imagination, and heart power."19 In speaking of the effect of his
sermons Professor Mills said: "Somehow, in some way I can not
describe, the feeling gradually grew in my heart that I wanted to serve
God because it was right, and that I must leave my old life because it
was wrong. The world lost its attraction for me."
Under such a ministry the students were continually turning to the
Christian life and asking for baptism. In the first few months Wingate
baptized, among others, J. D. Hufham and H. D. Fowler. In 1856
there was a great revival at the College. The next fall Wingate
baptized fifteen, among them such men as L. R. Mills, T. J. Toon,
Carey Parker, W. G. Watford, Thomas Carrick, Francis Gilliam, A.
W. Poindexter, and J. B. Richardson, G. W. Sanderlin, and E. S.
Moore. Sometimes the interest of an ordinary service would be so
general that it assumed the nature of a revival. One of these occasions
is described by Professor Mills, as follows:
On the third Sunday night in September, 1857, after preaching a
sermon of great power and observing some interest on the part of the
students, Dr. Wingate asked if any one in the congregation would like
to have the church to pray for him. He seemed to feel it was quite
doubtful whether there was any such in the audience. Immediately,
without any urging, twelve or fifteen students got up and walked to
the front seat. He was surprised at the number, and every member of
the church was amazed. Here was a great work of grace upon them,
and they had not expected it-had not asked for it. College Exercises
were suspended for two weeks. Such a meeting, such preaching and
praying we did have! The meeting did not close till every student
except one made a profession of religion. I have seen many meetings
at the College since then, but in force, power and thoroughness I have
never seen anything to compare with it. Dr. Wingate was at his best
and his sermons were wonderful.
Wingate exercised his powerful and elevating influence not only in
his sermons but, says Mills, "Contact with him in daily life not only
made me desire to be a better man, but it made me feel
19 The first is the statement of Dr. W. B. Royall and the second of Dr. W. L.