested quickly to the trustees at Wilson, in 1916, and currently wrote much concerning it in his paper. The attack was answered from a genuine A.L.S. file incidentally available, the writers being President John Harper, W. H. Book, George P. Rutledge, and others, “well known for their soundness.”[note]
These all unreservedly commended the teaching and life of Smith. The trouble, it seems, had arisen eleven years before in immature minds. On the collegiate level, under Smith, there had been a shifting from the traditional to the historical approach in christological study. The students as a whole were not prepared for it. Perhaps the transition, pedagogically considered, might better have been deferred for those who were confused. After all, the book was “a study” to be used with freedom as well as discretion. It was not a dogmatic treatise to be naively absorbed.
With due regard to respective contexts I quote briefs from the beginning and end of Rhees’ book. His “Preface” asserts his reverent regard for “the importance and divinity of Christ, whose qualities . . . compel the recognition of God manifest in the flesh.” And the last sentence in his book: “Through all the perplexities of doubt, amidst all the obscurings of irrelevant speculations, the hearts of men today turn to this Jesus of Nazareth as their supreme revelation of God and find in him ‘the master of their thinking and the Lord of their lives.’ ”6
Outlaw soon resumed his accustomed support of the college, graduated there in 1921, and engaged meanwhile effectively in the campaigns for it. In 1939 when he compiled a published brochure of 106 pages on certain phases of Disciple lore, he integrated therein Smith's Indianapolis tract first issued a third of a century before.7 Time had wrought a great change.
Disciple ministers of Carolina met at Wilson, May 2, 1916. A resolution approving Smith as president-elect was unanimously adopted. It said that the agitation against Smith had been mistaken and ill advised; that[note][note]
they, the ministers, had sincere thoroughgoing confidence in him; and pledged to him their “heartiest cooperation collectively and individually.”8
However, common candor requires the admission that doubts and suspicions about the college, held and propagated by some intransigents, were unresolved. A recusant press in North Carolina for years carried tirades against convention-approved projects. Happily evaluating this phenomenon at long range it now may well be accounted as a benefit in disguise. It evoked in the brotherhood workers a meticulous concern. It spiced their consolidated fellowship. It may indeed be called “blessed.”
It is a humorous speculation as to how a heterodox Smith could have survived at Wilson. There were seven other preachers on his faculty, some of whom were unequivocal conservatives. At a continued close-up they found no doctrinal deviation in him worthy of record. For the most part this case of mythical heresy is a treasured legend of forgotten lore.§ 4
Carolina was unknown to Abe Cory in 1911 when as a missionary at Nanking, China, he dreamed of a million-dollar expansion, 1912-1918, for the Disciples’ foreign missions. Cory was called to direct a movement to this end among American Disciples. Gathering a staff, he began. In 1913, the program was uplifted when R. A. Long, of Kansas City, Mo., offered to give a million, himself, provided five millions more be included in an approved goal and certain colleges and other brotherhood-wide causes be embraced duly as beneficiaries. It was named “The Men and Millions Movement,” and continued for seven years realizing over $7,000,000 in gifts. For this movement both President Caldwell and President Smith gave assigned time in campaigning.[note]
Smith was in Tennessee late in 1917 assisting in raising $60,000 in that state.9 By March 31, 1919, A. C. College had received $17,591.96.10 Moreover the intangible results were immeasurably good. It was an epochal aid.
The convention's Board of Managers met at Greenville in February, 1917, and invited the movement to come to North Carolina for their regular canvass. It came; the “set-up conference” was held at Wilson, May 11, 1917, with registered attendance of 372. It was led by A. E. Cory and R. H. Miller, assisted by S. J. Corey, J. H. Mohorter, R. J. Dye, J. H. Booth, D. C. McCallum, W. R. Warren, L. E. Sellers, R. M. Hopkins, H. P. Shaw, M. B. Madden, J. T. T. Hundley, H. J. Derthick, Mrs. Effie Cunningham, R. A. Smith, and C. C. Ware.11 The three weeks’ canvass covering both Carolinas yielded $60,000 in cash and pledges. This added to $20,000 raised the next year within North Carolina in the “emergency drive” of the movement, aggregated $80,000 from the area.
The movement took individual pledges at the minimum of $500. This left a field wide open for immediate solicitation of smaller gifts over a period of five years, payable directly to the college purely for maintenance. An extensive canvass by men from the college for a goal of $25,000, payable in five years for this purpose, succeeded fully in reaching the objective in the summer of 1917. Thus the maintenance income for A. C. College, from gifts in the Carolinas, steadily rose, year by year, from $1,228.09 in 1916, to $8,619.25 in 1920. Much of this giving was in small amounts, but it was a timely cultivation making for an informed good will and later gifts of gratifying magnitude. Forty per cent of the gifts accruing in the Disciples’ United Budget canvass in the state, in the summer of 1919, came directly to the[note][note][note]
college for maintenance. Leading this effectively were four college students, namely: M. E. Sadler, W. T. Mattox, O. T. Mattox, and John M. Waters.§ 5
Colleges struggle to balance their budgets, year by year. An extensive manual labor feature has often provided a redeeming differential for an unexceptionable financial exhibit. Likewise the student-beneficiaries might also have a respective prideful clearance of obligation. As delightful as this may sound, it appears that most of the manual labor schools have closed. Opportunities for self-help, however, for students both needy and worthy should not be lacking at any college. For many persons now eminent in their calling can testify that such proffered advantage in their student days put them through, and intensified their loyalty to their Alma Mater. In this, Atlantic Christian College rightly cherishes a high score.
President Smith in 1917 urged the certain advantages of an adequate, accessible farm, owned and operated by the college. It would help eligible students and provide food supplies for the college's wartime cuisine. On January 2, 1918, the college bought the “Malvina Rountree Tract” from Robert Hart Rountree.12 The price paid for the 252 acres was $72,500. It was in a choice development area, out West Nash Street, extending southwestward to Hominy Swamp, and close enough to the college for any student worker to reach it on “shanks’ mare.” During 1918 and 1919 the college operated this farm, first with some students not subject to military service, and later also with others. The cartoonist for The Pine Knot of 1920 made a drawing of President Smith with a wheelbarrow load of vegetables “bringing them in fresh and green from Gardenville.”[note]
For a grand expedient to settle obligations, the trustees after two years sold the farm for $100,000, clearing debts, so as to retain the previous C. N. Nurney gift of $30,000 as a permanent fund, for the college. It was said: “There were few deals ever put through that meant so much to the college.”13 Total resources of the college were now reckoned at $158,000. It is an intriguing irony that within a few months after this sale by the college, the new owners reaped sizable fortunes by realty resales. It was small comfort for the local press to say that this demonstrated “the wisdom of those [the College] who foresaw its purchase was a good investment.”§ 6
In World War I there were 62 enlistments from Atlantic Christian College. Disciple ministry in the state lost 28 per cent of personnel in 1918, half of which loss was due to war enlistments. The college had a unit of the current Student Army Training Corps enrolling 54. Nine ministers from the college served in some branch of the Service, namely: L. C. Carawan, Perry Case, F. X. Credle, Hayes Farish, Wright T. Moore, M. E. Sadler, J. J. Walker, John M. Waters, and James Anderson Moore. The last named enrolled in the college in 1913-1914, a graduate of Birmingham, Ala., high school. Son of Allen Rice Moore (1865-1922), distinguished minister and religious editor, and Mrs. Moore, he was born in Richmond, Virginia, February 12, 1892, and in 1913 was ordained to the Disciple ministry in Savannah, Georgia. His mother, from 1922 to 1930, served memorably as Dean of Women at the college. James attended Transylvania College, Lexington, Kentucky, 1911-1913. Later he ministered in Georgia at Sandersville, and Griffin. Joining the American Army as a chaplain, he served first on the Mexican border, then overseas with the Rainbow Division. Being transferred to the 29th Division[note]
moving forward in combat, he received a serious head wound by shrapnel. He apparently recovered from this, but six years later it caused his untimely death. Returning to America, he married Allene Clanton, of Hagan, Georgia. They had one child, James Moore, Jr. His last pastorate was at Macon, Georgia, from which he retired due to the incapacitating wound. He was ever highly esteemed, “always known for his cheery smile and kindly word.” His passing was on June 24, 1924.
Each senior class regards The Pine Knot as “one of its most priceless possessions—being the record of its happiest days.” But in 1918 after very thoughtful deliberation they dispensed with this Annual, and gave their energies to War Relief Work, under direction of the local Chamber of Commerce.14
Words and music for the first Atlantic Christian College song, composed by Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Martin, first appeared in March, 1917.15
Following a “joint college recruitment visitation” by Mrs. J. McDaniel Stearns, and Miss Etta Nunn in February, 1917, the college and the local Christian Church became the first Carolina “Living Link” in Disciples’ foreign missions. It was to support C. Manly Morton in Argentina.16
Iva May Smith directed the School of Music in 1917.17 It was her purpose to “present a course that is thorough, rational, systematic, and productive of musical thought and culture in every way.” She was assisted by Lill Chapman, piano, and Pauline Griffin, voice, the latter of whom had organized a girls’ choral club, and a boys’ glee club. Warren Lappin, and later Ed. T. Stallings taught violin. The first fraternity, Phi Epsilon Tau, was established at the college, March 13, 1918. In 1920 the boys’ baseball squad numbered 12, Sollie Winstead,[note][note][note][note]
coach; basketball, 8, A. C. Meadows, coach; tennis club, 11, L. A. Moye, president. The girls’ basketball team had 7, Elizabeth Wiggins, captain.
The college was growing up. A new member of the faculty in 1920 was S. Lee Sadler, the first alumnus, (A.B. 1917) to serve his Alma Mater thus. He had received his M.A. at Vanderbilt the year before. He taught social science, and history. The Radiant said of him: “He is a general favorite among the students, well prepared, sympathetic, patient, broad-minded, and big-hearted.”18
The college needed a “direct, distinct, and responsible medium of communication edited at and distributed from Wilson,” to serve the Disciple constituency at large. On November 24, 1919, at Greenville, the trustees, meeting jointly with the convention's Board of Managers, sponsored a new state paper to be issued monthly, and to be known as The North Carolina Christian. As an advisory council they initiated The Carolina Christian Publishing Company, functioning from February, 1920, onward.19§ 7
The Disciples’ Convention at Robersonville, 1919, enthusiastically approved and ordered “the Carolina Enlargement Campaign, Disciples of Christ.” Of the quarter-million-dollar objective, 80 per cent would go to the college, 10 per cent to establishment of the new church of the Raleigh Disciples, and the remaining 10 per cent to building and equipment of benevolent homes in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, serving Disciples in southeastern states. At the South Carolina Convention, meeting a few days later, there was approved a coordinate attachment to this campaign, providing an additional goal of $3,000 for the college.[note][note]
These financial goals were known to be realistic. The college had served eighteen years, during which Disciple growth in the state was 127 per cent. Chief factor in the increase was the college, enrolling a gross of 2,604 students, of whom 194 were committed to religious leadership. Citizens of the state had total wealth, said current Federal surveys, approximating $5,000,000,000. Their income for 1919 was nearly $1,500,000,000. Total Disciple wealth in the state, by conservative calculation was $100,000,000, with an annual income of not less than $28,000,000. Needs were clear and urgent. The supply was at hand for a dynamic taking.
Preparation for the campaign was intensive before the canvass began in June, 1920. A graphic table heralded the projected “Enlargement.”20 The college endowment would be increased from $30,000 to $175,000; annual maintenance augmented to $15,000; equipment to $35,000; and plant value to $215,000.
Professor Grim, of the college, wrote for The Radiant:
The hour has struck for the church college. A million dollars is needed at A. C. College in the next five years. A new location, new buildings, adequate endowment, and an increased teaching force . . . all must be had if we are to function serviceably. Shall we prove ourselves fit to survive, or shall we be eliminated? The test is upon us. Resolution must now be cashed in; and talk must be translated into action. Never had a people a more splendid opportunity, a more inviting situation, a more challenging task.21
Student enrollment at the college, 1916 to 1920, averaged 146. The college began to be listed among “Principal Universities and Colleges in the United States,” in at least one widely circulated encyclopedia. The Wilson Daily Times declared that the college had “taken a front rank among the religious educational institutions of the South.”[note][note]
And the president was leaving for Texas. Editorially The Radiant said:
We regret to see Dr. Smith leave us. He has won our admiration and love. But he has already accepted a position as Dean in T. C. U. We are sure his work there will be highly satisfactory. He has meant much to us. One of his first moves was to separate completely our Preparatory Department from the College and employ teachers for each separate school. His leaving is to our sorrow.22
Colby D. Hall, a colleague for 35 years at Texas Christian University, says of Dean Smith:
I do not know of any man who is more familiar with books in the field of education than he. He has always had a knack of getting the students interested in them. He has the love, esteem, admiration, of a host of school teachers in Fort Worth and all over Texas whom he has taught and counselled.23[note][note]
CHARTS AND CHANNELS
Disciples of Christ, as a communion, began in the Carolinas in 1832. Seventy years later at the founding of the college at Wilson, they numbered 11,413 in the area. However within the next 18 years their increase alone was 14,079, making the total, 25,492. With the college their marked growth was evident. Cash gifts to the college by 1920 aggregated about $95,000. For this the college could show a total realty value of $158,000, and a “permanent fund” of $30,000. Furthermore the intangibles in cumulative tradition and good will gave worth-while potential. During the year 1919-1920, North Carolina's tax-supported colleges had received for “mere maintenance purposes,” $189 per enrolled student, as contrasted with $78 per enrolled student at Atlantic Christian College offered by its constituents. Ministers trained at this college were then serving 61 churches in 24 counties of the Carolinas.1
Canvass in the Carolina Enlargement Campaign, Disciples of Christ, began on June 20, 1920. Of the goal of $250,000, there was allocated to the college $200,000, or 80 per cent. C. C. Ware directed a canvassing force of seven regular workers together with fourteen ministers assisting part time at opportune intervals. There were three teams, each operating with an automobile, purchased for a continuing utility throughout the eleven weeks’ canvass and beyond. It resulted in 1,944 pledges of individuals in 171 churches totaling $212,556.50, in[note]
distributive status of which the college's share was $156,677.70. Director Ware reported:
What we have done is but a mere beginning of what we must yet do. Instances were refreshingly numerous where individuals gave a hundred times what they had respectively been giving. The money brought to the college liquidated large collateral, which thus became properly usable as cash. This saved the college from one of the gravest embarrassments she had ever known, and helped her materially into the state's A Class rank.
Two thirds of the pledgers in the Campaign paid in whole or in part. There was a depression in the fall of 1920. Planters were distraught at the sharp decline in sale value of farm products, dominant resource of the area. Comparing the state's aggregate property values of 1921, with 1920, there was a decline of $600,000,000. The recorded loss in Wilson County was fifteen millions, a like amount in Lenoir County, and it was $10,500,000 in Beaufort County.2 Yet many of the pledges were redeemed by faithful sacrifice.§ 2
Howard Stevens Hilley became professor of ancient and modern languages at the college in September, 1919. He was chosen acting-president when R. A. Smith removed to Texas the next year. Then on May 18, 1921, the trustees elected Hilley as President. He was born at Acworth, Georgia, September 18, 1892, son of John Oscar Hilley, and Cora Cowen Hilley. His paternal grandfather, John R. Hilley (1837-1918), lived also at Acworth, a locomotive engineer on the Western and Atlantic, rendering valuable service to the Confederacy during the war. John Oscar Hilley, father of President Hilley, was born in 1865 and served long as passenger conductor on the Dixie Limited, de luxe train on the N. C. and St. L. R.R. Howard graduated at Acworth High[note]
School, 1907, and received his A.B., at Transylvania, Lexington, Kentucky, in 1913. Remaining in Lexington for a graduate course he was appointed Rhodes Scholar in 1914, representing Kentucky at Oxford University, England. He received there in 1917 his B.A. in Theology, and there also he earned his M.A. Meanwhile in the summer of 1916-1917 he was an orderly in a French military hospital, traveled in Scotland and northern England, and was in summer school at the University of Grenoble, France.
Returning to America he was professor of history and languages at Southeastern Christian College, Auburn, Georgia, 1917-1918. Next year he was director of vocational guidance in the city schools, Atlanta, Ga. He ministered in the Atlanta area, to East Point Church, two years, and was ordained in 1922 after he came to Carolina. On June 26, 1918, at Conyers, Georgia, he married Maggie Tucker, former student in voice at Agnes Scott College, daughter of Richard W. Tucker and Maggie Almand Tucker. Their children were: Mary Elizabeth, Howard Stevens, Jr., and Jeanne Tucker.
As chairman of the publicity committee at the college in early 1920, Hilley prepared and published a chart showing attendance and graduation records year by year for the preceding four administrations covering the entire history of the institution.3 This was a graphic and concise exhibit, a characteristic item in his thirty years’ service at Wilson. The following is a brief of his educational ideals in his own words:
The first aim of the church college is to do thoroughly from a scholastic viewpoint whatever it undertakes. It must aim to do more than train the intellect, necessary and vital as that is; its interest must extend to the field of religion as it affects character and conduct. It does not wish to substitute piety for intelligence but it must consider both as life essentials. One of the prayers of the University of Oxford contains this sentence: “that sound learning and true religion should here forever flourish”—this expresses my ideal for the church college.[note]
Development of spiritual dynamic in effective leaders, should be our aim, to rebuild the broken moral fabric of our civilization.
Seminars, tutorial plans, direct research, apprenticeship in various vocations in the college and community, will replace a great deal of the present recitation system. This is a mighty task. It demands the highest intelligence and the deepest consecration with a courageous pioneering spirit which will develop personalities adequate for the needs of the present era and meet for the Master's use.4§ 3
Early in 1922, for the first time, the leading institutions of learning in North Carolina formulated and adopted a definite and regulative standard for A Class colleges operative within the state. It was seen that Atlantic Christian College, meeting certain specific conditions, might qualify. On behalf of the college, The North Carolina Christian currently said:
The day of standardization is here. Our students seek entrance into higher institutions and are given only two years’ credit for a full four years’ work. Earnings of our graduates as teachers in public schools are materially lessened. We must get under this school task more earnestly, or the school goes out of existence.5
Forthwith for the college there was a forceful presentation to citizens of Wilson and to resourceful churches of the Disciples in the area, of the financial terms involved in the crisis of “standardization.” The response was gratifying, so the administration moved to meet the other requirements for due recognition by the state Department of Education at Raleigh. Preliminary action on the issue was reported in the Raleigh, N. C., News and Observer, May 26, 1922, as follows:
The college faculty is to be strengthened adding two new departments next September, the library is to be materially enlarged, and new scientific equipment installed this summer, the annual income has been much increased, and will be further largely increased. These facts have been presented by the[note][note]
Board of Trustees and actively interested citizens of Wilson to the State Department of Education, which after such assurances states that the State Department of Education recognizes that Atlantic Christian College “is now projected on the plane of an A Grade College, and that the institution will in the future be considered and rated as an A Grade College.”6
Thus the college at Wilson in 1922 became one of the twelve such institutions in North Carolina.7
An official accrediting committee from Raleigh, on March 6, 1923, visited Wilson to see if A-Class conditions had meanwhile been met. They had. Four days later a telegram to President Hilley from State Superintendent Allen said: “Your graduates in 1923 rated A.”8 This cheering word was warmly received. However, Hilley warned: “To insure our life,” the promised income must materialize.
Conforming to the newly adopted standard, the high school department at the college, after serving 22 years, was eliminated after the commencement of 1924. Then the last “prep” graduating class had ten members. The president said: “We are glad to have had the pleasure of preparing these splendid boys and girls for college work.” The change promptly had good effects. When the college opened in September, 1924, there was a 20 per cent increase in enrollment. Then two years later the increase at the beginning was 10 per cent over any previous year, and was expected to reach 20 per cent. The college was definitely moving up. Commencement of 1928 disclosed the largest graduating class, as well as the largest student enrollment in the history of the college.9
The first summer school at the college, in 1920, was directed by Professor F. F. Grim. This service was discontinued until 1928, when for two summers at Neuse Forest, near New Bern, N. C., R. S. Proctor directed[note][note][note][note]
courses, aided by F. F. Grim, C. K. Holsapple, R. G. Carson, and C. H. Hamlin from the college.10 These specially served public school teachers toward validating their certificates.
In December, 1927, the Student Association, with constitution and by-laws, was first set up at the college “to promote closer cooperation between faculty and student body in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the school, to develop within the student body a greater sense of responsibility and a finer college spirit; to make efficient the Honor System, and to encourage and train for more democratic living.” J. Park Nunn, of Kinston, N. C., was the first president. Early in 1928, it was reported: “This system while it has been in effect only a few weeks has already received the acid test, and has not been found wanting. The student body has nobly responded.”11§ 4
Disciples met in state convention at Raleigh in 1923. An approved recommendation said “that in order to maintain Atlantic Christian College as a Standard Senior College,” there should be a crusade beginning January 1, 1924, for $300,000 for endowment, and $19,000 per year additional for “maintenance income.” A serial item recommended that “funds for improvement and betterment be secured outside this projected campaign.” This last proposal, which was also approved, was exigently given circumstantial precedence in time as related to realization of the larger objectives. This delayed the opening of the crusade among Disciples of the Carolinas until the initial set-up meeting at Greenville, N. C., January 14, 1927.12
However, at the inception, in 1923, D. C. Mitchell, of Durham, N. C., pledged the first thousand dollars toward[note][note][note]
the $300,000 endowment goal. He was a leader in the new Disciple mission there, and had been discovered three years before when he made a sizeable gift in the earlier enlargement campaign. Shortly after his new pledge, Mitchell suffered a near-fatal accident with serious complications; nevertheless he remitted fully. Hilley said that Mitchell's gift had “elements worthy of emulation.” Further “We trust that the last thousand of the $300,000 will be given with the same joy and the same readiness of will.”13
The steering committee of the college cooperating with the National Disciples’ Board of Education, had H. O. Pritchard and H. H. Harmon, executive secretaries, to direct the Carolina crusade in 1927. The channel was clear. Wilson citizens had pledged $100,000, for additional grounds and buildings. John M. Waters, an alumnus of the college, and graduate student of Vanderbilt, was elected by the trustees early in 1927 as endowment secretary, and later appointed as “J. J. Harper Professor of Bible and Religious Education” in the college. He was to remain with the college for 22 years, rendering a substantial service of epochal importance for that period and later from his Arapahoe, N. C., pastorate. Other Crusaders were: Sidney R. Bradley, state director; C. S. Alvord, unit captain; Ruth Lowry, advance representative; H. D. Corwin, W. Conley Greer, and George W. Wise. George F. Cuthrell was chairman of the steering committee, and Abe Cory gave several impressive speeches at the promotional fellowship dinners.14 In midsummer, 1927, the crusade pledge-taking was over. The total amount subscribed was $320,000, represented by over 3,000 individual pledges in both Carolinas.15
Included in the above was the conditional gift of $100,000 by James W. Hines, Sr., of Rocky Mount, N. C. This[note][note][note]
was to be paid not later than January 1, 1930, if and when the crusade showed that an additional $200,000 for college endowment had materialized in cash and approved securities from the crusade. A former Wilson schoolmate, Josephus Daniels, called the Hines gift a “fine liberality,” and “one of the greatest gifts yet tendered to education in North Carolina.”16
James Williams Hines was born July 7, 1858, and died February 13, 1928. He was the son of Robert Williams Hines, and Sarah Roxanna Jarman Hines, daughter of Furnifold H. Jarman and Mary Jarman, of Onslow County, N. C. They were married October 27, 1853. His great-great-great-grandfather, Peter Hines of southeastern Virginia, bought land May 25, 1768, at the confluence of Town Creek and Tar River, in Edgecombe County, N. C., 22 miles east-northeast from the present city of Wilson. This was the ancestral estate in the Old Sparta vicinity where the subject of this sketch was born. The family soon removed to the Marlboro community in Pitt County, N. C., becoming active in the old Oak Grove (later Corinth) Christian Church. James's sister, Alice Johnston Hines, who died in Richmond, Virginia, April 10, 1943, was a noted Disciple leader and educator, first with Joseph Kinsey at LaGrange and Wilson, and later at Hazel Green, Kentucky. They were of seventh-generation descent from William Hines, granted lands in Surry County, Virginia, 1723, and 1732, who in turn was descended from Richard Hynes, who in 1640 settled on 200 acres in Nansemond County, Virginia.
He was a successful merchant, first at Wilson, and from 1885 at Rocky Mount. As the “ice king” of the state, he owned and operated plants at Rocky Mount, Salisbury, Spencer, Greenville, Weldon, Albemarle, and Monroe. On March 24, 1886, he married Matilda McIntyre (1857-1914), of Rutherfordton, N. C. They had[note]
President James C. Coggins
President John James Harper, 1904-1908
President Jesse Cobb Caldwell, 1908-1916
President Raymond Abner Smith, 1916-1920
President Howard Stevens Hilley, 1920-1949
President Denton Ray Lindley, 1950-1953
President Travis Alden White, 1953-1956
Group, Atlantic Christian College, Trustees, 1954
Letterhead, President John James Harper, 1906
Photo collage of Atlantic Christian College Senior Class of 1909]
three children: Thomas McIntyre, James Williams, Jr., and Marion Erwin (married Robbins). A Hines memorial service was held in the chapel at the college, March 6, 1928. Speaking were: President Hilley, Abe Cory, George Hackney, and H. T. Bowen, student representative.
In December, 1929, with the deadline for validating the Hines gift only a month away, the college was naturally on the anxious seat. Then only $140,000 of the $200,000 essential was in hand, with more than $60,000 as a potential in outstanding promises.17 America's greatest depression had supervened in the last few hectic months. Secretary Waters said that if forthcoming results of the crusade were short, “our standing goes, our doom is evident.” However, in the end the total receipts had certified approval. And the Hines benefaction was fully paid, a heart-lifting achievement.§ 5
George F. Cuthrell for the steering committee reported at the convention of 1925. He said: “The college must have a site of not less than 25 acres, buildings and equipment to the minimum value of $300,000, and an endowment of not less than $250,000, to qualify finally with the State Board of Education as an A Grade institution.” An approved recommendation called for “an adequate technical survey” to be made for study by the committee and trustees. Subsequent recommendations would then be submitted to a called convention of Carolina Disciples for disposal, mature and co-ordinated. This would come to grips with the “crucial demand for expansion.”
In 1926, therefore, Floyd W. Reeves and staff, made painstaking survey at Wilson, along with all other Disciple educational units affiliated with their National Board of Education which directed the proceedings. Three years later Reeves published his findings in a[note]
printed book. Factually determinative of the most expedient site for Atlantic Christian College, his report favored Wilson. This was “from the point of view of the service which the institution can render to the program of higher education in North Carolina,” and “also from the point of view of the service which it can render” the supporting communion.18 Also he announced in 1929, as of finality, “the board of control has decided to locate the institution at Wilson.”
The “called convention” for executive clearance for an expanded college site, met at Greenville, March 25, 1926. Present were 150 representatives of the churches, including 27 pastors of churches. Among the ten items embodied in the approved recommendations, was an endorsement of the Reeves report on prospective sites, which had then been released. On this issue the trustees were empowered to act through a joint “continuation committee,” composed of six trustees, namely: George Hackney, chairman, C. W. Howard, W. E. Hooker, J. W. Hines, H. Galt Braxton, and C. H. Rawls; and six convention representatives, namely: W. C. Manning, chairman, George F. Cuthrell, A. E. Cory, Richard Bagby, John M. Waters, and John Askew.19
Concrete acquisition of new site and buildings for the college prudentially awaited the outcome of the impending crusades among Wilson citizens and Disciples of the Carolinas. These having been satisfactorily concluded, a forty-acre site was purchased for $16,000 from the Ralson Realty Company on February 28, 1928. It was about two miles from the old college campus, and a half mile west of the corporate limits of Wilson. It lay between Highway 91 (now U.S. 264) colloquially referred to as “the Raleigh Road,” and the tracks of the Norfolk Southern R.R. Terms of sale required that construction[note][note]
of buildings start not later than January 1, 1930. Also it was stipulated that for five years from date of purchase, no use was to be made of the land except as consistent with the “operation, erection, and maintenance of a college thereon.”20
Here was delightful room for expansion, with “a splendid growth of timber,” for an attractive woodland campus. Building units planned for prompt construction were: administration, dormitories for men and women, gymnasium, and central heating plant. In the summer of 1928, foundations were laid for the women's dormitory and the heating plant. Ceremonious laying of the dormitory cornerstone took place on Sunday afternoon, November 18, 1928. It was put into place by H. Galt Braxton, chairman of the building committee, and by Dr. Doane Herring, chairman of the Wilson Citizens’ Finance Committee. Speaking were Bryce Little, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, President Hilley, and Abe Cory, Kinston pastor, who “delivered a very able address of encouragement and appreciation.”21
A year later with the sound of electrical drill there came also the economic crash. Without rhyme or reason conventional values in the material realm were all but swept away. It was not too bad for the college which now on a realty level could be charted anew. Rising to expediency, the new tract was divided into residential development lots and sold on December 12, 1935, to Dr. M. A. Pittman, Dr. Ralph L. Fike, David W. Isear, and several others. Then with fresh liquid assets the college more than doubled the area of the old campus, buying the contiguous block to the west, and other adjunctive property, unifying and compacting the whole. This might be reasonably good, it was believed, for inevitable expansion.[note][note]
With a growing student body at the college, athletics was mounting in interest. President Hilley announced in August, 1923: “For the first time a coach has been employed who will give his whole time to physical education and athletics. This has long been desired by our students.” Football first appeared at the college in the season of 1920 with Casey L. Blackburn as coach. In the initial squad of 21 men, only four had previously played football. Marion Brinson, playing right end, was manager, and Milton Jefferson, fullback, was captain. While this team won only two games it “was never disgracefully beaten, and the spirit in which it fought was wonderful. Our team was very light averaging around 145 pounds with a mixture of personalities and species.” Some nicknames were: Rube, Senator, Old Standby, Gritty, Flying Parson, and One-reel Archie. Cheer leader was “Kat” Jackson.22 The faculty was co-operative. Next year, Murray Grant coached a team “of which every loyal son and daughter of the college can well be proud.” The team improved and reached the heights in 1925, with victory of 19 to 0 over Elon; “one of the biggest upsets in state football circles.”23 Next year it also defeated Elon, as well as Guilford, and lost to High Point by one touchdown.
In basketball with a season's schedule of twenty games in 1926, the college won fifteen. Competing in this indoor sport with Catawba, Elon, Guilford, and Lenoir-Rhyne, in 1927, A. C. College was named “champion of the Little Five,” this being “the first time the school had ever won the championship in any sport.” Closing the season with Lenoir-Rhyne, February 2, 1927, A.C.C. was considered the underdog, and trailed in scoring most of the time, but won 34 to 28, in the last three minutes by a typical sensational rally. The victory quint included Riggan, Munn, Dunn, Brinkley, and Fulghum.24[note][note][note]
The library of the college, by October, 1929, had “more than 7,500 volumes of well-selected books used by students and faculty early and late.”25 President Hilley, in 1925, acquired a magnificent collection of books dealing with philosophy and theology from the estate of Professor B. C. DeWeese, of Lexington, Kentucky. A staff member of the Library of Congress, formerly a director of Princeton University Library, visiting the college in 1929, said: “I congratulate you on your admirable collection of useful books.”
The Collegiate, a student monthly periodical, began in 1927 and has continued to the present, except for an interval from 1943 to 1946. Editors chronologically have been: R. B. Starling, Catherine Ware, F. W. Wiegmann, John W. Blackman, Jr., Jack D. Brinson, Collins Yelverton, Lynwood Phillips, Sam Ragan, Randolph Allen, Robert E. Carr, Elmer Mottern, Burney McCotter, Mary Nackas, J. V. Creasey, Jr., W. Kirby Watson, Mary L. Rose, Ada K. Coor, Marguerite Noe, Dot Wyatt, Jack Overman, Walter Coley, Billy Beamon, Beth Bissette, Christine Williamson, Cora Myers, James Hemby, Jr., Richard Zigler, and Ernestine Mozingo.
The Pine Knot, student annual at the college, did not appear until 1910. There have been 37 issues of it, covering the 46-year period to the present. This includes some issues of Collegiate and Torchlight as substitutes for emergency years. Its chronological roster of editors follows: C. Manly Morton, Hayes Farish, Fanny M. Manning, L. A. Moye, M. B. Brinson, Nell Moye, C. Bonner Jefferson, Charley Grey Raulen, Nanny Pearl Quinerly, James T. Lawson, F. W. Wiegmann, Herberta Stuckey, J. W. Blackburn, Jr., Jack D. Brinson, Collins Yelverton, Lynwood Phillips, Sam. Ragan, Randolph Allen, O. R. Cockrell, Olivia Fulghum, John G. Edwards, Ray G. Silverthorne, Ruth Beard, Betty Miller, Katherine Lewis, Ada K. Coor, Pat Outlaw, Gladys Roebuck,[note]
Elizabeth Leach, Gene Barnes, Jim Wilder, Darlene Tucker, Majorie Killebrew, Fred Boyce, Felix Labaki, James Hemby, Jr., Mary Hadge, and Richard Ziglar.
The “Faculty Loving Cup” has been annually awarded to “the best all-round student” for the past 36 years beginning in 1920. To 1955, inclusive, the recipients in chronological order are: Mabel Lynch, Christine Whitley, Della Winstead, Annie Elizabeth Etheridge, Ruth Skinner (two years), James T. Lawson, C. M. Banks, Margarette Silverthorn, Virginia Payne, Bill Wiegmann, Meeda Weaver, Clara Bass, Sue Todd, Jessie Wetherington, B. Eugene Taylor, Bill Cunningham, Milton Adams, Sarah Bain Ward, G. A. Hamlin, Selma Arner, Mary E. Ward, Joe Holliday, Celia N. Crawley, Katherine Lewis, Ada Kathryn Coor, Willie L. Parker, Margaret Taylor, Mary Ellen Jones, Elizabeth Ann Leach, James Walton Coley, W. J. (Bill) Waters, Marshall Long, June Holton (shared with Billy Tucker), Peggy Mae Shackelford, and James B. Hemby, Jr.
From the founding in 1902, formal debating had been in vogue at the college. It suffered decline in later years and has all but disappeared. “An accumulation of factors,” it was said, “has virtually prepared traditional debating for the embalmer.” There was “a significant trend of student philosophy toward individualism.”26 Athletics would suffice to supply competitive thrills. Thus the age-old cultural feature of formal forensics was to be practically discarded in the drift of the day.
Endowment funds of the college could be safely and legitimately loaned to responsible churches enlarging their utilities. Shortly the amount of $50,000 was thus loaned, the security being first-mortgage, interest-bearing notes. The amount thus loaned greatly increased through a score of years, as managed by Endowment Secretary Waters. In this investment he had the good fortune not to lose a dollar for the college throughout[note]
his tenure, nor has any been lost since. For church and college this served to forge ties of mutual security and assistance.§ 7
North Carolina in the 1920's made notable advance in public education. The number of high school graduates increased from 1,666 in 1917 to 10,527 in 1927. The average monthly salary of white teachers in all public schools in the state rose from $47.16 to $114.69, within this period. There were yet 1,178 one-teacher schools, reduced from the 2,941 of 1917. For the tax-supported higher institutions, the annual state subsidy for permanent improvements had been lifted from $50,000 to well over $1,000,000 and for maintenance to $800,000, exceeding a fivefold increase.27
What was Atlantic Christian College doing in education? From 1902 to 1920, her A.B. graduates numbered 52, including fifteen ministers; from 1921 to 1929, there were 139 such graduates, including twenty ministers. About half of the Disciple pulpits in the Tarheel coastal plain which had itinerant preaching received it from Wilson. From the college had gone “one foreign missionary, several home missionaries, community leaders in many lines of activity, and a host of public school teachers in widely scattered fields.”28[note][note]
American economy was in crucial transition in the years 1929-1941. It was said: “The sense of insecurity is in men's hearts. Economic fear is everywhere.”1 For the Carolina planter, cotton yielded less than the cost of production; tobacco sold at the lowest in thirty years. Panicky creditors litigating against R. A. Long, benefactor of colleges, tried to throw the Long-Bell Lumber Co., largest in the world, into undeserved bankruptcy.2 A legion of unemployed tramped the streets. For a “holiday” the banks closed throughout the nation. Many were never to open again. A mounting list of Christian missionaries were recalled to eventual rehabilitation in their native land. Ministers preached on “Capitalizing Our Calamities.”3 Book-buying in the most resourceful libraries fell off by 34½ per cent.4 Alert college executives were saying: “We have come to the day of eliminations, mergers, and readjustments. Some colleges are to lose their lives.”5
When the college at Wilson opened on September 7, 1931, the enrollment was “fairly satisfactory” but would show “a decrease during the year.” Yet there was an increase in ministerial students. And “two new instructors in physical education” were employed, with “new stress to the development of intramural sports.” Three semesters later with the deepening of the depression[note][note][note][note][note]
President Hilley announced this operative pattern:6 (a) a reduced cost for students; (b) wider opportunities for student help in the way of work and loans; (c) cutting of expenses in order to balance the budget; (d) appeal for our constituency to help in the small amounts that they are able.
Thus for a time the school was down to earth where pine needles lay in their blasted extremity.
Floyd W. Reeves in his survey of Disciple colleges, already cited, named two institutions as having an exemplary record. Wilson was one of them. This was in managing their “supplementary business activities” such as “dormitories and dining halls” so as not to divert thereto funds belonging strictly to educational administration. The self-supporting record of these utilities at Wilson was strongly commended by Reeves.7
H. O. Pritchard, national educational executive of the Disciples, visited Wilson in the spring of 1934. His fourpoint evaluation of the standing of the college at that time is significant: 1. Its solvency. The debt was no hazard, and was actually less than it was in 1929. The endowment was intact. This was refreshingly unlike many other colleges which were in terrible straits because of unwise expansion in days of prosperity. 2. No operational deficit. This was by “doing without things which it greatly needs and must have now if it is to go forward.” 3. More students enrolled. The increase was 85 per cent for a five-year period. This was altogether “phenomenal.” He knew of no parallel situation. 4. The location in “unique position.” It served a large area away from the stiff competition, prevalent in other parts of the state.8
Still cautious in 1937, Hilley listed and classified the needs at the college. “Imperative” were the new chapel and new dormitory for women; estimated cost for both,[note][note][note]
$105,000. “Necessary” were repairs on the two oldest buildings, and campus landscaping and planting, at a combined outlay of $35,000. “Desirable,” described three new buildings: library, $60,000; fine arts building, $50,000; faculty apartments, $25,000. The over-all sum estimated for these projects was $275,000.9 Twelve years later the new Harper Hall, alone (dormitory for women), cost $385,000, and the Clarence L. Hardy Library, alone, required almost as much as the above total projects of 1937.§ 2
The college could not live on these material things alone. There ever has to be tradition, loyalty, love. Evidently these qualities abounded and were infectious. At the opening of the thirtieth session of the college, John M. Waters said:
“We have many things to encourage us. A new day has dawned. We have engendered a new optimism. The best business men in Wilson are our counselors and helpers. Our students have made good wherever they have gone. This is the chief end of Atlantic Christian College—to send men and women into the world imbued with noble principles. Let us begin to rekindle the home fires and to create a new loyalty.”10 At this session ten students enrolled who were respectively children of former students, thus passing the torch from generation to generation. A girl with original verve said that her parents had taught her the ACC's, before the ABC's.
Sue Todd, of Wendell, N. C., advising a high school senior to choose Wilson, submitted out of her experience:
“There were so many colleges of good standing, I was at a loss which to choose. Now after four years at Atlantic Christian, I know that my choice was right. One[note][note]
really comes to think of it as home. I have not met one ‘snob’ here. My personal contact with members of the faculty has meant more to me than any other phase of college life. I am glad that I have reached the second milepost on the educational road.”11
Initial loyalties were promoted by outflowing personnel bearing the stamp of the college. Charles L. Coon stated, in 1927, with gratification, that 25 graduates of the college were then teaching in Wilson County schools.12 Of trained leaders in Disciple pulpits within the state, more than half had qualified themselves at Wilson. Some factors at the college, creative of loyalty, were aggressive public relations media, student-centered and communion-centered; the annual religious emphasis week; fall homecomings; intergroup and intercollegiate contests; various Alumni Association activities; and the improved college spirit nourished by “a just pride in honesty and fair dealing.”
World War II carried students afar and gave poignant, if not tragic, edge to erstwhile ties. A letter from France to President Hilley said: “I read about the spring graduation and tears came when I thought of how I wanted to be in the graduation. But my day is coming.”13§ 3
According to John 8:12: “He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In 1923 the college adopted the latter part of these words of Christ as a motto, appropriating it for the official seal. Habebunt Lumen Vitae—They shall have the light of life. Its first appearance was on the front cover of The Pine Knot of 1923, designed by Perry Case. The Denny Cup award was offered annually for the best[note][note][note]
essay on the motto. Some of these have been published and the first to appear was that by Ruth Skinner, 1925, from which we quote:
Light is necessary to all life. Just as plants perish without contacts with the heavenly sun, so human lives shrivel and atrophy without the streams of energy which may be obtained from communication with worlds beyond their own mental horizon. The prism, par excellence, for breaking these light rays is religious education. This, in a word, is the contribution which our college desires to make to civilization.14
Another prize essay enunciated:
In this motto is stated the goal to which A. C. College is dedicated. This light which we receive means the difference between living and existing.
- Hail, A. C. College. Fondly we hail thee
- Thy loyal children forever are we
- True to thy blue and white, never to fail thee.
Never to fail in our dedication of spreading that light; never to fail thee who first gave it to us.15§ 4
New buildings were slowly but steadily constructed at this period. First the gymnasium, which had long been a crying need. Initially conceived in June, 1931, it was finally dedicated on January 5, 1935, and stood on the north side of the old campus. It was named Wilson Gymnasium since local citizens had shared largely in its building. It is a large brick structure with basement equipped with central heating plant. Seating capacity of bleachers is 400. It was first used for a North State Conference basketball game with High Point College on the evening of its dedication.
An entire block adjoining the old campus on the north was acquired by the college in 1935 for $23,000. First to be erected on this extended land was the dining hall, costing $20,000, to seat 300. It has a basement originally[note][note]
designed for laboratories and storage. Ground was broken for this in August, 1935. R. B. Whitley of Wendell, N. C., gave 50,000 brick to start construction. Other contributions were sufficient, with a $10,000 gift by C. L. Hardy, to complete it as a memorial to his nephew Bert Clarence Hardy (Sept. 16, 1906-Oct. 2, 1935). Bert had been killed in a motorcycle accident. It was announced, October, 1936: “The new dining hall is ready. We rejoice that the double shift at meals is gone and all can now eat together.”16
Construction began in August, 1936, on a central heating plant to “take care of all the buildings on the campus now and without any change for one additional building.” It was a delightful reality in December, 1936, with “ample power to heat also the new dormitory for girls which is the next objective.”17
In November, 1936, the college library was moved from the “large circular room” in Kinsey Hall to the section which had been the dining hall in the same building.18 This was well lighted and well furnished with accessories for the standardized number of books. On January 5, 1939, only 11,116 volumes were on the shelves. The full 12,000 was required at once to qualify on this point as an A Grade Standard Senior College. Friends responded promptly, raising the number to 13,323 by February, 1939.19 Included in this gain of 2,207 books, were about 300 choice titles from Mrs. Charles L. Coon, a local friend, given from the library of her distinguished husband.
Adequate equipment formerly used at Smithfield, N. C., was used to install a new post office at the college in November, 1940. This greatly appreciated facility replaced an antiquated alphabetical box arrangement.20[note][note][note][note][note]
An improved doorway was needed at the main entrance to Kinsey Hall under the tower. This was sponsored by alumni in 1940-1941. Designed by a competent architect it was constructed as a memorial to the Harper sisters, Frances F. and Myrtie L., in “recognition of their devotion and service.”
Disciples in state convention, 1935, approved a recommendation for building a new dormitory for women at the college. Again in 1939 they voted to “endorse the efforts of her executive officiary in procuring the necessary funds for such construction.” In 1941, agreeably, it was urged, “that this help be given speedily.” However this project was delayed. The story of its success comes in a later chapter.§ 5
The old chapel at the college had stood since Kinsey Seminary days (1897-1938). At the Disciples Convention, 1938, it was reported as “condemned for months and the student body is now meeting in the gymnasium.” Therefore a new chapel was sorely needed. It was said: “The feeling of unity fostered by regular chapel services is greatly missed.” Students were inspired to give a “substantial part of their entertainment fund” toward a chapel. A campaign for $30,000 was started in November, 1937.21 About a third of the required amount was in hand the following March, when A. F. Wickes, national Disciple consultant in architecture, was called to Wilson to suggest a building plan.
In April, 1938, the old chapel was gone. There was “emotion” at its “dismantling.” Thousands of men and women had known its “traditional enthusiasm and spirit,” had there been “lifted to a high plane of living”; and the “name of Christ had been confessed there.” The beautiful new chapel was dedicated at the[note]
college homecoming, November 4, 1939. It was a “distinct addition to the campus,” and filled “a long-felt need.” It was “designed to care for the religious activities, the musical organizations, and the dramatic productions of the college.”22
It is named Howard Chapel—a memorial to Curtis William Howard. He was born near Kinston, N. C., October 28, 1853, and died at his home in Kinston, July 23, 1932. Trained by the brilliant Joseph Henry Foy in Wilson Collegiate Institute, he was proficient in mathematics, a subject which he later taught for six years in the Kinston Collegiate Institute. He was superintendent of Lenoir County, N. C., schools for a number of terms, marked by general progress. Ordained to the Disciple ministry in 1874, he gave nearly sixty years to active service in it. He was a widely beloved pastor. Beginning in 1877 he attended consecutively 55 annual state conventions of North Carolina Disciples—a record likely to stand for all time. In various capacities he served the convention well. He was a founder of Atlantic Christian College, and served it long as a trustee. He had a remarkable quality as a father, as a churchman, and as a citizen.§ 6
History of the literary societies, Alethian and Hesperian, begins with that of the college itself. There was another, the Demosthenian, but it was a men's debating club, staggered in function, and intermittent, in life. The first two continued for thirty-four colorful years, a prime social and educational force. For the one adjudged to have had annually the best series of programs there was awarded the Denny cup. At the annual intersociety debate, prime event of college life, there was gridiron cheering representing intense, prolonged rivalry.[note]
Rival colors waved over Kinsey Hall were worn in students’ attire, and were used to decorate their perambulating cars. Victors celebrated nocturnally with torchlight parades. Subjects in the forensic arena were of general controversial interest. Prominent citizens of the college area were the chosen judges. Their decisions awarding the cup were shot through with drama. Interest then was at white heat.
The motto of Alethian was “We love the truth”; of the Hesperian, Facte Non Verba. The colors of Alethian were blue and gold; of Hesperian, red and white. The flower of Alethian was the pansy; of Hesperian, the carnation.
In March, 1935, Hesperians broke an eight-year winning streak of the Alethians. The Hesperians had a little goat, plumed with Alethian colors, with which to make a cleverly timed exhibit to the chagrin of the Alethians. However, before the release of this goatish gimmick, three Alethians kidnaped the animal with a racing Oldsmobile, and “a stroke of the hand.” This was serious. The goat was recovered but there were eager witnesses against the culprits, when the case was carried to a real court. But “Judge Dickerson dismissed the case as he understood that it was done in the attitude of rivalry and not a criminal one.”23
An editorial in The Collegiate, January 19, 1937, charged that the societies had drifted widely from their original purpose. Their programs had become far from literary. They were featuring competitive volley ball, and snowball fights in season, and other such contests, all under the aegis of the respective societies. The ax was poised and about to descend.
For the first time in 35 years there was no intersociety debate in 1937. There was no assembly hall except the gym. A building inspector had sentenced the old chapel[note]
to innocuous desuetude. The Collegiate editor pined: “The two literary societies that once existed on this campus are practically dead. For many years they were tops. They did have many values. We should not be guilty of letting that educational tradition die without offering a cure.”24§ 7
President Hilley contacting high school seniors emphasized that the college at Wilson offered “a varied program of extracurricular activities, religious, athletic, dramatic, and literary.”25
After the season of 1950, football was abandoned; prospective players were leaving for the Korean War. Baseball, “missing from the campus for the past several years was brought back,” in 1932, under Coach Filo A. Hodges. Basketball continued with unabated interest. In 1933, one of their very best seasons, the team scored a total of 528 points against their opponents’ 444. First participation in intercollegiate tennis was in 1934; captain, Bill Cunningham; manager, Jack Riley (later killed in World War II). There was a flourishing Women's Athletic Association. A new athletic field, located a block from the college, was acquired in November, 1933. Beginning in 1935 an annual Eastern Carolina Boys’ High School Basketball Tournament was held at the college. This was good sport coupled with good advertising. Annually there were scores of competing teams.26
The band at the college was reorganized by Millard Burt in 1934 with fourteen members, increasing to 35 within four years. Numerous concerts were held at various places in Carolina, and featured many events at[note][note][note]
the college. The director in 1940 was Ellis Williamson, with full corps of trumpets, trombones, baritones, alto horns, clarinets, basses, and drums.
Some religious groups were Student Volunteer Band, (Missions), Campus Religious Council, Ministerial Club, YMCA, and YWCA. Some clubs were Glee, Questers, International Relations, Dramatic, Monogram, Education, and Commercial. There were two student periodicals, two literary societies (until 1937), three fraternities and three sororities, a Panhellenic Council, a Golden Knot Honor Society, a Student Cooperative Board, two Dormitory Councils (men and women), and numerous other campus groups.
May Day exercises by students were held each year on the front lawn of the campus, on some agreeable afternoon. Crowds of spectators were attracted by the crowning of the queen and king of May to the accompaniment of appropriate music, folk dancing, and the winding of a red, white, and blue Maypole.
There is the annual award of the cup given by Mr. and Mrs. John Mayo Waters, in memory of Eva Elaine Waters, to the student adjudged to have exercised for the respective year, the outstanding religious influence at the college. Beginning in 1934, and to 1955, inclusive, the recipients in chronological order have been: Harold Tyer, Elizabeth House, Callie Windley, Sarah Bain Ward, G. A. Hamlin, Irma Lee Spencer, Ray G. Silverthorne, Aaron Hocutt, Ida Earle Pierce, Charles R. Harrison, Avis Keene, Willie L. Parker, Ava Glyn High, Mary E. Jones, Fraulein H. Jarman, Robert M. Clark, Marjorie Killebrew, Audrey Jones, June Holton (1952), and shared (1953) with Billy Tucker, Richard Vance Ziglar, Vivian Ann Muns.
An annual publication Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, has included a listing of representative students chosen from Atlantic Christian College since 1936. For the six years, 1936-1941, the following twenty-four students from the college
were thus named: Oscar Brinson, Bryan Deans, Georgia Brewer, Lou Ellen Perry, Mae Mercer Harrell, Milton Adams, Russell Roebuck, C. C. Walters, Marsh Knott, Sarah Bain Ward, Millard Burt, B. J. Bowen, Cyrus Lee, Griffith A. Hamlin, Eugene Ogrodowski, Elmer M. Mottern, Mary M. Matthews, Robert E. Wyndham, Robert E. Jarman, Ray G. Silverthorne, Mary E. Ward, Susan A. Waller, John K. Wooten and Irma Lee Spencer. These were chosen on the score of “high scholastic ability, good character, and leadership in school activities.”27§ 8
Summer school at the college has two terms of six weeks each. It continued from 1931 through 1935, directed by C. H. Hamlin. From 1936 to 1950 it was directed by Perry Case, since which time it has been administratively integrated, and held each summer.
Extension classes conducted by various departments of the college began in 1931, and until World War II, were also held at various places in eastern Carolina including Washington, Smithfield, Pantego, Pinetops, Benson, and Fremont. Subsequently the college has offered these courses only on the Wilson campus.
It was officially stated in 1941: “For ten years, Atlantic Christian College has been growing steadily and consistently. We believe this progress is due to sound educational practices, reasonable cost, and the help of its friends.”28§ 9
During the hard times of the 1930's, a substantial benefactor of the college was William Parrott Hardy, of LaGrange, N. C. His wisely designed and administered bequest at final accural will top $100,000 for the endowment at Wilson.[note][note]
Mr. Hardy was born in the Village of Institute, Lenoir County, N. C., March 18, 1877, and died at his LaGrange home, November 12, 1932. He was the son of Stephen Hardy and Lydia Haywood Hardy. His training was in the Lenoir Collegiate Institute of his native village. On March 4, 1903, he married Nancy Elizabeth Williams (1879-1954), the daughter of George F. Williams (1852-1934) and Susan Oglesby Williams (1852-1926). A daughter of the Hardys, Mrs. James Britt, resides in LaGrange.
Will Hardy, as he was familiarly known, moved to LaGrange, N. C., in 1902, where he and his family became active workers in the local Christian Sunday school and church. He continued as a very successful farmer, owning and cultivating extensive lands in Lenoir and Greene Counties. Also he conducted a flourishing mercantile and livestock business in LaGrange and Institute in the firm name of W. P. Hardy, and in addition invested in the Hardy-Carr Drugstore in LaGrange.
His contributions to local charities were constant and generous. His final bequest provided liberally for his local church, and for the Children's Home Society of Greensboro, N. C., as well as the endowment fund at the college. He was a thrifty and useful citizen, a memorable supporter of worthy causes. He verified his faith in Christian education by his works.§ 10
In 1934 Martha L. Edmonston, professor of Modern Languages at the college, composed the words of the current college song, “Alma Mater,” sung to the tune of the Russian National Anthem. Mrs. Elizabeth E. Yavorski, head of the Music Department, cut the first stencil for its mimeographing. She directed its first use which was by the Glee Club at the college. Its initial functional use was at the commencement of 1934. It has served the college as its official song for almost a quarter-century.
- Hail, A. C. College,
- Fondly we hail thee,
- Thy loyal children
- Forever are we.
- True to thy blue and white
- Never to fail thee,
- Hail, Alma Mater,
- All hail to thee!
- Hail, thou our Mother,
- Dearly we cherish
- Thy name, enthroned,
- Victorious and free.
- Thy tender memories
- Never shall perish.
- Hail, Alma Mater,
- All hail to thee!
College life at Wilson has always enjoyed humorous incidents. A few are given here for their realism and romance. Youth on the church-related campus is naturally effervescent. Freedom is pure, because duly restrained. The association tends to be wholesome, balanced, avowedly democratic, and human. It merits a short story. But for this chapter a measured scarcity of names, dates, and documents is understandable.
A bit of folkloric humor antedates the Wilson campus. It concerns the grandfather of President J. C. Caldwell, who was also a Disciple preacher, serving in the “Show Me” state. Three things, according to tenuous legend, this angular patriarch would not do. He would not drive a mule—a mule was stubborn. He would not baptize in the Missouri River—it was muddy. He would not vote the Republican ticket—he was ever a Democrat.
The City of Wilson is a sparkling gem set in a vast tobacco land. In early years at the college there was a “no tobacco” sentiment held by a respectable number, and welling up for some kind of activation. Some faculty members held that a specific qualification for graduation with honor should be the respective candidate's habitual nonuse of the controversial weed. C. Manly Morton, an early student, dreamed of crystallizing this idea of reform into enforcement. A like-minded group, including Hinton Crumpler, gathered about Morton, and appealed to President Caldwell, a smoker, to set an example personally in a stellar inhibition. This backfired when Caldwell, burning his usual cylindrical roll, nonchalantly
toured the college buildings. It occasioned a campus fight, however, between Crumpler, of the reform band, and a fellow-student, J. J. Walker, self-appointed defender of his cigar-smoking “Prexy.” The blows were exciting but not too bloody. This was in the morning of a troublesome day, followed in the afternoon by a baseball game in the improvised park. There, as fate would have it, Crumpler paralyzed his party by his sudden falling in love with Lady Nicotine. He strolled lustily across the diamond puffing at the most conspicuous cigar available. This was the drop of the curtain for the no-tobacco drama at the college.
There was indeed an official taboo for the “golden weed” at Tyndall's School, Dawson, N. C. True to Dixie gallantry there was chivalric ignoring of its twin sister, snuff. The catalogue said that boys offending in tobacco indulgence were subject to mandatory expulsion. When school opened there in the fall of 1911, the principal reiterated with oral emphasis this published prohibition. Thereupon the alerted lads uniformly eschewed the sedative. Thus no disciplinary action ensued. But when next September came with the same catalogue in force, Tyndall foxily failed to accentuate the rule. As a result of this oral pause, about 35 of the 40 boys fell into the smoking temptation before Christmas. Then, from a kind of ambush on a bleak December night, the principal read the names of the transgressors before all of the students. He moaned that the morning train would likely take away these truants who had wantonly broken with established order. A further conference he must have at once with the erring boys alone, behind closed doors in the literary society hall.
Here a rare drama unfolded. The principal sat dejected and silent for a long time, beside the familiar desk. Likewise the company of stricken forlorn maintained a somber stillness. Sorrow lined the teacher's face; he was speechless with frustration and regret.
Pain and bewilderment marked the hour. There was evoked prolonged meditation on this quiet, cool evening. At last the principal found his voice. There was in it the ring of compromise. To fill the cinder-laden coaches next morning with defaulting youth was the last thing he wanted to do. At great pains he had decided for an alternative. “Boys,” he said, “you know that we've got three acres of new ground out there on our big campus which has needed grubbing for a powerful long time. Now my offer is that each of you put in four days of honest grubbing out there right away, and all of us can stay here.”
All did stay except one independent soul. He proudly went away, choosing not to bend his back among the gallberry bushes, but to turn it squarely on his forsaken school.§ 2
Student preachers needing a church, often at first have to “spread” their samples, called trial sermons. This custom conserves a kind of freedom for all, but sometimes frustrates the young preacher financially dependent on this resource. Scholarships for support are not universally available, and in an early day were all but nonexistent.
Once when the men of the college at Wilson had a separate dining room, their kindhearted matron-dietitian received a special request. A certain preaching student had been called by a narrow margin to an inviting church, but had received a clear intimation as to how to pacify and win the minority. Thereupon he asked the matron please to serve veal as often as possible with apple pie for dessert. He said that he had desperate need also for another food beginning with the letter Z, but for the life of him he could not recall what the Z stood for. Neither could the matron, but she would do her best with the two known foods. After pampering him for some time, she was curious to know the reason for it.
He could tell the whole story now. After laying his specimen discourse on the line he absented himself to let the congregation deliberate freely. They pondered long but he got the call. He wished to know what had been said during his suspense. This was disclosed to him only by a nitwit gossip. This talebearer said that a grizzled elder had spoken, throwing a wet blanket to some extent and delaying the climactic vote. Said the elder: “We mought as well take it easy about hiring this here young feller. It ’pears to my way of thinking that he shorely do need more veal and zigor, and speshially needs to apple pie [apply] hisself right much afore he takes holt here.”§ 3
The college at Wilson has pardonable pride in the increasing number of its graduates who go to university or seminary for advanced training. Many of these are now outstanding men and women in their respective vocations. In the early 1930's there was some hazard, financial and otherwise, but not academic, in the movement of such graduate students. A relevant story from 1933 concerns three preachers: Sam Freeman, Kermit Traylor, and Ira W. Langston. It is here briefed from a contemporaneous account in The Collegiate.
A model T. Ford, minus the top and a few other accessories, rattled off the A. C. College campus carrying the three with all their worldly possessions out to Vanderbilt for their pursuits of knowledge. Some of their cards to girls here said: “We are in the heart of the mountains today”; “The moon makes us homesick”; “we travel all night to save hotel fare”; “Thank goodness for the Saratoga Ladies Aid Society, or we would starve”; “Only a hundred miles from Nashville—will be there tomorrow night.” The trio arrived at their destination only after a fashion, for they were undernourished and underweight. They had rooms in Kissam Hall, or, as the short one said “Kiss Sam.” They all went to work to earn a little income. The tall one, six-six, served a Kentucky church at a salary soon doubled.
The lanky tenor sang at the local W. M. S. radio, with the Girls Council at A. C. C. slyly recessing on Monday nights to hear him. The business of the other one is unreported, but it is a catchy coincidence that while he had a tonsilectomy at Nashville, a certain girl at the same time had an appendectomy at Wilson. Having a knack for politics, the tall one became president of the Vandy Disciples Club; and the tenor-parson president of the Junior graduate class.
First reports said Tennessee girls are the ugliest in creation. But they must have improved for lately all's quiet on the Western front, (too quiet in fact). Now at Christmas these three come rattling back to Wilson in a 1925 Chevrolet coach. Good trade! Their ears would have frozen off coming over the mountains in that old topless Ford.§ 4
Brevity is said to be the soul of wit. Humor of the first quality may be found packed into few words. Student publications show this. Originating at the college, here are a few.
Having returned from the big national Convention of the Disciples at Atlanta, Ga., John M. Waters was asked: “Did you see Alexander Campbell there?”
In a sight-singing class taught by Miss Montgomery, Joel E. Vause did not pause long enough at the tone, “me.” Quickly, by impulse, his teacher sighed: “You did not hold me long enough.”
A published query: “Can Elizabeth Kinsey's snoring be called sheet music?”
President Smith, enjoying a baseball game with Mrs. Smith, and Miss Myrtie, of the library, was asked excitedly by Mrs. Smith how a runner had crossed home plate with a tying score. Said Smith, “He stole it.” Said Mrs. Smith, “I thought the umpire was to keep the players from stealing.” Said Miss Myrtie, “I thought so too.”
Hayes Farish was taught Greek by a professor who said: “Boys, don't be discouraged, for you learn Greek by mistakes.” Said Hayes: “I ought to know it then.”
Occasionally the subject of debate in a literary society was designedly comical. For instance, four Alethian boys debated: “Resolved that girls are better students than boys.” It was reported about this all-male assortment of disputants: “Some of their statements and illustrations caused ripples of amusement to sweep over the audience. All seemed well pleased with the discussion except the three judges—one young man and two young ladies—who, of course, found it impossible to agree.” It was announced that Demosthenian boys would debate: “Resolved that the pulpit is more conducive to eloquence than the bar.” Said the announcer: “We feel sure that the young men will cover themselves with glory.”
To The Radiant the illustrious symbol of Alethian-Hesperian debate was two game cocks of the grand tradition, poised for the last full measure of combat, and gaudily labeled with the respective names of the societies. But in the same game cock issue was also this sobering wisecrack: “There's so much Alethian in the most of us and so much Hesperian in the rest of us, that it hardly benefits any of us to talk about the rest of us.”
This might indicate a set slant in the magazine, as also the following, not so subtle. Said an Alethian: “I saw a student down town run two blocks after a water sprinkler to tell the driver that the water was leaking out.” Said a Demosthenian: “Impossible! Who was it?” Replied the Alethian: “Oh, nobody but a Hesperian.”§ 6
Some bizarre quirks of students with faculty might enliven, without tarnishing, our story. Elizabeth Ford, trained at Georgetown College, Kentucky, and at the University of Wisconsin, taught modern languages at
the college. A laconic observation in a contemporary issue of The Radiant read “Two reasons why we regret that Miss Ford fell down the steps:
1. Because she fell.
2. Because we were not there to see her.”
Once a sweet-toothed bevy of students arranged a gala candy-making party. At the last minute there was a missing ingredient—butter. Equal to anything, three ever-ready boys cascaded on the college cuisine and pilfered the pantry, purloining a portion of the butter. President Hilley apprehended two of the blameworthy actors, who forthwith made straight-faced denial of the charge. The third was none other than Sam Freeman, who, caught in the dragnet at last, was taken to the office. Told of his comrades’ evasive denial, he was urged to confess the theft for the honor of all. Whereupon Sam said: “Dr. Hilley, I will have to have time to think this over.” Sam, himself, has often given this version of it, as if it were a lucky conversational victory. A legendary dreamer called it a supramundane deliverance.
Another pickle from the collegiate jar, and not too sour perhaps, is one from the Music Department. In English when a student failed he was nursed in a class of “hospital English.” But in meticulous rehearsals for a cantata by an art-conscious group there was temperamental strait jacket for the dull, inept offender. Once some dismissals from the chorus which had to be made deeply peeved one of the men. Impulsively he “blew his top.” Called before the faculty he relented, signing an apology to be read in chapel. It acknowledged what he called his “un-college act,” in having said to his teacher: “I have the lash over this Music Department, and I intend to use it.” Furthermore, he repented of his “insisting upon singing his solos according to his own interpretation when he knew that it conflicted with the judgment of the teacher.”
There is a vast store of such badinage entailed behind A.C.C.’s authoritarian curtain at Wilson. But to be wise is to beware.§ 7
The college had a colored janitor, Charley Kendall. He did many things with good spirit, effecting utilitarian whatnots at the college. Thus he won and held the affection of the administration. In wide travels with President Hilley in the college car, the “gas” would give out completely, more often than might well be imagined. But if Charley were there, he would promptly go for an emergency fuel ration. Hilley was not one to let the grass grow under his feet. Charley aptly nicknamed him “Cannon Ball.” It got into campus usage and stuck. In course the mascot dog was named “Cannon Ball, Jr.” by the students, and displayed the name on his canine regalia. One day, Hilley was speaking in chapel, when the tail-wagging dog trotted up to share the platform. This disconcerted the speaker, having the dog steal the show. Ejecting the mascot he said firmly that only one “Cannon Ball” at a time could occupy the stage. A wag in the English Department referred to the incident as “a doggone interlude.”
In the student-produced literature at the college there are some articulate farewells in poetry and prose. The following may not be a prize poem, but it illumines emotional leavetakings at recurring summer vacations:
- Oh, now that Commencement's almost past
- The thought of parting, makes tears flow fast,
- September we'll all be back on the run,
- As keen as ever for work and fun.
- They prod us hard—this faculty—
- With math and science and history
- And French and lit and speaking, too,
- Until our wits get in a stew.
- But oh, how smart we've come to be
- Since we've attended A.C.C.!
- We look so grave and we act so wise
- Our folks are filled with a great surprise
- And say to others, “My! you'll agree
- That a grand old school is A.C.C.”
- But take it from me we have some fun,
- Once in a while when work is done,
- “All work, no play” (so the old saw goes),
- “Makes Jack a dullard,” as his teacher knows,
- But a midnight spread or a date with “He”
- Drives dullness away from A.C.C.
- So here's to our school! we'll all be back
- Prepared again at the books to whack.
- We grumble, of course, as students do,
- But in the pinch we stick by you!
Problems arising from World War II confronted President Hilley, for the last eight years of his administration, 1942-1949. During the first half of this period more than a hundred students left for military service incurring an annual loss of $12,000 in tuition to the college. From 1946 onward many postwar adjustments were necessarily made.
In November, 1942, the college was in its forty-first session, had 23 on the faculty. The student body had annually exceeded 350 for several years. The Carolinas and Georgia was its assigned field, but it also had students from four other states. The endowment stood at a third of a million dollars. Disciple preachers in North Carolina numbered 90, of whom 43 had been trained at the college, or then served on its faculty. Nearly half of the full-time Disciple pastorates of the state were served by this college personnel. The annual charge, $305 per student, had not been recently increased, although marked inflation had begun. A sum of $5,000 sufficed to establish a permanent, named student loan fund, and the entire fund at that time was $12,000.1
The college was a charter member in the North Carolina College Conference. The State Department at Raleigh had recognized it as an A-grade standard four-year college since 1922. The annual tuition charge was increased $45, equivalent to 15 per cent in 1943. There was no “current fund indebtedness,” but there was deep-felt need of two new buildings—a girls’ dormitory and[note]
library. C. L. Hardy had individually pledged $50,000 for these buildings, payable when an additional $100,000 was raised for the purpose.
There came the Pearl Harbor tragedy on a frightful December Sunday, shattering all semblance of peace in America. Soon it was “anchors aweigh!” for over 400 of the past and present students of the college.§ 2
In the aftermath of World War I came widespread pacifism. In common with educational circles throughout America, there had been pacifist demonstrations at Wilson. John Barclay, minister of Disciples in the city and chaplain at the college, had been a Captain in World War I. At the Disciples’ state convention in 1924 he authored a resolution which declared: “Our churches will never be used to bless another war.” Moreover “no Christian can take part in organized murder, but must leave the decision to individual conscience where we believe the ultimate decision for war or against it must be made.”2 This was nine years before the rise of the Hitler regime, engendering ultimate global war through the violent aggressions of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Civil liberties were characteristically protected at the college, Kirby Page and other pacifists speaking occasionally and freely in chapel. At the inductions by the draft boards for World War II, only two students at the college, Marvin Jackson and Earl Rhodes, were classified as “conscientious objectors.” The first named changed his attitude, went to the Service, and became the first from the college to give his life in the struggle. Earl Rhodes remained a C.O., serving the term as a civilian worker in the Federal Camps.
Feeling the impact of the national emergency, the college began an accelerated program of study, with new[note]
courses in the curriculum to assist the students in meeting war needs, a new stress on health, and a wider participation of the students in campus life. By “continuous attendance,” embracing each summer, one might graduate in three years or less. This was “full cooperation,” having approval of the War and Navy departments at Washington. Men vacated Caldwell Hall, and the women moved in for the duration.3
Howard Blake, a senior from Fairfield, N. C., was an eager volunteer but he weighed only 128, against the minimum requirement of 132. “Four pounds of bananas eaten on the morning of his physical examination got him by.”4 Speeding up he graduated in January, 1943, and shortly after induction, “scored the highest average grade among 1,200 men taking examinations at Notre Dame Midshipmen's School.”5 Thirty men of the “Enlisted Reserve Corps” left the college on April 19, 1943. It “left a real gap in the student body.”6
First WAVE enlisted from the college was Clyde Deans. Her naval training was at Charleston, S. C., and Northhampton, Mass. Ruth M. Strickland, of Elm City, was a “medical technician” in the WACs. Captain Kathleen Eagles, of Saratoga, was an Army Nurse. Madeline Brooks, of Wilson, served with the American Red Cross. These were but representative of women participants from the college.
Men from the college fought from Corregidor to Cologne, from Okinawa to Monte Cassino. They were in the cross-channel invasion, and in the first contingent to cross the Rhine. First of these men to be lost, was Marvin Jackson, perishing in the Denmark Straits, July, 1942. Insignia of merit decorated many—air medal with oak-leaf clusters, purple heart, silver star, bronze star, and presidential unit citation. First prisoner of war from Wilson County, was Major E. D. Winstead,[note][note][note][note]
of ill-fated Corregidor. In Wilson there was jubilant public reception for him at his homecoming. From the “Old Hickory” General there was a succession of silver stars and citations for Colonel Ellis W. Williamson for his personal bravery and handling of his First Battalion in the freezing Battle of the Bulge, and thereafter. At one point his men had given a strategic release from impending American defeat on their sector. First Lieutenant Robert W. Winstead completed fifty bombing missions over Nazi Europe.7
Let it be said for these surviving men and women from the college that they do not glorify war. Rather there is in them a real sorrow that it had to be. It is their strong conviction that under God, universal peace must be sustained, by any effective means known to man.
Twenty men from the college reported as “killed in action,” in World War II, are listed as follows:
1. Allen, Randolph, Nov. 22, 1945
2. Atkinson, Clifford
3. Bowen, William Claudius, in fatal accident, Washington, D. C., Dec. 8, 1943.
4. Browning, Roscoe J.
5. Cleve, Wallace, in Saipan, 1944
6. Eagles, Charles
7. Farmer, Burnice
8. Gliarmis, Dick, in Germany, Jan. 11, 1945
9. Hardison, Earl L., in the Philippines, Jan. 1, 1945
10. Holmes, Glen
11. Jackson, Marvin, in Denmark Straits, July, 1942
12. Narron, Donald, in Italy, March 20, 1944
13. Powell, Dudley A., Jr.
14. Raper, Dewey Graham
15. Riley, Jack, in France, June 11, 1944
16. Stanley, Owen, in the Philippines, March 15, 1945
17. Stephenson, Dalton Odean
18. Tyson, John A., in Saipan, Oct. 9, 1944
19. Whitaker, Gordon
20. Winstead, Wilbur, in France, June 11, 1945[note]
Some administrative trends in the education of the period are of relevant interest. An educator observed that within two decades following World War I there had been a “deterioration of relationship between college and church.” Churches had ceased to take pride in their colleges, or to give them reasonable financial support, or to send their youth in adequate numbers. In Disciple colleges affiliated with their National Board, only 2.2 per cent of their income came from church giving. Nearly 98 per cent was derived otherwise. For instance, Bethany College had an operative expense budget of $300,000 in 1943-1944, for which only $2,000 was received from the churches.8 A “subsidized governmental program” was so near uniformity in application that in the same year, Wilson had the strange distinction of enrolling more civilian students than any other Disciple college. Technological research perfecting war potential, at some educational centers occasioned more supporting income from the government than accrued respectively from all inherent sources.9 Administrators in church colleges, being human, must have been tempted by proffers of an abounding secular support. But paradoxically, it appears that virtually all American colleges in the midst of war sought stronger ties with the church.
Disciple colleges have a marvelous heritage prompting a “dissemination of the lore of the brotherhood.”10 A “Discipliana Room” might well grace each of their libraries. The Christian college had “the inviolable obligation of maintaining Christian ideals,” and “no claim to distinctiveness other than its Christian character.” This would be the irreducible core of their contribution. Not primarily concerned with this ideal, the postwar report of the President's Commission on higher education was politically obedient to the separation of[note][note][note]
church and state. It dismissed religion, but recognized “that theology is an old established profession.”11 In tax-supported institutions, receiving $2,000,000,000 of government support in 1947, there were 3,700,000 students. Schools in higher education brackets, church-related, but receiving no such subsidy, enrolled 900,000. However, a fair share of veterans on Bill of Rights allowances currently flooded their campuses, giving indirectly a proportionate financial upturn.
In a dedication formula at Wilson, there was conservatively restated for the period, the fundamental purpose of Atlantic Christian College. It was “to maintain a standard four-year college connected with, and dependent upon, the churches of our brotherhood.”124
After C. Manly Morton, the next Wilson graduate to go as a foreign missionary, was Claylon Dee Weeks. He is of the Carr Memorial Christian Church of his native community ten miles north of Clinton, N. C. He was born November 3, 1919, son of William Arthur Weeks and Bertha Tew Weeks. Valedictorian of his Hall's High School Class, he graduated at A. C. College in 1941. From Vanderbilt School of Religion he received B.D. in 1944; also while in Nashville, Tenn., he had further graduate training at Scarritt College. On January 1, 1945, he married Helen Mitchell of Winnimac, Indiana. He served pastorates in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Illinois.
Early in 1946 he and Mrs. Weeks were commissioned to Africa by The United Christian Missionary Society. Promptly they went by plane and boat to Wema Station in Belgian Congo. This is in one of the most primitive[note][note]
sections of the region where urgent necessities of education, evangelism, and medicine are being met by missionary specialists. Here there are already 4,500 Christians in sixty churches. Between his first and second terms of service he took the required one year of colonial orientation at Brussels, Belgium.
At the end of their year's furlough in America, 1955, the Weeks family returned to Wema Station, where they supervise the Christian school system.
A missionary of another communion, the Church of God, is James Beatty. He is a native of Smithfield, N. C., and a graduate of Atlantic Christian College, class of 1945. His mission station is in Haiti.§ 5
The Disciples’ Crusade for a Christian World was initiated at their International Convention at Columbus, Ohio, August 6-11, 1946. Officially it began on the following September 1, and continued until March 1, 1951. Projected in the aims were some educational objectives: (1) Enrollment of 5,000 young people from Disciple homes in brotherhood colleges; (2) Winning of 3,000 recruits for the ministry at home and missions in foreign fields; and (3) Enlistment of 100,000 persons in leadership training. During the Crusade more than 3,600 young men and women volunteered for full-time religious service. This was significant, at a time when secularism made most attractive bids.
The Crusade's ultimate financial goal was $14,000,000 of which 36 per cent was assigned to Disciple colleges. The final amount raised in cash was nearly $8,500,000, 60 per cent of the goal. Of this, the college at Wilson received the sum of $107,244.19, and as planned it was used in the building fund. Churches in North Carolina, to the number of 127, participated, giving total cash of $180,655.06, which was 69.4 per cent of their state goal, $260,075.00. At the peak of the Crusade, President Hilley
declared that the college had grown from “a meager beginning of one building and few students to a multipleunit plant and more than 500 students.” Yet, obviously, a crisis confronted the college. Increased dormitory capacity was sorely needed. An enlarged endowment was essential.
The trustees at the college, in July, 1943, ordered that tentative plans be drawn for postwar construction of two buildings, later known as Harper Hall and Hardy Library. The first goal of $150,000 to provide this construction, was reached in the midsummer of 1944. But rising cost of materials and labor caused successive raisings of the goal. In April, 1947, it stood at $1,000,000, of which three-fourths would be used for buildings, and the remaining quarter would inhere in the cumulative college endowment. A half million for the buildings was then in hand in cash and pledges—a truly gratifying fact.
On October 7, 1947, Ira C. Evans of Atlanta, Georgia, agreed to lead a campaign among Wilson citizens for $200,000 to make the building fund sufficient. He was engaged jointly by the college committee of the local Chamber of Commerce, and the executive committee at the college. For this drive an attractive brochure was prepared. It set forth that the college in its 45 years had shaped the lives of 6,541 students, graduating 1,051 and had “unsuspectedly” put its stamp upon the city. It was shown that the college was indeed a business enterprise, with the sixth largest year-round payroll in the city, of nearly $250,000. Beyond the city's “golden weed” renown, was clear and bold challenge to make Wilson “known as the home of the world's best small co-educational Christian College.” Evans returned to complete the canvass, November 15-30, 1948.13
The trustees on September 20, 1948, accepted bids for erection of Harper Hall. At the same time the college's executive committee was asked to procure tentative plans for Hardy Library. The next month, work was begun on[note]
Harper Hall to be completed by September, 1949, at an over-all cost of $400,000. By architect's design it is of brick construction, trimmed with limestone. There are four floors with capacity for 152 women. Sloping terrain at the Lee-Rountree site, facilitated the ground floor, housing six students, and providing a recreation hall, 26 × 59 feet, with a huge stone fireplace. Here also is the laundry, and storage space for students’ trunks. The first floor, capacity 36, has combined social hall, parlors, and kitchenette for stately functions. There are polished hardwood floors, and formal furnishings. Capacity of second and third floors is 55 each. There are cool water fountains on each floor. Arcade extensions unite structural wings. It is fireproof and has safety devices throughout.14
Harper Hall completed was officially opened for inspection, May 5 and 6, 1950. The Hardy Library began to serve in April, 1951.§ 6
A multitude of gifts from individual friends and organizations made possible the two major buildings. The college hopefully submitted quotas to churches, and twenty of them accepted, remitting fully the respectively suggested amounts. The largest contributor, whose gifts made a final sum of $130,000, was Clarence Leonard Hardy. The greater part of this was applied to the building of the library, which memorially bears his name. He was born near Alliance, N. C., in Pamlico County, September 7, 1877, and died at his Maury, N. C., home, October 27, 1950. He was the son of Jesse William Hardy and Lou Wooten Hardy. In 1879 the parents returned to live at their former Greene County home. Clarence attended school at Ormondsville, until he was twelve, then left to toil on the family's farm, supporting his mother and sister. He farmed exclusively until 1909,[note]
when he moved to Maury, a small village nearby. Here coming to full stride he was merchant, banker, horse and mule trader, manufacturer, landlord, and utilities magnate. He acquired 12,000 acres of land in Greene and Pitt Counties, cultivating 5,000, of which 1,000 produced tobacco, and the remainder a variety of crops. His hobby was to buy dilapidated farms and make them into valuable estates. According to federal crop reports, he was the world's largest tobacco planter, producing in excess of a million pounds a year, and occasionally selling more than a hundred thousand pounds on a single day.15
He never married. On his farms were about 200 families of about 700 persons. This tenantry he called “my family.” An active member of the historic Hookerton, N. C., Christian Church, he contributed $25,000 to renovate their old plant and to provide a handsome parsonage. In addition he left a trust fund for the local church, yielding $200 per year for ten years. His nephews and other surviving kin carry forward graciously the family tradition for effectual benevolence to the college and related interests.§ 7
Athletics at the college remained largely intramural. However, after a lapse of 15 years, football was resumed by the Bulldogs, 1946-1950, after which the game was abandoned. There were many defeats for the college, and few victories. At the peak with only thirty-three men on the squad, there were insufficient reserves. To win consistently in this sport was prohibitively expensive. One precious win, however, in 1948, was their “sweeping 6 to 0” score against their archrival, East Carolina College, at Greenville, N. C. In this victory[note]
colorful Harry Helmer gave “one of the greatest punting exhibitions ever witnessed in The North State Conference.”16 In their baseball schedule, 1948, the college won 14, lost 9. Some victories were over Elon, Guilford, High Point, East Carolina, Lenoir-Rhyne, and Lynchburg. In basketball that year there were only six victories by the college, including two over Lynchburg, and one each over Elon, High Point, and Appalachian, with a rash of fifteen defeats, all told. Some apparently new features at the college were touch football, and Ping-pong.
Organizations first appearing in this period, were: Stage and Script, social committee, Student Christian Association Cabinet, concert committee, Science Club, Christian Service Club, and “A” Club.
The 25 students from the college, 1942-1949, chosen by the faculty committee for inclusion in Who's Who in Colleges and Universities of America, were: Gordon Aldridge, Wilma Williams, Joe Holliday, Jewitt Davis, James Webster, Katherine Lewis, Ruth Blizzard, Howard James, Earle Williams, Ava Grey Barnes, Avis Keene, Mary Ellen Jones, Cyrus D. Gurganus, Mary Marguerite Noe, Fraulein Herta Jarman, Jane Johnson Goff, James DeWitt Daniel, Jean Strother, Roy Brown, Buck Jones, Gene Barnes, John L. Goff, Jr., Bill Brinson, Elizabeth Leach, and David Hardison.§ 8
President Hilley spoke at the quarterly meeting of the Albemarle Christian Missionary Union, at Everetts, N. C., July 2, 1947. Driving home that afternoon he was critically injured in a collision at Cobb's Crossroads, two miles east of Pinetops, N. C. With him were two students from the college, Ivan Adams and John L. Goff, Jr. For Adams there was no need of hospitalization. Goff was painfully but not seriously injured, and soon[note]
attained normal condition. Hilley had suffered serious concussions of the head, however, and for several weeks, first in the hospital at Tarboro, N. C., and later at Duke Hospital, Durham, N. C., his recovery was of deep concern. By the next September, however, he was able to resume his function at the college, and as a speaker in the “Crusade for a Christian World,” then flowering.
On April 15, 1949, President Hilley resigned, to become effective on the following July 1, thus concluding thirty years of service at Wilson. He later served as director of the summer assembly grounds, International Convention, Disciples of Christ, at Black Mountain, N. C., more recently known as Christmount.
When Hilley started at Wilson there were but 127 students of college grade attending there. In his last year the enrollment was 940, of whom about 500 were regular-term students, and the remainder in summer school at the college. His presidency had begun with two buildings on the one campus block, all valued at $75,000. At the end of his administration there were three blocks of property with six building units, another under construction, and, in addition, fourteen separate dwellings. Altogether the valuation was then approximately $1,400,000. Moreover, in the building fund were total cash and solvent pledges, exceeding $400,000.17
He came into the office when there was a current operating debt of $10,000, besides large arrears due the city for street paving around the college. He left with no matured, overdue accounts payable. Living wisely within its income, the college was rightfully proud of its sound financial reputation. The endowment during his first years was critically inadequate, but at last was of sizeable figure. Throughout his incumbency, colleagues highly capable and loyal helped notably to insure success for him, and their cherished institution.[note]
His leadership at the college is without precedent for length of service. In Carolina he was a respected, devout church leader as well as a tireless educational executive. To the details of his office he gave sustained, passionate attention. No mean assets were his candor, his persistence, his optimism. A quality not readily evaluated was his grim frugality of institutional resources. Incidentally, vaulting the economic quicksands of his time, this was of solid value but without esteem, save in the long-range perspective of the well-informed. From the viewpoint of an inflated prosperity his was a grinding day of small things. Best of all he seemed ever conscious of a more bountiful day to come.
His record is a perennial memorial to long years dutifully spent, an imperishable marker for honor, truth, liberty, justice, and light.
Approaching the fiftieth anniversary, some attractions were augmented at the college. With ample accessories a fifty-piece marching band, a mixed chorus of fifty-five voices, and a well-appointed orchestra developed. Admiring friends in the city, giving a fine example of community support, supplied the band uniforms.1 In college-conscious Wilson there was to be an enhancement of tuneful splendor.§ 2
On May 30, 1949, the trustees engaged Cecil Albert Jarman, pastor of Wilson Disciples, to serve as acting president of the college until a successor to President Hilley qualified.2 The board of the local church granted their pastor “permission to devote a portion of his time to the college program.” He was born at Richlands, N. C., December 8, 1906. Having graduated with an A.B. degree from Wilson, 1928, he received M.A. in religious education at Emory College, Ga., 1932; B.D., Yale, 1934; Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1946; and D.D., Atlantic Christian College, 1952.
In different capacities he had served at the college since 1934, when he became dean of men, also teaching courses in religious education, and assisting John M. Waters, head of the Bible department there. For five years at this interval he served as state director of religious education for the Disciples. From January,[note][note]
1946, to October, 1955, he was minister of the First Christian Church in Wilson. He has since located in the pastorate of the First Christian Church, Birmingham, Alabama. He currently serves on the board of managers of The United Christian Missionary Society, and as a trustee of The College of the Bible, Lexington, Kentucky. He married Ina Rivers Tuten of Aurora, N. C. Their children are Cecil A., Jr., and Mary Katherine.
During his incumbency, 1949-1950, much of his attention was necessarily given to the two large buildings in course of erection, Harper Hall, and Hardy Library. To equip the rooms adequately in the first-named building, required generous giving by individuals and groups to be recognized respectively by engraved memorial plates.3 He led successfully in this effort and was the principal speaker in the dedication of both new buildings, May 27, 1951.4 While Jarman officially had no salary for his presidential pinch-hitting, the increasing clientele, to indicate their appreciation, gave him their thanks for his opportune service, and a new automobile.
Students of the college, 1949-1950, numbered 936, which included 447 enrolled in their summer school, and 169 extension students. Raymond R. Miller was dean, and thirty-one others were faculty members. There were 146 graduates that year, of whom 93 were cited in June, and 53, the following August.5§ 3
Trustees at the college on February 4, 1950, announced the engagement of the sixth president, Denton Ray Lindley, of Fort Worth, Texas, who would assume executive duties on the forthcoming July 1. Son of Dr. Calvin Denton Lindley and Maude Brown Lindley, he was born on May 27, 1905, at May (population 324), Brown[note][note][note]
County, Texas. First a student at Johnson Bible College 1922-1923, he graduated at Phillips University, 1926, and received his B.D. at Brite College of the Bible, Texas Christian University, 1941. Then his B.D., M.A., and Ph.D. came at Yale, respectively, in 1941, 1943, and 1947. On March 17, 1926, he married Maybon Marie Torrey. Their children are Gene Ray, and Neil Everett.
Ordained June 3, 1923, Lindley ministered to Disciples in Texas churches at Royse City, Weatherford, Big Spring, and San Antonio (Central), and in Louisiana at New Orleans (St. Charles Ave.). For his doctoral dissertation at Yale he used the title, “The Structure and the Function of the Church in the Thought of Alexander Campbell.” While in New Orleans he edited The Louisiana Christian, 1933-1937. He deaned Disciple youth conferences from 1935 to 1946. For three years before coming to Wilson he was dean of Brite College of the Bible, T. C. U., where also he served as professor of Christian ministries. He was a vice-president of the International Convention, Disciples of Christ, 1950-1952, and chairman of the National Board of Higher Education, Disciples of Christ, 1952-1953, and in the same year was on the executive committee of The Disciples’ National Unified Promotion; and of the North Carolina College Conference. At San Antonio, he was prominent as radio speaker, and teacher of an interdenominational men's class enrolling 1,200.
An illustrated front-page story in the Raleigh, N. C., News and Observer, February 4, 1950, gave unusual publicity to the new president. It represented him as a “big, good-natured Texan,” who, as a boy, had worked “to help pay the family bills.” Moreover, when in college, “football and professional wrestling brought in a helping amount of the long green when he needed it.” Also, from “several small pastorates,” he had “earnings to further his education,” and “since those days,” his cognomen had become “one of the big names in
preaching in the big massive Southwest.” He had “enough energy, friends say, for a Texas steer,” and as a “sportsman, spends his vacations in Mexico and Canada.” He was “versatile, speaking seven different languages.” He held “city-wide evangelistic campaigns of two weeks’ duration,” but “never uses notes for a sermon.”
His inauguration at the college took place on November 1, 1950. Liston Pope, Dean of Yale Divinity School, delivered the charge in Howard Chapel, followed by Lindley's inaugural address. At the luncheon in the Bert Hardy Dining Hall, Dean Pope spoke on “The Uses of the Mind.” There were official delegates representing 79 American colleges and universities, whose founding dates ranged from 1636 to 1947.
Expressing to the students something of his ideals, President Lindley said:
The quality of any school is measured to a large extent by the spirit of its student body. This is especially true in a school like Atlantic Christian College where the pupil is considered to be the center of the learning process and where the goal is for students and faculty to approach truth in the spirit of learners. It is our ambition that every student here recognize in every member of the staff a friend, a comrade, and a partner in quest of the personal growth which comes only through the knowledge of truth.6§ 4
Several new projects appeared in the three-year administration of Lindley. The Carolinas and Georgia remained the conventional college area. However, for the interval, there was attendance of students from ten other states.7
The Disciples’ state convention of 1951, “to make possible the participation of more of our ministers [limited to three trustees] in the administration program of the college,” recommended a rotation of appointees to the[note][note]
board, providing one new minister each year. By a “principle of non-succession,” such appointee would not be eligible for terminal reappointment.8 At that time, only one minister, H. Glenn Haney, was on the board.
In November, 1952, there were 36 on the faculty, of whom ten held doctoral degrees. The evening college had been opened in 1951 with an enrollment of 238. It provided a wide variety of courses for business and professional people, veterans, public school teachers, special students in fine and practical arts, and religious workers. Enrollees in each course met one night each week, for an eighteen-week semester. An exception was typing and shorthand, classes in which met semiweekly. These were all standard credit courses, valid as electives for baccalaureate degree.9
For the second semester, 1951, a new course in ethics was offered to regular students. And new to the evening school were courses in Old Testament literature, sermon preparation, pastoral ministry, and great personalities of the Old Testament.10 There was academic integration of day school, evening school, and summer school. The total enrollment showed marked increase. For twelve months, June 1, 1950, to May 31, 1951, it was a record-breaking 1,135.11 And the 123 graduates in May, 1951, excelled in number any previous commencement.
In the first administration at the college, 1902-1904, President J. C. Coggins conferred honorary degrees upon nine individuals, three of them in 1903: Abram Hanby, Josephus Hopwood, J. A. Shoptaugh; and six in 1904: Glenn Gates Cole, John James Harper, Ira A. Holbrook, William Henderson Mizell, George Perry Rutledge, J. P. Whitt.
The college gave no further honorary degrees, until the commencements of 1952 and 1953. Then President Lindley cited six in 1952: H. Galt Braxton, S. Perry[note][note][note][note]
Case, Cecil Albert Jarman, Clement Manly Morton, Magruder Ellis Sadler, John Mayo Waters; and three in 1953: George Walker Buckner, Jr., Thomas Jennings Hackney, Sr., Frederick William Wiegmann.
In public relations the college has utilized radio and television. In October, 1952, for instance, a program was given for thirty minutes each Sunday at noon. They were then on the Goldleaf Broadcasting network, inclusive of the two stations in Wilson, and the seven related ones at Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Roxboro, Sanford, Smithfield, Washington, and Williamston.12 These presentations produced by James E. Fulghum, director of public relations, with Billy Tucker, president of the student body, master of ceremonies, were given by students and faculty. The program consisted of music, interviews, and records.
At homecoming, on the evening of October 18, 1952, the new Howard memorial alumni organ was dedicated in Howard Chapel. There was a recital by Lee Howard of the music faculty and guest soloists, Mrs. B. B. Plyler, Sr., and Aubrey Shingleton.13
Hugh Buckner Johnston, Jr., of the college faculty is Wilson County historian. His efforts in 1953 led to the erection of a college historical marker by the State Historical Commission. It stands at the intersection of East Gold and North Goldsboro Streets.14 It reads
- Coeducational. Opened
- 1902 by Disciples of
- Christ in building
- earlier used by Kinsey
- Institute. 6 blocks N. W.
The contract was let for the new Hardy Library on November 1, 1949, and ground-breaking ceremonies followed within a few weeks, on December 14.15 Acting-president Jarman presided; C. L. Hardy turned the first spade of earth; John M. Waters spoke briefly of the building acceleration at the college; and H. Glenn Haney offered the dedicatory prayer. Others participating, were: Myrtie L. Harper, librarian emeritus, Ola I. Fleming, librarian, and Thomas J. Hackney, Sr., chairman of trustees.16 The old library room had been congested with 16,000 volumes and beset with fire hazard. The new building is fireproof and has four floors, recessed fluorescent lights, and adjustable metal shelves ample for 75,000 volumes.
Costing in excess of $200,000 it has modern facilities of various special rooms. A large one is for audio-visual education with pertinent accessories. Another is soundproof for recording service in critical listening by music and speech students. All floors are of asphalt tile. The book accounting desk faces the south entrance. There are an office for the librarian, various conference rooms, workrooms for staff, and a reading-room wing with tables and seats for 70. There are a book elevator service, stairways of metal, and a skylight on the top floor. Stack rooms abound for books, pamphlets, and periodicals. Men's and women's lounges are on the second floor. At the east entrance, the college seal is beautifully imprinted in the stone on the floor.17
In the east-to-west corridor on the main floor is the “Freedom Shrine,” an exhibit displayed handily on symmetrical wooden uprights. These reproduce twenty-eight separate American foundational documents. Appearing respectively on laminated, nonwarping, plastic-surfaced board, they are transparent and unbreakable.[note][note][note]
The plaques are impervious to moisture, and of a texture resistant to deterioration by light, dust, or atmospheric variance.18
There was ceremonial presentation in Howard Chapel of this valuable, patriotic gift by the Exchange Club of Wilson. C. C. Burris presided, and Thad Eure, Secretary of State of North Carolina, gave the address. Thus these renowned theses of a free-world democracy are facilitated at Wilson, to intrigue the quester in his familiar haunts. Fundamentally they illuminate our great American heritage.
Housed in Hardy Library, in the large Barton W. Stone Memorial Room, the most beautiful on the campus, is the Carolina Discipliana Library. It enshrines a heritage from the schoolmaster-evangelist (1772-1844), who was the earliest nineteenth century founder of Christian churches known currently in the federal census as Disciples of Christ. David Caldwell in North Carolina gave Stone (1790-1793) all of his classical training, save Hebrew. Also in North Carolina, Henry Patillo gave him his theological bent for an epochal reform. Furthermore, in eastern North Carolina, Stone had a profoundly moving experience. It was a transforming vision relevant to his later Christian movement on the Transylvania frontier.19
Here for research workers, students, and readers, are more than 10,000 bound volumes including an uncounted multitude of relevant pamphlets and periodicals processed serially for long-range, timely use. Much of it is rare, and some of it is apparently unique so that it has been microfilmed for other research centers. For instance, there is the eighteen-page pamphlet of Greville Ewing, Glasgow, Scotland, 1808—“A Memorial on Education for the Ministry of the Gospel.” The Congregationalist scholar, Ewing (1767-1841), both as host and[note][note]
instructor to Alexander Campbell in 1808, when Campbell was there at the University of Glasgow, certainly had impact on his youthful protégé. First sentence of the pamphlet: “Nothing more directly tends to promote the interests of the gospel than an abundant supply of able preachers.” The appeal: Preachers should be free, be liberally educated, and be reasonably supported—a gem for a background study on an eminent Disciple pioneer. Other such titles here await this preservative process to salvage significant documents for widely accessible use. Rarities in autographs, pictures, maps, photoreproductions, manuscripts, and other media, give it worthy distinction. Its use by scholars is increasing, and its value grows with time. It is the property of North Carolina Disciples of Christ, functioning through the historical commission of their Convention. It is thus basically identified with the college.
Attractive outfitting of the room is a gift from Lawrence A. Moye, of Maury, N. C., a memorial to his parents, Moses L. and Estelle Hardy Moye. The original sketch of the Cane Ridge Revival (August 7-12, 1801) was done by the gifted artist Paul Burroughs, of Richmond, Va. The “period” frame is a gift by Katherine Taylor Nicholson, of Asheville, N. C., a memorial to her mother, Kate Stone Taylor. The mother was a granddaughter of Barton W. Stone.§ 6
Factors in funding the construction outlay on the two large buildings, costing over $600,000, were composite. Four years of wartime stoppage in building was used expeditiously to amass a large initial amount. The Crusade for a Christian World yielded a bit over $100,000. The gift of C. L. Hardy, designated for the Library, was $105,000. Institutions, educational and religious, cooperated. Wilson citizens gave substantially. Individual Disciples and well-wishing friends loyally responded. However, under Lindley there was an amount
of $200,000 necessarily borrowed to square all building obligations. The notes serially extended for ten years, but were fully paid on April 1, 1953, in but one fourth of the indentured time. Lindley's particular campaign helper in this debt-raising was the veteran, John M. Waters of Arapahoe, N. C., whose know-how stemmed from his forty years of successful fund-gathering in the Carolinas. Their teamwork did it with a responsive people.
In the halcyon spring of 1953 there was a ceremonial note-burning at the college. Willis Napoleon Hackney, a local citizen, applied the match.20 He had been a generous supporter in the campaign. President Lindley expressed his “appreciation of this achievement” to all contributors, “and especially to members of the board of trustees who alone have provided almost one third of the funds needed.”21§ 7
Intercollegiate athletics at the college for this period centered in baseball and basketball. In the North State Conference baseball schedule for 1950, the college won 7 and lost 7, but the next season the Bulldogs won approximately two thirds of their games.22 The coach, Jack McComas, hailed from Shelbyville, Indiana. He had played three years with N. C. State's “Wolfpack” at Raleigh, later managing and playing third base with the Wilson Club in the Coastal Plain League. He led the entire league in 1952 with 25 home runs. In 1953, under Coach McComas, the success in basketball at the college made them “look forward eagerly to next year . . . and perhaps some new height.” Two hundred men at the college that year participated in athletics.23[note][note][note][note]
To conserve debating at the college there was the Hesperian Club. It challenged East Carolina College, Randolph-Macon, University of Richmond, and other colleges. Its representatives served it creditably in the National Forensic Tournament in speaking contests.24
Appearing, 1950-1953, in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, were 28 from the college as follows: Jesse James, Walton Coley, Evelyn Economous, Thomas “Sparky” McCaskill, Marlene Tucker, Louise Morris, Mary Elizabeth Coor, Bernelle White, Walter Paterson, William Waters, Janet Taylor, Marjorie M. Killebrew, Ann Bullock, Robert J. Allsbrook, Opal Roberson, Herbert Ross, Marshall Long, Aubrey Jones, Virginia Hauser, James Jay Clark, William “Fred” Boyce, Geraldine Corbett, Bill Hooper, Billy Tucker, Cora Myers, Felix Labaki, June Holton, and Joe Woodworth.
Serving in the war of the United Nations against Communists, 1950-1953, were about 75 students of the college. Killed in Korean combat was Lee E. Brinson, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Brinson, of Rural Route 3, New Bern, N. C. Native of Winston-Salem, N. C., he had been at Duke University, and East Carolina College, before enrolling at Wilson. He was at the college but a short time before his enlistment in the armed forces, Nov. 12, 1952. His was the only fatality incurred by the student body in the Korean conflict. Scores of veterans returning from this war were enrolled at the college in the 1950's.§ 8
For the World Council of Churches, the Conference on Faith and Order was held at Lund, Sweden, in August, 1952. President Lindley was one of the five Disciple delegates who participated. En route, he and Mrs. Lindley toured France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, and the British Isles. From July 26 to September 11,[note]
they were away from America. He served as chairman of a Conference subcommittee at Lund, which studied the degree of diversity possible in a Unified World Church.25
By the forthcoming midwinter, he felt constrained to return to Texas to take care of certain personal interests there. On February 23, 1953, he resigned. Chairman Hackney of the trustees at Wilson, expressed deepest regret of the board at this decision of the president, but added: “Because of the fine work that he has done here, our institution is in excellent condition. We lose him knowing that he will carry with him the same type of driving spirit that has meant so much to Atlantic Christion College.”26 Lindley heartily believed that the college “was definitely on a road of continued progress,” and he could thus leave expediently. To students he expressed confidence that the greatest years of the college were surely ahead. It was, he affirmed, in a strong position to “secure the finest leadership available.” To all constitutents he was thankful for their excellent cooperation, constantly given him. For Mrs. Lindley and himself he said: “We shall be leaving a vital part of our lives on the campus,” at Wilson.27
Many advances had been made. The residual building debt, large beyond precedent, had been quickly paid. Caldwell Hall had been completely renovated and the campus materially improved. The student enrollment during Lindley's last year increased 24 per cent over the previous year. Doctoral degrees represented on the faculty exceeded those reported a few years before. As a token of appreciation, faculty and trustees tendered the Lindleys a formal dinner at the local Cherry Hotel, on June 19, 1953, presenting to them “a large tray and punchbowl of sterling silver, beautifully engraved.”28[note][note][note][note]
PEALS OF PROGRESS
The Pine Knot of 1955 is dedicated to the Ideal of Progress. Changes are being rung in the initial stages of development in a new ten-year program of expansion. Planned for the college are eight new buildings at a minimal expenditure of $1,750,000. Currently on campus construction, there is heard the mechanical accompaniment of the builders—peals of progress in a resounding register of enlargement.§ 2
In the spring of 1953, the Trustees were screening for a successor to President Lindley.1 For acting-president they named James Mattox Moudy who, during that semester, was serving as dean of the college and professor of religion. He was born July 18, 1916, near Harlingen, Texas, and later lived at Greenville in that state. His father, Alvin Curtis Moudy, native of Texas, and his mother, Helen Sunderland Moudy, of Pennsylvania, removed with the family to Washington, D. C. There James attended the McKinley High School, graduating in 1933. His schoolboy hobby was playing the trumpet.2 He served six years in the federal treasury department, resigning in 1939 to enter the Disciple ministry, to which he was ordained May 29, 1943.
At Texas Christian University he received his A.B. and B.D. degrees in 1943 and 1949, respectively, majoring in economics and sociology. Enrolling at Duke University in September, 1950, he was named Kearns Fellow,[note][note]
highest award in their School of Religion, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. At Duke he received his Ph.D. degree in June, 1953. His student ministries in Texas were at Eddie, Wiley, and Post, and as assistant at University Church, Fort Worth. Later he served the pastorate at College Station, Texas A. and M. At Duke he ministered at the new church at Smithfield, N. C. On July 24, 1943, he married Lucille Lauritzen, of Fort Worth, Texas. Their children are Linda Rhea and Rosemary.
For thirty months he served as an army chaplain in World War II. Captain Moudy was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, by Headquarters, 102nd Infantry Division, for his heroic achievements in Germany on the night of February 23, 1945.3The citation said that for a sequestered group of American riflemen who had “lost contact during an enemy counterattack,” he with “one enlisted man went out to locate them . . . courageously searching shell-torn enemy towns despite darkness, they eventually found the men and safely returned to their units. The unselfishness and devotion to duty exemplified by this officer reflect highest credit upon himself and the military service.”§ 3
Early in May, 1953, Travis Alden White was called as the seventh president of the college, to locate on the ensuing August 1 with Dean Moudy serving as chief executive meanwhile.4 One of the five sons of Travis Alexander White and Letitia Harris White, he was born at Hammond, Louisiana, March 8, 1909. He graduated at Byrd High School, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1926, and received his A.B., B.D., and D.D., in 1932, 1934, and 1949, respectively, at Texas Christian University. His graduate study has been at the University of Chicago, 1935,[note][note]
and at Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1941. He was ordained by Claude L. Jones, December 15, 1927, in Kingshighway Christian Church, Shreveport, Louisiana. He held pastorates in Texas, at Dallas (Memorial), 1931-1935; Paris (First), 1935-1942; and Lubbock (First), 1948-1953. In Arkansas, he ministered to Little Rock (First), 1942-1948.
Just prior to his current Carolina career was his Lubbock ministry which deserves to be sketched. Within a block of this church is Texas Technological College with 6,000 students, third largest in the state's higher educational system. He led in the creation and development of the Texas Technological Christian Foundation giving an effective help to students there. The new main plant of First Church, costing $350,000, was dedicated debt free, and the educational unit, $200,000, was launched during his five years there. Their annual budget of $64,228 in 1948, provided $20,000 that year for pioneer development of four mission churches and was administered with marked success. The church gave $30,000 in the Crusade for a Christian World, receiving 818 new members. This exceeded their crusade evangelistic goal by 302, bringing their resident membership to 1,236. Their contributions in 1950 aggregated more than $75,000, the major part being offered for others. Their slogan for the next year was: “Better than the Best.” Then a full-time church administrator was called “assisting and relieving the pastor, Travis A. White, of all duties that are not part of the spiritual life of the church.” Papers of Lubbock said that he was their “number one civic worker.” A founder of the local Mental Hygiene Society, he was chief counselor and speaker for their special services. Incidentally this church was the first in Lubbock (population, 75,000), to give their morning worship on regular radio telecast.5[note]
President White says: “I used to spend much of my time in the west on horseback, helping to brand the cattle and participating in the round-up.”6 Son of a carpenter, he worked his way, as a keeper of the grounds in his early undergraduate days at Fort Worth, and for the last two years helped in the library there. In Shreveport, where he was reared, he was a caddy at a golf course, and his boyish ambition was to be a professional in this outdoor sport. For the game he has little time now, although he likes it. But in his other pastimes, hunting quail and goose, he may be diverted as well in Carolina as on the plains of Texas.
In leading youth he has had a rich experience serving numerous important posts in organized services of the Disciples, state and national. In 1952 he traveled 35,000 miles in a global tour, visiting mission stations of his brotherhood, and places of historic and scenic interest, including Palestine.
On August 11, 1931, he married Evalyn May Van Keuren, native of Dighton, Kansas, later a resident of San Antonio, Texas. Beyond her home, Mrs. White's prime interest is church music, in which she is highly accomplished at the organ. Their children are Travis, Jr., and Diana Sue. Their son Ned, student at Charles L. Coon High School, Wilson, had attained the age of sixteen when stricken with the fatal leukemia. On November 1, 1955, he was the first child of any president at the college, during respective incumbency at Wilson, to pass from this life. Ned's cherished hope was to grow up to be a veterinarian serving eventually a Texas ranch. He was popular with schoolmates and beloved by all who knew him. In the high school band he played the snare drum and cymbals. To him it was given to hear the drumbeats of heaven. Thus he joined the band invisible.[note]
In coming to Wilson, President White summarily explained:7
My decision to accept this great responsibility grows out of a threefold conviction: first, that the independent church-related college has a significant contribution to make to the democratic processes we cherish so much in our American way of life.
Second, that the leadership of our communities, state and the nation for the future, is to be found in the colleges of today and that no man can devote his life to a more significant responsibility than helping these, who are to be our leaders, to a Christian conception of life and a sincere desire to put it into practice in every relationship of life.
Third, Atlantic Christian has a significant contribution to render to the citizenship of the area it serves and a responsibility to the churches of the area to provide a well-trained, consecrated leadership.
There was a large assembly on the front lawn of the campus at the college on April 30, 1954, at his inauguration. His address was a timely exposition of the familiar college motto: “They Shall Have the Light of Life.” Representatives attended from 86 universities, colleges, learned societies, and organizations. Ira W. Langston, of New York, presided. Harlie L. Smith made the presentation, and gave the charge. It was a memorable occasion marked by varied felicities. Congressman Brooks Hays, of Arkansas, spoke at the luncheon.
In a message to students, soon thereafter, President White said:8
These wonderful years at Atlantic Christian College, glorious in themselves, are but the workshop in which we construct the stairs into the unfulfilled. The enchantment of a great vision and lofty ambition in the days of our youth become the ashes of futility in our maturity unless we build well. Worthy ambition, adequate preparation, and sincere commitment to life, will bring the unfulfilled to significant fulfillment.[note][note]
Thus far in President White's administration, the college has conferred honorary degrees upon five persons as follows: Ira Wright Langston, Charles Crossfield Ware, George Frederick Cuthrell, Amos Council Dawson, and Howard Stevens Hilley.§ 4
The college announced its “Blueprint of Progress,” in October, 1953.9 Achievement goals were officially submitted for the ensuing decade. Funds aggregating $2,000,000 at least, are envisioned, which include $1,750,000 for eight additional “must” buildings. These, actually or tentatively, in order of time, are: science and mathematics, classroom, administration, infirmary, new men's dormitory, physical education, student union, and the new president's home. The remaining quarter-million would be expended on the renovations of the heating plant, gymnasium, and the ground floor of Bert Hardy Dining Hall. There is to be concurrent academic expansion of “majors in five new fields,” also in “nursing and economics,” and a befitting maximal enrollment of but 650 students.
In early 1956 the first-named of these structural units nears completion, at cost of $275,000. Ground-breaking for this was on June 6, 1954, and at commencement a year later, a like ceremony was held for the classroom, and administration buildings, combined cost to be $487,000, or a total of $762,000 for these first three buildings. Completion is promised for the summer of 1956, at which time old Kinsey Hall will be removed by demolition.10 It was required by the trustees to have at least $100,000 at ready command before any of this construction was started. President White, assisted by John M. Waters,[note][note]
had more than this in hand for the college by April, 1954.11 Thus was effected the prompt start in the projected building.
The new campus design has all new buildings facing a center court, terraced, and providing amply for outdoor stage affairs.12 Apprehending no future hurricane like well-remembered Hazel, two large oaks are to be spared, named “Miss Fanny,” and “Miss Myrtie.” To the knowing, these trees are but tips of tradition, sentimental symbols of a pensive past. The almost-completed science and mathematics building, for these departments, has student classroom facilities and faculty offices. There is a laboratory each for general, organic, and analytical chemistry, for general physics, and advanced physics, and for general biology, and advanced biology. Included is an elevated lecture room for instruction in science, and a ground-floor greenhouse for the biology department.
The classroom building, on the front campus, has twenty-four separate class-accommodating units, and eighteen offices. It is fireproof throughout with exclusive steel, masonry, and glass materials. Housed are the departments of modern languages, English, education and psychology, fine and practical arts, religion, social science, physical education, health, and business.
The administration building, currently under construction, west of Hardy Library, is a one-story structure providing all offices of the administration. The infirmary will care for twenty patients. Due clinical facilities will be there, inclusive of laboratory and diet kitchen, plus accommodations for a resident nurse and a resident attendant.
The annual operating budget at the college has risen in 1955 to $409,383, and the projected budget for 1956 is $459,850, an increase of $50,467.13[note][note][note]
The Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Southern States was organized in 1895.14 It is a regional conference, contemporary with five others in America of like character and purpose, for standardizing and classifying affiliated institutions according to respective associational criteria. In 1911 the United States Bureau of Education projected what became known as “the Babcock Report,” which was inadvertently published. It was immediately suppressed. However, it has been widely used for scholastic evaluation of intercollege credits, and, in general, as a subsequent tentative resource for concerted re-evaluation. Abreast of this American trend in higher education, North Carolina colleges organized at state level in 1922, with Atlantic Christian College being a fully accredited charter member thereof. While, in fact, for many years the college at Wilson had been widely recognized outside of the state at academic par, it was December 1, 1955, before its formal recognition as a member of the Southern Association.15
President D. Ray Lindley, of the college, attended the annual meetings of the Southern Association. His administration began a comprehensive study of the Association's ensemble in its casual and structural aspects, its procedural agenda, and its qualifying criteria, in both tangible and intangible categories. This was continued with increasing concern by President White and Dean Moudy. Meticulous annual reports from the college, 1951-1955, were submitted for the Association's routine study.
In January, 1955, it was announced that an investigative committee from the Association, within the year, would visit the college, to get an appraising view of it.16[note][note][note]
Their report on this would be a preliminary determinant as to accreditation. In the following October this committee came to the college, making their office for a week in the Barton W. Stone Memorial Room. Their personnel included Dean Otto Nielson, of the School of Education, Texas Christian University; President Henry Stanford, Georgia State College for Women; and Dean Elford Morgan, Converse College. Orally they commended the college on its cumulative achievements, and its substantial indications of continued progress. Also they pointed out some areas needing concerted improvement.
The committee reported favorably for the college at the annual meeting of the Association in 1955 at Miami, Florida. It was conventionally accepted, which made the college a member in fact, faith, and fellowship. It was conditioned, certainly, as in all such initiatory admissions, upon the college keeping its step coordinate, in spirit and in truth, with the Associational level.
Implicit measures briefly postulating membership in the Association are: student admission and graduation requirements, academic majors offered, qualification and teaching load of faculty, financial undergirding, quality of library, condition of buildings and other facilities, testing and counseling services for students, scholarship policies, supervision of intercollegiate athletics, participation of trustees, alumni records and public relations policies, records of respective outgoing students to other curricula, policies as to honorary degrees, and special community services such as evening and Saturday classes.17
At the Miami climax, President White said: “It is my feeling that this achievement makes possible the best educational opportunities available for our students and prospective students at Wilson. This is the greatest single step taken by the college since it was established fifty-four years ago.”[note]
Ministerial Group, Atlantic Christian College, 1917
Left to right, seated: Grady Spiegel, Luther Grice, H. T. Bowen, Levi Walton, Joel E. Vause, W. O. Henderson.
Kneeling: R. A. Phillips, T. W. Bowen, M. E. Sadler, M. B. Brinson, O. T. Mattox, J. M. Taylor, W. T. Mattox.
Standing: W. O. Lappin (child in arms, Eloise Case), Perry Case, E. L. Barham, R. A. Smith, C. C. Ware, W. S. Martin, A. G. Martin, S. Lee Sadler.]
Bert Hardy Dining Hall
Baseball Team, 1913
Football Team, 1949
Champion Basketball Team, 1955
Glee Club, 1948
Very soon after the Miami dispatch came a headline from the Ford Foundation.18 It told of their sensational $500,000,000 gift to privately supported higher education and health. Accredited colleges and universities across the land would gradually receive the bulk of this, designated to increased pay of teaching personnel. Wilson had been bracketed for this, so to speak, at the eleventh hour. Thus the college will share proportionally in the Ford philanthropy to meet a prime need of long standing at Wilson.§ 6
As previously mentioned, Clement Manly Morton and Claylon Dee Weeks were the first two from Wilson to go to the Disciples’ Foreign Missions service. The third in this order of Carolina's consecrated life from the college is Fraulein Herta Jarman. Commissioned by The United Christian Missionary Society on May 12, 1953, she went to her assignment in Belgian Congo, in October, 1954. She was born at Richlands, N. C., August 10, 1928, and was ordained in the Christian church there, June 28, 1953, with the pastor, E. B. Quick, officiating, assisted by D. Guy Saunders, minister.
Her ordination vow follows:
I, Fraulein Jarman, dedicate my life to teach the Christian Gospel, to serve in building a Christian world and the church universal. I will through study and prayer continue to prepare myself for this task. I will seek to exalt righteousness and rebuke evil, to minister to the sick and oppressed, to comfort and aid those in trouble, to guide and inspire youth, and to serve my fellow men in the spirit of the Master.
Receiving her A.B. at Wilson, 1948, and her M.A. at George Peabody, Nashville, 1951, she then studied elementary education at Yale, summers of 1949, 1951, and 1952. Her orientation in theology was at The College of the Bible, Lexington, Ky., 1952-1953. Meanwhile she[note]
had taught in the public schools of her native town, and at Tullahoma, Tennessee. As a student at Wilson, she was proficient in music, dramatics, and religion.
Prior to her African mission she studied French at Brussels, Belgium, for over a year. She teaches at the Disciples’ Wema Station. Pending is her early assignment in teaching to the Congo Christian Institute, near Bolenge.
Other missionaries, former students of the college, are: Mr. and Mrs. William S. Knight, Jr. They were commissioned to churchmanship in the Union of South Africa by The United Christian Missionary Society, on January 25, 1956, and are to sail to their appointed field the following spring. Bill was born at Elizabeth, New Jersey, December 1, 1925, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Knight, of Newark, New Jersey. He was in the U. S. Navy 1943-1946; graduated at Atlantic Christian College, 1953, and received his M.A. at Butler University School of Religion, Indianapolis, Indiana, January, 1956. He and Mrs. Knight were ordained to the Disciple ministry, in the First Christian Church, Wilson, N. C., May 31, 1953.
Mrs. Knight (nee Elizabeth Goldt) was born at Orange, New Jersey, May 26, 1928, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter C. Goldt, Sr., of East Orange, New Jersey. She, with Bill, attended the college in Wilson, 1951-1953, and at Butler received her B.A. in 1955, continuing there her graduate course to the present.
The Boksburg Christian Church in Transvaal province where the Bill Knights are to serve is an English-speaking church of 125 members. It is in the heart of the city, population 54,000, and thirty miles east of Johannesburg, gold-mining capital of the world. Their mission is a planned extension of the world service, Disciples of Christ, in a richly potential field.
Most widely publicized extracurricular activity at the college is basketball. In the Bulldogs’ most successful season, 1954-1955, against tough opponents, the record was twenty-three games won, seven lost. Champions of the twelfth North State Conference Tournament at Lexington, N. C., they also set a new team-scoring record. Bulldog Billy Widgeon received the Tournament's most valuable player award. Cocaptains of the team were: Jerry Williams, and Ronald Percise. Other players included John Marley, Jim Peebles, Kim Buchanan, Charles Hester, Ronald Baker, Bill Beacham, Billy Tomlinson, Nicky Lazzo, Charles Hutchins, Doug (“Rooster”) Davis, and Phil Houchins.19
This Wilson team also won the district laurels in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Thus they went to Kansas City, Missouri, for the nation-wide arena, challenging all quints of small four-year colleges which had likewise won regional championships in this intramural sport. There the Bulldogs vanquished Evansville, Indiana, “one of the top-ranking teams in the 32-field tourney,” but in the next round “were eliminated by the Wonder Boys of Arkansas.” Coach McComas, and staff, with enthusiastic community support, had put forward an unprecedented victory club.
Students from the college appearing in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, for 1954 to 1956, inclusive, number 26, as follows:
Barbara Hutchins, Raymond Tissot, George Brinkley, Lois Moore, Cecil Willis, Nan Mattox, Thomas Pritchard, Annie Morris Joyner, Susanne Gill, James B. Hemby, Jr., Joan Kelly, Kenneth Lamm, Elena Lawler, Jo An Moore, Peggy Nichols, Peggy Ward, Mary Ellen Corbett, Judith Carolyn Creekmore, Richard Hoyt Gurkin, Mary[note]
Hadge, Ernestine Mozingo, Vivian Inez Muns, Ethel Joann Thomas, Vera Tomlinson Weathersby, William Alton Weathersby, Richard Vance Ziglar.
Currently functioning in the college are six Greek-letter organizations—three fraternities: Phi Kappa Alpha, Phi Delta Gamma, and Sigma Alpha; and three sororities: Sigma Tau Chi, Delta Sigma, and Phi Sigma Tau. Beginning October 17, 1955, the Atlantic Christian College Chapter of the Young Democrats’ Club was organized with Gene Spruill, president.20 Debating, which is a rich traditional interest at the college, has been revitalized in the Hesperian Club, whose representatives appear annually in the Grand National Forensic Tournament. Art, in which also the college has a worthy heritage, is currently maintained as a department. The head of it is Russell Arnold, native of Roper, N. C., who is an alumnus of the college, also having his degree in art from Chapel Hill. His painting on display at the State Art Gallery in Raleigh depicts Lee Howard, a colleague, in music department, playing his cello.21
Wilson has a student-faculty government, known as “The Cooperative Association of Atlantic Christian College.”22 Expediting it is their executive board of eleven students and six faculty members meeting weekly. It is said to be “always democratic and effective,” as an over-all control clearance for issues of proper supervisory relevance. A flourishing order is the Student Christian Association, which “seeks to make religion a part of everyday living.”23 Each enrolled student is automatically a member. Sponsored by this inclusive group through their executive committee are: Religious Emphasis Week, Youth Week, World University Service Fund Drive, and Pre-Easter Services. Also it directs such programs as vespers, discussion groups, and “fun[note][note][note][note]
nights.” Further, it periodically sends representatives to the United Nations seminars in New York, and to the National Assemblies of the YMCA and YWCA, at Lawrence, Kansas.§ 8
There is apt indication of today's college spirit at Wilson, in a student's editorial tribute to President White in The Collegiate of May, 1954. James B. Hemby, Jr., native of Ayden, N. C., and at that time president-elect of the Wilson student body, declares:
Our Texas friend was well liked here before his arrival as our president. He immediately drew people to him, and the students fell for him. His magnetic presence commands respect and love.
He has a word for everyone he sees. Moreover far and wide across the state he has traveled to various churches and civic clubs, carrying with him the good will of the college, and boosting it always as he goes.
Our new president is a prince of a man who realized his talent and prepared for its use with an earnest endeavor and honest conviction. The students of Atlantic Christian College treasure the friendship of this man with high esteem and love him with deep devotion.24[note]
As this story of the college closes, the roof is being raised at the administration offices. But the spectacle is architectural, not literary or academic. By newfangled hydraulics, first to be seen in these parts, the smart builders have the roof in permanent place before the walls are up. Thanks to this curious evolution in air-pressure physics, there may yet be seen from inside this sanctum of authority, the horizon. At best there is little to be seen in the vast encircling realm. Yet to one of faith that little may be as a star in the night.§ 2
Theoretically and practically educators must work out their orbital adjustments in a changing world. New and revolutionary standards for all phases of life are building up. Gadgets multiply and scientific wonders abound. The question, Will man himself be essentially enriched? each soul must answer. And he must have light that is light indeed.
For the world the race is on between education and catastrophe. Positive insights, deep and true, dynamic and mutual, must obtain with righteous spirit, for the coexistence of the nations. Then may be dispelled that misunderstanding and miscalculation which breed war and its horrific train. Holding the redemptive front line is the teacher and his disciples. Blessed are the enduring truthful who hold that line!
Several years ago the President's Commission on Higher Education estimated that the aggregate attendance in American colleges would be 4,600,000 by 1960.1 The number was less than 500,000 thirty-five years ago. Today church-related colleges anticipate a doubling of enrollment within the next twenty years.2 The equation in opportune service enlargements is clear. North Carolina ranked third in the nation in 1950 in state appropriations to tax-supported higher education. This was warranted by the preceding decade's high birth rate in the state. Already public school facilities are inadequate, and a tidal wave of enrollees is docketed for the colleges in 1965.3
For over a decade gifts to church colleges, by their own constituents, have increased steadily, reversing the trend of the first forty years of the century.4 These averaged a twelve per cent coverage of the operational budget in each church college in 1952. A tax-conscious generation may well note that a “gift dollar” creates “$4.00 worth of education” as compared with only $1.25 actually thus credited to the “tax dollar.” This is due to the crossword-puzzle fact that “in church colleges three fourths of the cost is privately carried,”5 whereas in the other category only one fourth is thus carried. Not so heartening is the rising cost of everything when even the frogs for the biology laboratory continuously hop up.
In January, 1953, it was officially “announced that for the first time in the nation's history there are more students in tax-supported colleges than in private and church-related colleges. It is believed that this trend will continue.”6[note][note][note][note][note][note]
Obviously, pitfalls are ahead for education. By virtue of our heritage, some ought to be foreknown, while others may be necessarily unknown and unforeseeable. A peep at such phenomena may be of interest.
In 1909, referring to the precarious maintenance of balance between the curricular and the extracurricular in higher education, Woodrow Wilson said: “The side shows are so numerous, so diverting—so important, if you will—that they have swallowed up the circus.”7 Now it may be said that in the liberal philosophy of education the principle has grown through travail that college life ought not to be bisected—or vivisected—that the halves of it are, in truth, indivisible.
Exploited often in the press is some irregularity in college sports, a spectrum revealing to the public a hypertension in conduct and management which normally would never exist. There has long been evolving an academic ethic looking to the sane correlation of all cultural factors giving to college life its legitimate fullness. This is counted upon to eliminate “gridmania,”8 and other aberrations symptomatic of perilous drift.
The flag is down for reprehensible educators who spawn “false notions.” An astute observer9 of such peril, lists these “false” concepts: “(1) undue respect for money, (2) overemphasis on results, and (3) willingness to compromise for the sake of practicality.” This is “old stuff,” as any freshman would say, for it has been upon the American scene since the first college bell rang here in the wilderness, 320 years ago. Nonetheless, serious schoolmen know that ideas in all ages spring up with protean shapes to be assayed for rational appraisal.[note][note][note]
Yale University in 1795 reported but one Christian student in residence there.10 Today about sixty per cent of the nearly 3,000,000 current collegiate enrollees in America profess religion. Uncommitted is the remaining forty per cent.11 Higher education, by and large, in this country is nonsectarian in character, and cannot, of course, be responsible for the spread of religion. Be it known, however, that church-related institutions have peculiar freedom to build an atmosphere favorable to a convincing affirmation of religion. This should be decidedly winsome for life commitment, and creative for worthy citizenship. Men of literature highlight the inevitable menace of world tragedy. Says David L. Cohn: “Man's technological capacities are now such that he could go a long way toward eliminating disease, illiteracy, and the grosser forms of poverty. But, Heaven in sight, he perversely marches toward Hell.” Or, as Herman Melville would phrase it, he is “damned in the midst of paradise.”12§ 4
A swelling flood of resources readily go into the tax-supported institutions. Does not this make them altogether adequate for today and tomorrow? Omitting here the dialectical answer, let it be observed that the two systems, private and public, are fraternal and not rivals in any real sense. A major concern to all is the nation's resurgence in childhood and youth which tends to overwhelm the paternal, assimilative role.
The Christian liberal arts college is dedicated to a vital cause. It is “to see men made whole in both competence and conscience.”13 Or, as Kenneth Irving Brown of the Danforth Foundation says, to see them made “academically strong and spiritually enlightened.”[note][note][note][note]
Results of certain polls by Dr. George Gallup published in his Pocket Almanac of Facts, 1956, are provocative. For instance, using a cross section of college-trained adults, tested in spelling, he shows that more than half of them missed “picnicking,” and of other adults seven out of ten failed on “accelerator.” Here is the exhibit of a whimsicality. As to “accelerator,” what these delinquents could not individually handle by head they managed very well by foot, even in a traffic jam. In another poll of adults, 61 per cent admitted that each had not read a book within the past year. Still another exposed an incredible lack of biblical information. Less than one out of five could name Paul as the reputed major writer of the New Testament, and only a slightly better average could name even one prophet of the Old Testament. A striking anomaly in a Christian land, the most resourceful on earth. Fantastic though it be, higher education may go the “second mile” as enjoined by the Master. If and when the grade schools fail, colleges may conduct cultural clinics for orthographic cripples and others with correctional therapy to effect their functional capacity in the rudiments of applied knowledge. Report has it that in subcurricular cells this is already being done.
Among Protestants in America there is a marked expansion. Seventy thousand new churches are planned for the next ten years,14 and upon new church plants $10,000,000 per week is being spent. The National Council of Churches reports an aggregate of $100,000,000 in bequests to churches spread over the last ten years.15 Manifestly a substantial increase of trained leaders is required to man these dedicated marvels. Moreover, there is an excess of 1,500,000,000 non-Christians in the world. And there is the big “unfinished business” of the commission. When will Christians in church and college obey it verily and remake the world?[note][note]
Dean James Mattox Moudy says: “The church college with its necessary and beneficent influence is here to stay, but only if it is fostered carefully and prayerfully by all churches and churchmen. The church must stay in the education business.”16§ 5
The two million American Disciples have their Board of Education with thirty-four affiliated institutions of higher learning. From these “Board Colleges” come 69 per cent of Disciples’ national leaders, 70 per cent of their foreign missionaries, and 89 per cent of their ministers. These percentages underline graphically the values in this investment to the brotherhood. Yet, comprehensively, it is certainly not parochial. Of the 25,000 enrollees in the thirty-four institutions only 7,200 are professedly Disciples, and of these, only a third, 2,400, are committed to full-time Christian service.17
However useful to the Disciples these top-training facilities are, there is urgent need of increased student personnel at qualified level. All seminaries gave to Disciple candidates just 125 B.D. degrees in 1955. Actually 525 such men were then needed “to replace the men permanently lost to the ministry through death, retirement, and change in occupation.”18 It is said that men with B.D. degrees are unavailable for 65 per cent of the churches applying for such ministers.
Parker Rossman, national student worker for Disciples, reaffirmed by his survey of 1952 that only 10 per cent of the aggregate of Disciple matriculates in American higher education were in Disciple institutions.19 Specializing proliferates, and is highly attractive educationally in the atomic age. Nevertheless, Disciple loyalty to[note][note][note][note]
their heritage, enriched by the years and signally valid for today, may brighten this record of their adherent participation.
It has been suggested that Disciples recharter their colleges, “and support them primarily as a major contribution of our brotherhood to American and world civilization.”20Ostensibly this and other relevant proposals will be engrossed on the forthcoming agenda of responsible conferential leaders and their ecumenical associates.§ 6
Opportunity knocks at the gates of eastern North Carolina. This area, with forty-six counties, has half of the state's land, and two fifths of its 4,000,000 people. Here is a latent industrial potential of large proportion. It has “the greatest pool of unused labor of any region in America,” estimated at 91,000 recruitable workers. Its climate is unsurpassed, and large tracts of land are available at relatively low cost. Its abundance of water is a tributary essential to manufacture. Moving into this area within a recent five-year period were a hundred companies with a capital of $130,000,000 and 16,000 employees. Agriculture is trending to a safer, more satisfying diversification. Coastal Tarheelia glows with anticipation of a more bountiful economy.21
What does this mean? To be sure, it calls for more leaders specially trained. The area has had few colleges and fewer still to survive. Not one has been more happily located than Atlantic Christian College. From the start the participation of the vicinity has been gratifying. Statistics disclose that for the average about three fourths of the students in any given four-year college come from within fifty miles of its campus. Wilson is a good example of this.[note][note]
Abreast of the mass exigency in education and the new prosperity, other colleges may emerge here. If so, in this flowering region, their work may well be complemental, serving with timely correlation for all.§ 7
Harry Otis Pritchard (1876-1936) was for many years executive secretary and memorable speaker for the National Board of Education, Disciples of Christ. As such he often visited Disciple meetings in Carolina, and especially Wilson, where at the college he was ever a warmly welcomed friend. Upon one occasion he said, “I, for one, believe that our best days are ahead. Our golden age lies not in the past but in the future. Our greatest victories are yet to come—victories over ourselves, perhaps. Our largest achievements are still to be wrought out. We are in the prime of our vigorous strength and our faces are turned toward the East. We are expectant and alert. A new day is at hand and the dawn is rosy with its appearing. We stand on tiptoe, ready and eager to greet the rising sun.”
ROSTER OF TRUSTEES
Carolina Christian College
|Chestnut, I. L.||1893-1896|
|Gardner, J. B.||1893|
|Harper, Dr. H. D.||1893|
|Howard, C. W.||1893-1903|
|Moye, Elbert A.||1893-1901|
|Moye, Moses T.||1894-1896|
|Smith, R. W.||1893-1896|
|Sumrell, M. F.||1896-1903|
|Tingle, J. R.||1893-1903|
|Wallace, S. L.||1896-1903|
|Williams, Willis R.||1897-1903|
The 15 men named above served as trustees for Carolina Christian College (deeded to the North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention), for the period of 10 years, 1893 to 1903, inclusive, when the Carolina Christian College was absorbed by Atlantic Christian College.
ROSTER OF TRUSTEES, AND ALUMNI REPRESENTATIVES
Atlantic Christian College, 1902—1955
|Adams, George H.||1955|
|Ange, A. W.||1943-1955|
|Arnold, D. W.||1902-1904|
|Basnight, J. S.||1902-1919|
|Bell, J. H.||1904|
|Braxton, H. Galt||1923-1955|
|Brinson, Jack D.||1947-1955|
|Brown, T. Ed||1955|
|Brunson, W. H.||1921-1950|
|Cannon, C. V.||1921-1955|
|Chapman, L. J.||1914-1936|
|Coan, George W., Jr.||1932-1938|
|Cory, A. E.||1926-1927|
|Cowell, John W.||1937-1955|
|Cunningham, A. B.||1906-1907|
|Cuthrell, George F.||1928-1930|
|Davis, Warren A.||1921-1924|
|Deans, J. B.||1904-1917|
|Eagles, Dr. C. S.||1921-1955|
|Farmer, W. W.||1904-1905|
|Freeman, S. F.||1905-1916|
|Gardner, G. T.||1920-1928|
|Goff, John L.||1954-1955|
|Griffin, A. T.||1904-1910|
|Hackney, George, Jr.||1915|
|Hackney, Thomas J., Sr.||1932-1955|
|Haney, H. Glenn||1949-1952|
|Hardy, Clarence L.||1926-1949|
|Harper, Clarence P.||1934-1942|
|Harper, J. J.||1902-1904|
|Hillyer, E. C.||1924-1929|
|Hines, J. W.||1902-1928|
|Hodges, F. R.||1904-1915|
|Hooker, W. E.||1921-1939|
|Howard, C. W.||1904-1932|
|Howard, Curtis W.||1935-1955|
|Jarman, Robert E.||1953-1955|
|Jones, J. Benbow||1943-1955|
|Jones, J. Boyd||1904|
|Jones, Dr. R. H.||1904|
|Jones, S. M.||1944-1948|
|Keel, R. V.||1940|
|Kirkland, B. B.||1923-1934|
|Lang, W. M.||1911-1914|
|Langston, Ira W.||1954|
|Latham, J. F.||1939-1947|
|Loftin, G. F.||1937-1955|
|McAfee, C. O., Jr.||1951-1955|
|Manning, W. C.||1916-1936|
|Mashburn, C. B.||1922-1946|
|Melton, B. H.||1902-1904|
|Messick, E. R.||1925-1927|
|Mewborn, S. G.||1911-1923|
|Moye, A. J.||1904-1927|
|Moye, E. A.||1902-1914|
|Moye, Lawrence A.||1950-1955|
|Nurney, C. N.||1905-1916|
|Parker, W. L.||1951-1953|
|Paschall, J. E.||1948-1955|
|Peel, Elbert S.||1937-1955|
|Perry, Ely J.||1950-1955|
|Proctor, W. E.||1924-1926|
|Rawls, C. H.||1925-1947|
|Richardson, J. C.||1917-1929|
|Richardson, S. W.||1928-1948|
|Roberson, Sherwood L.||1948-1955|
|Roberson, W. R., Jr.||1951-1954|
|Robison, Newton J.||1949|
|Roebuck, E. Leon||1931-1955|
|Rouse, N. J.||1905-1934|
|Rouse, Robert H.||1935-1936|
|Saunders, P. D.||1955|
|Seburn, W. H.||1939-1942|
|Shackelford, A. D.||1939-1955|
|Shore, I. C.||1928-1939|
|Sosebee, J. W.||1951-1955|
|Southard, Paul C.||1954-1955|
|Strobhar, A. D.||1940-1942|
|Stuart, J. E.||1920-1924|
|Stubbs, W. E.||1916-1925|
|Tart, L. A.||1929-1955|
|Taylor, J. Fred||1905-1925|
|Taylor, Col. S. B.||1904-1928|
|Todd, M. C.||1943-1955|
|Tunstall, K. R.||1902|
|Turnage, H. W.||1930-1931|
|Turner, W. B.||1922-1933|
|Ward, T. Boddie||1951-1955|
|Warren, John C.||1940-1953|
|Waters, John M.||1920-1922|
|Wiegmann, F. W.||1940-1943|
|Williams, T. Brown||1951-1952|
|Wilson, W. G.||1904-1911|
|Wimberly, E. J.||1955|
|Woolard, W. H.||1932-1947|
|Bell, H. F., Jr.||1952|
|Davis, Mrs. Christine W.||1955|
|Davis, Gilbert D., Jr.||1954|
|Fulghum, James E.||1951-1952|
|Hughey, Mrs. Miles||1954-1955|
|McCotter, Burney R.||1953-1955|
|Wooten, John K.||1953|
ROSTER OF PRESIDENTS, 1902-1956
|Coggins, James Caswell||1902-1904|
|Harper, John James||1904-1908|
|Caldwell, Jesse Cobb||1908-1916|
|Smith, Raymond Abner||1916-1920|
|Hilley, Howard Stevens||1920-1949|
|Jarman, Cecil Albert (Acting President)||1949-1950|
|Lindley, Denton Ray||1950-1953|
|Moudy, James Mattox (Acting President) Summer||1953|
|White, Travis Alden||1953-1956|
|Moudy, James M. (Acting President)||1956-|
ROSTER OF FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
Atlantic Christian College, 1902—1955
|Adams, Milton L.||1950-1955|
|Alderman, Ruth M.||1902-1903|
|Anthony, T. L.||1927-1930|
|Arnold, D. W.||1902-1903|
|Aston, Mrs. Margaret||1914-1915|
|Bagby, Mrs. Richard||1918-1919|
|Bailey, Edgar Lee||1947-1948|
|Barham, E. L.||1910-1917|
|Barham, Mrs. E. L.||1910-1917|
|Beach, Laura J.||1922-1924|
|Bell, George Eric||1923-1924|
|Bennett, Rolla James||1945-1947|
|Bird, Matthew J.||1944-1950|
|Blackburn, Casey L.||1933-1935|
|Blauvelt, Robert O.||1925-1926|
|Blythe, Carl S.||1948-1949|
|Blythe, Mrs. Carl S.||1948-1949|
|Boles, Janet T.||1951-1955|
|Boles, William B.||1954-1955|
|Bonner, Mrs. Katie Stilley||1910-1912|
|Bowles, J. D.||1907-1908|
|Brabec, Leonard B.||1918-1919|
|Bradshaw, J. Clinton||1951-1955|
|Brandon, Helen G.||1947-1948|
|Brothers, Marie Powers||1919-1920|
|Brown, C. Lynn||1950-1955|
|Brown, Mrs. Minnie E.||1906-1907|
|Browning, H. D.||1945-1946|
|Bullock, R. D., Jr.||1933-1934|
|Burt, Millard P.||1953-1955|
|Caldwell, Jesse Cobb||1907-1916|
|Caldwell, Mrs. Jesse Cobb||1915-1916|
|Campbell, Clinton P.||1949-1950|
|Cannaday, Ada Lee||1927-1930|
|Capps, Robert G.||1954-1955|
|Capps, Mrs. Robert G.||1955|
|Carpenter, May F.||1903-1904|
|Carr, Noel C.||1948-1955|
|Carson, B. G.||1926-1929|
|Carter, Jennie Lee||1916-1917|
|Case, Perry||1916-1926; 1936-1955|
|Case, Mrs. Perry||1918-1921; 1925-1926|
|Chapman, Lill, 1917-1921; (Mrs. Geo. Tomlinson)||1930-1931|
|Chappell, S. G.||1936-1943; 1952-1955|
|Charles, Mrs. Gladys||1932-1945|
|Clay, Lida Pearl||1916-1918|
|Clay, Lura Newby||1916-1917|
|Cloyd, Edward L., Jr.||1953-1955|
|Cobb, Charles D.||1953-1955|
|Coggins, James Caswell||1902-1904|
|Coggins, Mrs. James Caswell||1902-1903|
|Cole, Glenn G.||1902-1904|
|Constantine, Gus A.||1955|
|Crutchfield, William J.||1949-1951|
|Culbreath, Eva L.||1942-1944|
|Curtis, Kader R.||1945-1946|
|Cutlip, Randall B.||1953-1955|
|Daniell, James D.||1955|
|Day, Mary A., 1904-1911; (Mrs. G. E. Swarthout),||1911-1912|
|Derick, Robert G.||1947-1948|
|Derick, Mrs. Robert G.||1947-1948|
|Druckenmiller, Elizabeth W.||1942-1944|
|Dungan, D. R.||1903|
|Dunlap, T. R.||1909-1911|
|Dunlap, Mrs. T. R.||1909-1911|
|Dunn, John W.||1951-1955|
|Eagles, Dorothy D.||1947-1955|
|Eagles, J. C., Jr.||1936-1942|
|Edmonston, Martha L.||1928-1941|
|Eicher, C. Franklin||1943-1948|
|Eliason, Nancy B.||1942-1944|
|Eskridge, T. J.||1952-1954|
|Evaul, Thomas W., Jr.||1955|
|Farmer, C. M.||1911-1914|
|Farmer, Mrs. C. M.||1911-1913|
|Ferguson, Benn J.||1917-1919|
|Fern, Gilbert H.||1912-1914|
|Fern, Mrs. Gilbert H.||1912-1913|
|Fleming, Ola I.||1939-1955|
|Flowers, John M., Jr.||1952-1954|
|Fontaine, John W.||1935-1950|
|Fox, E. L.||1925-1926|
|French, Ruth E.||1928-1930|
|Fulghum, James E.||1952-1955|
|Garner, C. Leon||1947-1948|
|Garner, Mrs. H. W.||1909; 1916-1920|
|Glover, Annie Morris||1950-1951|
|Gordon, E. E.||1907-1908|
|Graff, Paul W.||1941-1942|
|Gray, Mrs. Irene T.||1955|
|Grayson, Anna Beatrice||1908-1910|
|Green, H. C.||1948-1949|
|Gregory, Albert M.||1948-1950|
|Griffin, Pauline Helen||1916-1918|
|Griffin, Richard W., III||1949-1950|
|Grim, Fred F.||1917-1943|
|Grim, Mrs. Fred F.||1917-1924|
|Grimes, Ira B.||1904-1908|
|Grove, Eugene F.||1941-1942|
|Guerrant, W. U.||1908-1909|
|Hale, W. R.||1942-1943|
|Hamlin, C. H.||1925-1955|
|Hamlin, Griffith A.||1948-1950|
|Harnar, Frank E.||1915-1916|
|Harper, Frances F.||1904-1940|
|Harper, John James||1903; 1904-1908|
|Harper, Myrtie L.||1907-1939|
|Harris, Winfred R.||1948-1953|
|Harriss, Jean Abbitt||1944-1954|
|Hartsock, Mildred E.||1940-1955|
|Haynes, Laureen L.||1942-1944|
|Hendrick, James P.||1950-1951|
|Herring, William A.||1938-1946|
|Hilley, Howard Stevens||1919-1949|
|Hilley, Mrs. Howard Stevens||1919-1920|
|Hinegardner, W. S.||1923-1924|
|Hinton, Nannelle Paulk||1931-1934|
|Hodges, Catherine Taylor||1938-1939|
|Hodges, Filo A.||1929-1948|
|Hodges, Mrs. Filo A.||1938-1948|
|Hoffman, Albert R.||1949-1955|
|Hoffman, Mrs. Albert R.||1951-1955|
|Holden, Dorothy H.||1946-1948|
|Hollar, Robert P.||1954-1955|
|Holsapple, Cortell K.||1926-1935|
|Holsworth, Doris Campbell||1947-1955|
|Hough, J. M.||1940-1945|
|Howard, Anna L.||1902-1908|
|Howard, Lee J.||1951-1955|
|Howell, W. R.||1903-1904|
|Hufty, Frank R.||1928-1930|
|Humphrey, Inez Faith||1914-1915|
|Inabinett, Thomas P.||1949-1953|
|James, Mrs. Lydia E.||1954-1955|
|Jarman, Cecil Albert||1935-1955|
|Jenkins, Margaret deL.||1953-1954|
|Jennings, Mamie Doss||1910-1912|
|(Mrs. W. A. Lucas)||1925-1934|
|Johnston, Hugh B., Jr.||1953-1955|
|Johnston, Mrs. Hugh B., Jr.||1953-1955|
|Joyner, Mrs. Bethany R.||1953-1955|
|Kearney, Carolyn J.||1919-1921|
|Keel, Nell M.||1908-1910|
|Kent, John B.||1914-1915|
|Krise, Carrie Lee||1916-1917|
|Krise, Nellie Mae||1916-1919|
|Lambert, E. Helen||1919-1921|
|Lappin, W. C.||1917-1919|
|Lappin, W. O.||1914-1919|
|Lappin, Mrs. W. O.||1915-1918|
|Lee, Cyrus F.||1946-1955|
|Lehman, Ethel L.||1935-1939|
|Lindley, Denton Ray||1950-1953|
|Lineberger, Fred L.||1947-1949|
|Livingston, Cora Lynn||1916-1917|
|Long, Esther L.||1944-1955|
|Lowe, Marvin E.||1939-1940|
|McComas, James E.||1951-1955|
|McEwen, Joseph L.||1923-1924|
|McFarlane, Earl J.||1955|
|McGarvey, Mrs. Frances||1914-1916|
|McGirt, Roger M.||1925-1928|
|Martin, Austin G.||1916-1918|
|Martin, M. Adele||1902-1903|
|Martin, W. S.||1916-1918|
|Mattox, W. T.||1921-1926|
|Mattox, Mrs. W. T.||1924-1925|
|Meadows, Alfred C.||1918-1920|
|Meadows, Thomas B.||1948-1949|
|Mercer, Margaret Bryan||1936-1939; 1942-1943|
|Middleton, Janice A.||1942-1944|
|Miller, Harold C.||1955|
|Miller, Raymond R.||1946-1951|
|Minton, Mrs. V. B.||1902-1903|
|Mizell, W. Henderson||1906-1907|
|Monk, Pearl Fay||1912-1914|
|Montgomery, Louise A.||1913-1914|
|Moore, Mrs. Allen R.||1922-1930|
|Moore, Ann F.||1915-1918|
|Moore, Harris C.||1946-1949|
|Moore, Nina M.||1944-1945|
|Morgan, Annie Laurie||1943-1944|
|Morgan, Mrs. Hilliard F.||1942-1943|
|Morgan, Raymond E.||1937-1941|
|Moudy, James Mattox||1953-1955|
|Muilberger, Albert E.||1909-1915|
|Murray, Lessie Lee||1948-1952|
|Nackos, Mary J.||1942-1949|
|Newton, Margaret R.||1945-1947|
|Niles, Carl E.||1950-1951|
|Pearce, Fred M.||1923-1924|
|Peele, Agnes L.||1920-1947|
|Peery, William Wallace||1934-1935|
|Perkins, Eva, 1936-1938; (Mrs. C. F. Eicher),||1938-1948|
|Perry, Louise Belle||1905-1909|
|Pilley, Claude F., Jr.||1952-1953|
|Plyler, B. B., Jr.||1951-1954|
|Reynolds, Robert K.||1949-1951|
|Reynolds, Mrs. Robert K. (Nee Katherine Lewis),||1944-1951|
|Rogers, Vere H.||1955|
|Rose, A. D.||1935-1938|
|Ross, Mrs. Julia||1914-1933|
|Ross, Mildred D.||1927-1955|
|Rouse, Bessie E.||1902-1903|
|Ruhsenberger, Henrietta M||1924-1927|
|Sadler, S. Lee||1916-1923|
|Salmon, Kathleen L.||1906-1915|
|Scherer, Wallace B.||1949-1951|
|Schockey, Luther Reic||1902-1903|
|Scott, John B.||1955|
|Settle, Harriet Clay||1911-1915|
|Shackelford, Ruby P.||1946-1947|
|Sharp, Allan R.||1953-1955|
|Sharp, Mrs. Allan R.||1953-1955|
|Sharpe, W. H. D., Jr.||1934-1935|
|Shindler, Jennie O.||1912-1916|
|Shookley, J. Watson||1926-1929|
|Shoptaugh, J. A.||1902-1903|
|Smith, Ella H.||1910-1921|
|Smith, Ella M.||1904-1905|
|Smith, Ivy May||1916-1927|
|Smith, Laurence C.||1950-1953|
|Smith, Raymond Abner||1905-1906; 1916-1920|
|Smith, Robert E.||1939-1942|
|Snyder, Eleanor G.||1935-1941|
|Spangler, Robert F.||1947-1949|
|Speight, Mrs. Louise||1955|
|Stagg, Ella M.||1941-1943|
|Stallings, Ed. T.||1920; 1929-1951|
|Stark, Lloyd W.||1945-1950|
|Stephenson, C. D.||1902-1903|
|Stevenson, George N.||1914-1915|
|Stoll, Mrs. H. M.||1927-1928|
|Strachan, Jean H.||1943-1944|
|Stringfield, Margaret J.||1902-1903|
|Stuart, Mrs. Annabell G.||1955|
|Sutton, Mrs. S.||1905-1906|
|Swain, George Harry||1953-1955|
|Swain, Myrtle T.||1954-1955|
|Swarthout, G. Eastman||1910-1912|
|Taylor, Mrs. Ella K.||1946-1951|
|Tweddale, Ed. R.||1926-1927|
|Tweddale, Mrs. Ed. R.||1926-1927|
|Tyer, Annie L.||1912-1913|
|Tyndall, Jesse Parker||1949-1955|
|Tyndall, John W.||1902-1903|
|Tyson, Ada L.||1902-1903|
|Uzzle, Meta G.||1905-1910|
|Vick, Susan Frances||1947-1948|
|Wagner, Elizabeth Cleland||1938-1940|
|Walker, Ersie Caroline||1909-1910|
|Ward, Sarah Bain||1944-1955|
|Ware, Charles C.||1915-1926|
|Waters, John Mayo||1927-1955|
|Watkins, Maud Memory||1917-1918|
|Weems, John E.||1955|
|Wells, Ella A.||1949-1955|
|Wenger, Arthur D.||1950-1953|
|West, Lynne N.||1954-1955|
|West, R. Fred||1950-1953|
|White, Travis Alden||1953-1955|
|Whitley, Eva Mae||1942-1944|
|Whitney, Clarence F.||1916-1918|
|Willard, George S.||1952-1955|
|Williams, George A.||1921-1925|
|Wills, Camilla Louise||1944-1950|
|Wilson, Mrs. Mary H.||1938-1955|
|Wooten, William Isler||1920-1921|
|Workman, John H.||1941-1945|
|Yavorski, Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards||1930-1941|
Atlantic Christian College office records.
Deans, Clyde (M.A., U. of N. C., 1942)
“A Program in Health and Physical Education for Atlantic Christian College”
Hamlin, Charles Hunter (Ph.D., George Peabody, 1941)
“Conflicting Forces in North Carolina Education”
Hamlin, Griffith Askew (Th.D., Iliff, 1952)
“Christian Education, North Carolina Disciples of Christ, 1852-1902”
Shreve, Clark G. (M.A., U. of N. C., 1941)
“Early History of Wilson, N. C. Schools”Catalogs
|Atlantic Christian College||1902-1955|
|Carolina Christian College||1893-1902|
|Industrial Christian College||1907-1929|
|Kinsey School and Kinsey Seminary||1886-1901|
|Pleasant Hill Male and Female Academy||1868|
|Wilson Collegiate Institute, and Wilson College||1872-1884|
(1) Atlantic Christian College:
Pine Knot, The 1910-1955
(2) Disciples of Christ:
N. C. State Papers (Disciple)
N. C. Convention Minutes
S. C. Christian
(3) N. C. Newspapers
Chapel Hill News Letter
Greensboro Daily News
Kinston Free Press
Raleigh News and Observer
Wilson Daily TimesBooks
ASBURY, FRANCIS, Journal, 3 Vols., N. Y., Ed. 1852.
BODDIE, JOHN BENNETT, Southside Virginia Families, Redwood City, Calif., 1955.
BOYER, CHARLES C., History of Education, N. Y., 1919.
BRANSON, LEVI, N. C. Directory, 1884, 1896, Raleigh, N. C.
CLARK WALTER, The State Records of N. C., 1776-1790, 15 Vols. 1895-1906
CONNOR, R. D. W., North Carolina—Rebuilding an Ancient Commonwealth, 1584-1925, 4 Vols., 1929.
CONNOR, R. D. W., AND POE, CLARENCE, The Life and Speeches of Charles Brantley Aycock, N. Y., 1912.
DANIELS, JOSEPHUS, In Memoriam, H. G. Connor, 1929.
________________, Tar Heel Editor, 1939.
DAVIS, JOHN, Travels of Four Years and a Half in the U. S. A., 1798-1802, N. Y. (reprint), 1909.
DEEMS, CHARLES FORCE, Autobiography and Memoir, by his sons, N. Y., 1897.
EDMUNDSON, WILLIAM, Journal, London, 1774.
EVANS, MADISON, Pioneer Preachers of Indiana, Philadelphia, 1862.
FOSTER, L. S., Mississippi Baptist Preachers, St. Louis, 1895.
FOX, GEORGE, An Autobiography, edited by Rufus M. Jones, Philadelphia, 1919.
GALLUP, DR. GEORGE, 1956 Pocket Almanac of Facts, N. Y., 1956.
GAVIT, JOHN PALMER, College, N. Y., 1925.
HAYNES, N. S., History of the Disciples of Christ in Illinois, 1819-1914, Cincinnati, 1915.
IRWIN, MARY, American Universities and Colleges, 6th ed., Washington, D. C., 1952.
JOHNSON, MRS. G. G., Ante-bellum North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1937.
JORDAN, ELDER F. M., Life and Labors (autobiography), Raleigh, 1899.
KIDDLE, HENRY, AND SCHEM, ALEXANDER, The Year Book of Education, N. Y., 1878.
KNIGHT, EDGAR W., Public School Education in North Carolina, Boston, 1916.
KONKLE, BURTON ALVA, John Motley Morehead and the Development of North Carolina, 1796-1866, Philadelphia, 1922.
LETHEN, JOHN (ed), Historical and Descriptive Review of the State of N. C., Charleston, S. C., 1885.
MCGLOTHLIN, W. J., Baptist Beginnings in Education, History of Furman University, Nashville, 1926.
NEWS AND OBSERVER, Year Books, 1901-1939, Raleigh.
PEABODY, F. G., Sunday Evenings in College Chapel, Boston, 1911.
POLK, L. L., Handbook of North Carolina, Raleigh, 1879.
REEVES, FLOYD W., AND RUSSELL, JOHN DALE, College Organization and Administration, Board of Education, Disciples of Christ, Indianapolis, 1929.
RHEES, RUSH, Life of Jesus of Nazareth—A Study, N. Y., 1904.
ROBINSON, STUART, The Church of God, Philadelphia, 1858.
ROGERS, JOHN, Biography of B. W. Stone, Cincinnati, 1847.
SAUNDERS, W. L., Colonial Records of North Carolina, 1662-1776, ten Vols., Raleigh, 1886-1890.
SMITH, HUSTON, The Purposes of Higher Education, N. Y., 1955.
SNAVELY, GUY E., The Church and the Four Year College, N. Y., 1955.
SPENCER, HERBERT, Education, Intellectual, Moral, and Physical.
SPRAGUE, WILLIAM B., Annals of the American Pulpit, Vol. 6, Baptists, N. Y., 1860.
THOMAS, JOSEPH, The Life of the Pilgrim, Joseph Thomas, autobiography, Winchester, Va., 1817.
TURNER, J. KELLY, AND BRIDGERS, JOHN L., History of Edgecombe County, N. C., Raleigh, 1920.
WALSH, JOHN TOMLINE, Life and Times (autobiography), Cincinnati, 1885.
WARE, CHARLES CROSSFIELD, Barton Warren Stone, St. Louis, 1932.
______________, History, N. C. Disciples of Christ, St. Louis, 1927.
______________. Rountree Chronicles, New Bern, N. C., 1947.
WEEKS, STEPHEN B., Southern Quakers and Slavery, Baltimore, 1896.
YORK, BRANTLEY, Autobiography, Durham, N. C., 1910.
Abbott, B. A., 64
Anderson, R. B., 112
Applewhite, J., 33
Arnold, D. W., 87
Arnold, Russell, 220
Asbury, Francis, 28
Askew, John, 146
Aycock, C. B., 23
Bailey, C. T., 108
Barclay, John, 176
“Barksdale Decision,” 31
Basnight, J. S., 75
Beatty, James, 181
Beckley, W. Va., School, 118
Bethany College, 43, 179
Bishop, R. A., 45
Blackburn, C. L., 148
Blake, Howard, 177
Book, W. H., 119
Bowen, H. C., 44, 45, 82, 92
Braxton, H. Galt, 147
Bray, Thomas, 18
Brinson, Lee E., 198
Brinson, M. B., 148
Brown, K. I., 225
Bruton, J. F., 33, 107
Buckner, G. W., Jr., 193
Bullard, Chester, 28, 73
Burns, J. L., 82
Burris, C. C., 195
Burroughs, Paul, 196
Burt, Millard, 161
Caldwell, J. C., 97-115, 117, 121
Campbell, A., 28, 196
Campbell, Thomas, 28, 38
Carolina Christian College faculty, 56
Carolina Christian Publishing Co., 126
Carolina Discipliana Library, 7, 57
Carolina Enlargement Campaign, 129, 130
Carolina Evangel, The, 97, 102, 105
Carson, R. G., 134
Case, Perry, 7, 163
Cason, H. D., 93
Catherine Lake Academy, 44, 45
Chowan College, 42
Clark, Gen. William, 37-39
Cobb, Dr. W. H., 56
Coggins, J. C., 74-77, 79, 89, 90, 192
Cohn, D. L., 225
Cole, G. G., 87, 88, 192
Connor, Judge H. G., 31
Coon, Charles L., 155, 157
Cory, Abe, 121, 145-147
Coward, Mrs. H. L., 85
Craven, Braxton, 22
Crumpler, Hinton, 166, 167
Crumpler, W. J., 63
Crusade for a Christian World, 181, 182
Cuthrell, George F., 145
Davis, D. W., 61, 63
Davis, John, 15-17
Daniels, Josephus, 30-32, 136
Defee, William, 40
Denny Cup, 155, 159
Dew, Arthur, 25
Drake Bible College, 111, 117
Duncan, Landon, 28
DeWeese, B. C., 149
Dungan, D. R., 80
Dunn, J. P., 38, 42
Dye, R. J., 122
Eagles, Mrs. C. S., 110
Eborn, B. F., 25
Eden, Gov. Charles, 14
Edmonston, Martha L., 164
Edmundson, H., 33
Edmundson, William, 17
Errett, Isaac, 46
Eure, Thad, 195
Eureka College, 90
Evans, Ira C., 182
Ewing, Greville, 195
Falls of Tar River, 24
Farish, Hayes, 170
Farmer, Benjamin, 24
Farmville Academy, 43, 45
Fike, Dr. R. L., 147
Ford Foundation, 217
Foster, Robert, 27
Fox, George, 18
Foy, Joseph H., 43, 44
“Freedom Shrine,” 194
Freeman, S. F., 169, 172
Fulghum, J. E., 193
Gardner, G. W., 108
Garfield, J. A., 50
Glenn, Gov. R. B., 97
Glover, Governor, 13
Gold, P. D., 32, 33
Gordon, William, 13
Grant, Murray, 148
Green, George D., 33
Griffin, Charles, 13, 14
Grim, F. F., 127, 133
Grimke, T. S., 58
Guirey, William, 28
Hackney, Bess, 112
Hackney, George, 85, 95
Hackney, T. J., Sr., 194
Hackney, W. N. and Orpah, Fund, 85
Hall, C. D., 128
Hall, P. B., 97
Hamlin, C. H., 7, 134, 163
Haney, H. G., 192
Hardy, Bert C., 157
Hardy, C. L., 176, 183, 184, 194, 196
Hardy, W. P., 163, 164
Harper, Faye, 98
Harper, Dr. H. D., Sr., 63
Harper, J. J., 54, 64, 86, 87, 91-104
Harper, Dr. M. W., 92
Harper Sisters, 158
Harris, W. H., 51, 52
Harvard University, 17
Hassell, Sylvester, 30, 45
Hays, Brooks, 204
Helmer, Harry, 185
Helsabeck, R. A., 45
Hemby, J. B., Jr., 221
Herring, Dr. Doane, 147
Hertford, N. C., 18
Hilley, H. S., 130-165, 173-187
Hines, J. S., 51
Hines, J. W., 85, 135, 136, 145
Hines, Peter E., 91
Holbrookm Ira A., 192
Holman, Mrs. S. A., 90
Holsapple, C. K., 134
Hookerton Church, 184
Hooper, William, 19
Hopkins, J. A., 97
Hopwood, Josephus, 74
Howard, C. W., 45, 53, 59, 159
Howard, John R., 40
Howard, Lee, 220
Hughart, Mr. and Mrs. W. H., 42
Jarman, Cecil A., 188, 189, 194
Jarman, Fraulein H., 217
Jarvis, Gov. T. J., 50
Jenkins, B. A., 64
Johnson Bible College, 190
Johnston, H. B., Jr., 193
Johnston, W. G., 56, 58, 75, 83, 84
Jones, J. Boyd, 90, 94
Jones, J. Fred, 108
Jones, Sam M., 112
Jordan, Frank M., 29
Joyner, J. Y., 119
Kane, A. J., 40
Kendall, Charley, 173
Kerr John, 19
Kinsey, Joseph, 32-44, 59, 62, 84, 86
Kinsey, R. B., 35
Kinsey, Seminary, 37
Kinsey Seminary, first faculty, 33
Kinston Collegiate Institute, 159
Kinston Free Press, 19
Knight, Mr. and Mrs. W. S., Jr., 218
Knox, John, 39
Lamar College, 74
Langston, Ira W., 169, 204, 205
Latham, Josephus, 42
Latham, Thomas J., 38, 42, 46, 93
Leighton, A. F., 97
Lenoir Collegiate Institute, 164
Lindley, D. Ray, 189-199, 207
List, editors of The Collegiate, 149
List, editors of The Pine Knot, 149
List, editors of The Radiant, 112
List, Recipients of Faculty Cup, 150
List, Recipients of Waters Cup, 162
List, Student Fatalities, World War II, 178
List, Who's Who Among Students American Colleges, 162, 163, 185, 198, 219, 220
Long, R. A., 152
Lord, J. A., 101
Lubbock, Tex. Church, 202
Lucas, Silas, 33
McComas, Jack, 197, 198, 219
McGarvey, J. W., 58, 105
McLean, A., 64
McReynolds, J. C., 84
Mann, Horace, 20, 22
Manning, Asa J., 55, 57
Manning, W. C., 146
Mallard, Alice, 42
Mashburn, Mr., 14
Mashburn, C. B., 107
Mattox, O. T., 123
Mattox, W. T., 123
Melton, B. H., 45, 57, 63, 78, 82, 84
Melville, H., 225
Men and Millions Movement, 121, 122
Merrimon, Judge, 31
Miller, Irwin, 224
Miller, Raymond R., 189
Miller, R. H., 122
Mitchell, D. C., 134, 135
Mizell, W. H., 87, 89
Moon, A. F., 55
Moore, James Anderson, 124, 125
Moore, J. T., 98
Morton, C. Manly, 87ff., 112, 166, 180, 217
Motley, D. E., 61, 62, 73, 74, 84, 86
Moudy, James M., 200, 201, 207, 227
Moye, A. J., 43, 45, 53, 95
Moye, Alfred, 25
Moye, E. A., 63
Moye, Lawrence A., 126, 196
Moye, Moses T., 28, 43
Mulkey, Philip, 40
Murphy, E. T., 96, 97
Murrill, Mr. and Mrs. H. D., 114
New, John B., 40
Nixonton, N. C., 13
Nunn, Etta, 125
Nunn, J. Park, 134
Nurney, C. N., 85, 124
Oettinger, Jonas, 33
Omer, Lewis, 84
Outlaw, C. F., 119, 120
Owen, J. Merritt, 84
Page, Kirby, 176
Palatines, 34, 35
Perkins, J. W., 45
Perry, J. M., 99, 100
Petree, D. Heaton, 83
Pittman, Dr. M. A., 147
Pope, Liston, 191
Powell, W. E., 84
Pritchard, H. O., 135, 153, 229
Proctor, Mrs. J. O., 85
Proctor, R. S., 133
Purviance, David, 40
Rainsford, Giles, 14
Reeves, F. W., 145, 153
Reynolds, J. W., 78, 84
Rhees, Rush, 119
Rightsell, L. T., 48, 49, 53, 55
Robertson, J. F., 40
Rodman, W. B., 46
Rossman, Parker, 227
Rountree, Jack R., 106, 111
Rountree, Jesse, 55
Rountree, R. H., 123
Rutledge, G. P., 87, 119
Sadler, M. E., 123, 124, 193
Sadler, S. Lee, 113, 126
Salmon, K. L., 109
Satchwell, Dr., S. S., 21
Saunders, Joseph A., 100
Settle, Evan, 104
Sharp, Allan R., 195
Shearer, J. B., 58
Shehane, C. F. R., 40
Shingleton, Aubrey, 193
Shoptaugh, J. A., 80
Simmons, F. M., 35
Smith, B. L., 64
Smith, Harlie L., 204
Smith, R. A., 94, 96, 117-128
Southern Association, 207, 208
Spear, M. S., 84
Stancill, R. W., 45
Stearns, Mrs. J. M., 125
Stone, B. W., 27, 28, 40, 195, 208
Sumrell, J. F., 43
Swain, Peter S., 60
“Tarborough,” N. C., 28
Tesh, Elizabeth, 97
Thomas, John, 24
Thomas, Joseph, 28, 40
Tingle, J. R., 58, 59
Tipton, B. S., 45
Tood, Sue, 154
Traylor, Kermit, 169
Triana, Roderic, 16
Trott, J. J., 40
Tucker, Billy, 193
Tyndall, John W., 98, 99, 167
Tyson, Ada, 77, 88
Uzzle, Col. A. T., 54
Wake, Forest, 88
Walker, W. G., 96
Walsh, J. T., 25, 41, 42, 46, 47
Ward, Sarah Bain, 7
Ware, C. C., 9, 113, 129, 205
Waters, J. D., 61
Waters, John M., 112, 123, 124, 150, 154, 170, 194, 197, 205
Watson, Clyde, 77
Weeks, Mr. and Mrs. C. D., 180, 181, 217
White, Ned, 203
White, Travis A., 7, 201-221
Whitley, R. B., 157
Whitt, J. P., 87
Wickes, A. F., 158
Widgeon, Billy, 219
Wiley, C. H., 20, 22
Williamson, E. W., 162, 178
Wilmeth, J. B., 40
Wilson Church, 91, 101, 189
Wilson, early schools in, 30
Wilson Ed. Association, 32, 62, 64, 84
Wilson, Joseph, 40
Wilson, Louis D., 25
Wilson, Mrs. Mary, 7
Wilson, Virgil A., 28
Wilson, Woodrow, 224
Winfield, J. L., 46, 47, 56, 59
Winstead, E. D., 177
Winstead, R. W., 178
Woodard, F. A., 33
Woodard, Warren, 32
Wright, John, 40
Yavorski, Mrs. E. E., 164
Yeuell, Claris, 83, 84
York, Brantley, 17, 18
Zollars, E. V., 103