6 History of Wake Forest College
His rise to this citadel of influence is peculiarly timely. He is a scientist who has
devoted himself with open candid mind to that wedding of Science and Religion
which the Creator intended.
President Poteat has gained Faith by Science and Science by Faith. There has
been talk of his orthodoxy. Immature young men have charged up their half-baked
notions to him. Like any other Scientist he has at times made utterances that were
misread. How patiently had he waited! Today the Board of Trustees of Wake Forest
College, men who know him and know the doctrine, true to themselves and true to
the churches, present him to the Baptists of North Carolina as President of the
institution that they guard as sacredly as ever holy altars were guarded, a brother
whom they can trust, a Christian in thought and life, a Baptist true and loyal to all
that Baptists hold dear.
With this recommendation and in accord with the promise of it,
President Poteat served as president of the College for his entire term
of twenty-two years. For fifteen years the Baptists of the State raised
no question of his orthodoxy. They had no reason to. Later,
accusations made by Baptists of other States caused the well known
trouble, of which a comprehensive account is given in a later chapter.
At this same meeting the resignation of President Taylor was
formally accepted, and approval of a public inauguration of the new
president was shown by appointing a committee, Tyree, Lynch,
Daniel, Johnson and Timberlake, to arrange for it. Later in the
summer there were other meetings of the full Board or of the
Executive Committee at which Dr. Lewis M. Gaines of Atlanta,
Georgia, was elected Professor of Anatomy at a salary of $1,250 a
year, and since Dr. Taylor found a canvass for endowment im-
practicable at the time, he was made Professor of Moral Philosophy at
a salary of $1,500 a year, with an additional $500 for agency work if
he should find the way for it open.
At the time of his election Dr. Poteat was on the high seas on his
way to Europe, but he cabled his acceptance on his arrival in port on
He had not yet reached Wake Forest at the
3 On this trip abroad he attended the Baptist World Congress, meeting in London in July, before
which body he made an address on "The Attitude of the Baptists to the Working Classes."