484 History of Wake Forest College
were former students; two others, Samuel H. Dunn and W. B. Dunn,
were laymen not connected with the College. In addition there was a
deacon of the colored portion of the church, Sam Ryan, who was once
brought before the church for unbecoming conduct, but was excused
when it was found that his major offense was undue haste in marrying
again after the death of his first wife.25
In these days the office of deacon, at least in the Wake Forest
Church, was invested with much reverence and great care was
exercised in finding proper men for it. Often a committee was
appointed to make recommendations, and these committees some-
times took many weeks to find those whom they were willing to
recommend. Of the fourteen student deacons eleven were ministers or
later to become ministers, such men as W. T. Brooks, J. L. Prichard,
M. T. Yates, and J. L. Carroll. When they were to be elected directly
by the church the balloting was preceded by prayer, and on one
occasion at the election of 1836, a day of prayer and fasting preceding
the election was ordered by the church. After election they were
inducted to their office by ordination in the most solemn manner, for
the church was scrupulous about allowing an unordained person to
distribute the bread and wine at the Lord's Supper. To the deacons,
often with the help of other members, were intrusted the most
important functions of the church, such as hearing the experiences of
applicants for baptism, investigation of charges against members,
collections of funds for various purposes, and the oversight of the
colored members at the African Chapel.
There were many things in the church of this period, which
was so largely made up of students, well adapted to fit men for
places of responsibility and leadership in religious and church
25 The full list of deacons, with the dates of their appointment is as follows:
September 5, 1835, H. K. Person and W. R. Powell; April 3, 1836, J. W. Hoskins
and W. T. Brooks; August 11, 1838, J. L. Prichard; June 11, 1842, M. T. Yates;
September 21, 1846, A. R. Vann and J. P. Montague; January 12, 1848, J. C. Averitt
and S. G. O'Bryan; November 10, 1849, S. O. Tatum; February 7, 1852, E. F.
Beachum; September 13, 1853, S. H. Dunn and J. M. Brewer; October 25, 1856, W.
B. Dunn; September 24, 1859, F. A. Belcher; November 26, 1859, J. L. Carroll;
April, 1860, J. H. Foote; and Sam Ryan, colored, April 7, 1849.
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