296 History of Wake Forest College
helpful step," said J. W. Bailey, writing editorially in the Biblical
Recorder, July 22, 1903, "the formation of a system of Christian
schools. The denominational colleges must get in touch earlier with a
supply of students. . . . This must be done by means of the secondary,
or high, school. Nothing can shake a Christian system of higher and
secondary schools standing for general religious education. Imagine
Wake Forest College and the Baptist University for Women
reinforced in the field by twenty academies, each in vital alliance with
these institutions and with each other. Could anything be more
desirable? They would at once give our denomination impregnable
strength and unity."
But no practical plan for a closely organized system of the Baptist
schools of the State was ever found. After several years work, a
committee of which Mr. Bailey was chairman, made its final report to
the Convention of 1905: in addition to four colleges there were
twenty-nine schools in the State under Baptist control and influence,
and of these sixteen were associational academies. In them were 180
teachers and 3,802 students, and they had property valued at
$168,000. Every school had its own problem and any plan of close
organization was probably regarded as impossible. But the convention
provided first a traveling Education Secretary, and after 1915 an
agency in Raleigh to help these schools with their problems, financial
and other, and give them all possible encouragement. On the
recommendation of the report the Convention began and continued
until 1930 to publish in its annual a statistical table of these schools,
giving information as to number of teachers and students, property
and income.
In some important respects, however, all these schools agreed; they
were all loyal to the Convention ideal of Christian education; the
purpose of all was to keep expenses low and to put a high school
education in the reach of the boys and girls of the State, many of
whom had no means for attending expensive schools; and it was the
plan to develop every school into an academy of the best grade.
Furthermore, all were committed to preparing their students for the
Baptist colleges of the
State.5
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5 The schools mentioned with date of founding in Bailey's report of 1905
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