14 History of Wake Forest College
For many years the services maintained their reverential character. It
was inspirational to see, morning after morning, President Poteat,
usually accompanied by Dr. Charles E. Brewer, the chairman of the
faculty, take his place on the platform of the Large Chapel. It was
evident that they as well as the students felt the thrill of the service.
The students were attentive and reverential, as they listened to the
reading of the Scriptures and the prayer. When the service was over
they departed in good order; they had been taught some spiritual truth
and strengthened for the work and temptations of the day. At the close
of the first year the President in his report to the Board of Trustees
spoke of the improvement in the chapel services. And so it continued
for several years; many of the students of those days still speak of the
inspiration of the chapel. But for the reasons mentioned above a
deterioration hardly observed at first set in. This grew worse year by
year, one contributing cause being the frequent absence of the
President, who more and more often was away from Wake Forest
making an address or attending a meeting. At the same time fewer and
fewer of the faculty members attended the services, which had come
to be regarded both by students and members of the faculty as the
responsibility of the dean. Again the term of office of several. of the
earlier deans was short, and each succeeding dean found a more
difficult problem. All of these things seem to indicate clearly that if
the chapel services at Wake Forest are to be restored to their former
position and spiritual power, it is imperative that the president and the
members of the faculty attend them.
Until the opening of the school year of 1914-15 all students were
required to attend church services on Sunday, the morning service
until March 13, 1913, and thereafter either the morning or the evening
service. For many years there had been much dissatisfaction with this
compulsory attendance on religious worship and much protest, and
the requirement had become increasingly difficult to enforce. After
the discontinuance of the roll-call, at which on Monday mornings one
who had been absent from the Sunday service was expected to answer
"no," satisfac-
Previous Page Next Page