The Board of Education, 1862-1915 465
professor in the College, one who was acquainted with the needs of
the young ministerial students and felt a personal interest in them and
sympathy for them. Only such a one could go out and impart that
interest and sympathy to hearers and secure their cooperation and
contributions. It was an ideal situation; the Board consisted for the
most part of members of the College faculty; the beneficiaries were
students of the College; all this made for harmonious functioning,
which continued so long as this plan was followed.
In his canvass Professor Mills found that many Baptists of all
degrees of prominence were opposed to giving denominational aid to
young men studying for the ministry, a condition which had existed
before and still continues to some extent. Writing many years later of
his experience as agent
he tells of the difficulty of getting a hearing
in some associations, and of other incidents of his canvass. He was a
man of much moral force, sound common sense, and resourcefulness,
and as agent he did much to disarm ill-will for the work. The
following statement indicates something of his industry: "I usually
left College Friday afternoon,
18 Bulletin of Wake Forest College, II, 171ff., in article "Forty Years in the
Wilderness," Professor Mills writes: "It was up-hill work. The moderator of the first
association I went to was opposed to the education of ministers, and would not
allow me to discuss the subject before that body. The association met in a town, and
as it did not hold night sessions, with the consent of the pastor of the Baptist church
I announced a mass-meeting, on the subject for that night. We had a large audience,
and Dr. Hufham led the discussion in his happiest vein. To closing he announced in
his characteristic style that Professor Mills would now put on the `rousements.' I did
my best and we raised one hundred dollars, the moderator for very shame
contributing a ragged ten-cent note.
"At another association I found two bright but indigent young men who felt it to
be their duty to preach. Their friends wished our Board to help them go to College.
The moderator was very much opposed to the education of ministers.... I made the
best speech I could while the moderator frowned and squirmed in his chair. As I
closed my talk I announced to the brethren that if they would raise half enough for
the two I would raise the other half elsewhere. The partisans of both of the young
men readily acceded to my proposition and we ran rough shod over the moderator.
When the vote was put there was not a
`No.' The moderator rose in his
wrath and said: `I wash my hands of the whole matter.' . . . I have not yet found time
to write that moderator an apology for running over him. Indeed, I am not sure that I
owe him one."
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