Some account of the religious life of the Institute has already been
given. That of the period of the College was continuous with it and of
like kind, and both have had several distinguishing characteristics
which are easily recognized and which through all the years of the
institution exercised a powerful formative influence on the lives of the
students both while they have been in college and after.
Among these characteristics has been a truly evangelical view of
religion, with the acceptance of a belief in the necessity of conversion,
or regeneration, as the entrance to the Christian life. But this has not
precluded the view that religious and catechetical instruction is
valuable in itself and not to be neglected.
Again, correct living was from the first emphasized as the in-
dispensable indication and evidence of the sincerity of profession and
of fitness for a place in the visible church. Especially in the period
before the Civil War the discipline of the Wake Forest Baptist Church
was strict both for students and for others, white and colored.
Although the church exercised much patience and charity and gave
unhasty consideration to the charges that were often brought against
members, it never failed to act severely when severe action was
A further characteristic of the religious life at Wake Forest has been
the attention given to public worship. Like all other colleges of the
day, this institution required students to attend religious services twice
a day and also on Sunday. Among the students, also, the religious life
was fostered in societies of their own, such as Bible classes, and
Most powerful of all in influence on the lives of the students was
the simple faith that was preached and exercised at Wake Forest.
There was no cant, no affectation, no vain repetition, no necessary
formulas in the worship either in the first days of the institution or