328 History of Wake Forest College
for the growth of a strong and characteristic college spirit, in which
the members of the faculty too had a share since they were an
essential part of the group. And the simple religious services were
attended with marked decorum and reverence, which was seldom
violated, and profoundly affected the lives of both students and
faculty in a religious way. There was no cant or affectation in those
services, no formalities to take the place of thought, but helpful
suggestions for masterful, noble and successful Christian living. It
was all but impossible that those students should not have been
affected as they heard President Taylor pray to God in almost all his
prayers in chapel that He would help every one before him to make
the very most of his life. And there was hardly a prayer in any of
these services in which every student was not carried back to his own
home and brought into the presence of father and mother, sisters and
brothers, to join with the leader in asking God's blessings upon them
and His protection of their health. One other aspect of the chapel
services proved most helpful and stimulating to the students: they
were treated there as responsible moral agents. They were not boys,
so the President would sometimes tell them, but men, young men
indeed, but still men, and so they must think for themselves. And they
were a select group of young men, composing, as the President often
declared, the finest audience in North Carolina.
In the days of President Taylor and until June, 1914, students were
required to attend the eleven o'clock service on Sunday, and, so long
as the chapel services were in the Little Chapel, to indicate at
Monday's roll call their attendance on the Sunday service by
answering "Aye," if present, and "No," if not present. Through all the
years there was some opposition to this on the part of students, on the
ground that purely religious services should be free.4 It may be said
here that the requirement for attendance at
―――――――
4
J. W. Lynch, afterwards, 1898 to 1909, except for some months, pastor of the
Wake Forest Baptist Church and Chaplain of the College, and later Professor of
Religion, as a student editor of the Wake Forest Student, October 1887, argued
strongly against all compulsory attendance at religious services, including chapel.
After mentioning several things at college that made it hard for one to live a
Christian life, he continued: "Still another, and to our
Previous Page Next Page