The System of Schools 295
and before the end of the century many associational academies had
been established. "That which gives the greatest hope for the
education of the vast Baptist host of North Carolina," is said in a
report to the Baptist State Convention of 1899, "is the establishment
of secondary schools. A large number of the Associations have
erected academies to prepare for college boys and girls purposing to
obtain a thorough education, and to sub-serve the educational interest
of the far larger number who cannot go to College. We recommend
the establishment of such a school in every Association in the State."
It was recognized, however, that in the western section of the State
while the Baptists of Carolina were numerous, their Associations
were too weak financially to establish and maintain high schools. To
meet this difficulty the assistance of the Home Mission Board of the
Southern Baptist Convention was sought and obtained, which resulted
in the establishment and support for nearly a quarter of a century of a
dozen "Mountain Schools," many of which did excellent work.
The establishment of associational high schools was greatly
accelerated by the idea of a Baptist system of schools with an
academy in every Association or central in the territory of a group of
Associations, all cooperating with the Baptist colleges and preparing
students for their classes. This vital relation of schools and colleges
was recognized by the Baptist State Convention of 1900 by the
appointment of a committee on which every Association was
represented to raise a "Century Fund" of $100,000, in which all
educational institutions owned and controlled in trust for the Baptist
denomination might share. In its report at the Convention of 1901 this
committee said:
The complete organization of our school work in the State will affect every fibre
of our denominational life. Baptist schools taught by Baptist men and women for
Baptist young people, and ultimately coordinated into a practical system, will
greatly strengthen our system.
The suggestion of a system of schools gained much favor both in
the Convention and out of it. "There must be one other highly
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