Religion in the Institute 167
observed the life of all members of Baptist churches and reported to
the home church any irreligious conduct. And any member of the
church who proved unfaithful was excluded. In the first three years at
least six students were dismissed, and another was under investigation
which finally led to his expulsion. Here was a case of student self-
government, for the committees that investigated the charges of
misconduct were the students themselves, the deacons and others.
Nor was all the disciplinary work of the students of a punitive
nature. After very sadly dismissing a member in about a month after
its organization the church appointed six young men, Hiram K.
Person, J. H. Brooks, Jas. W. Hoskins, W. R. Powell, W. T. Brooks,
and R. E. Noxon, to divide the members of the church into classes,
and to conduct regular class meetings, each for his group. These
meetings, though not kept up without long intermissions, according to
Brooks,13 proved very beneficial and comforting.
The religious fervor of the young church may be judged from the
fact that during the first years of its existence it had licensed seven of
its number each to exercise his gifts in preaching, "wherever in the
providence of God he may be called." These were J. H. Brooks, W. T.
Brooks, H. L. Graves, J. B. White, J. L. Prichard, and Lewis DuPre.
D. F. Richardson and H. L. Graves were ordained. Some of these, at
least, W. T. Brooks and H. L. Graves, like fledglings were thrust forth
by mother church without any warning to try their wings. Brooks tells
us that much to his surprise on November 30, 1836, the ardent
Armstrong after stating the great need of preachers in the
denomination introduced a resolution in church meeting, "That in our
estimation our Brethren Henry L. Graves and Wm. T. Brooks are
called of God to preach the gospel of Christ, and it is the duty of this
church to authorize them to preach the gospel wherever they may be
called; and that the Pastor be author-
13 Diary for April 6,