Religious Life During Poteat's Administration 73
C. E. Brewer, Professor J. B. Carlyle, Dr. J. H. Gorrell, Dr. N. Y.
Gulley, Dr. E. W. Sikes, and Professor J. H. Highsmith. So long as
they lived or were connected with the College they had large Sunday
school classes, or served as superintendents, and at any one time were
probably exercising a much larger influence on the development of
the religious life of the students than the pastor of the church. A
further statement of the Sunday school work is made near the end of
this chapter.
Some understanding of the development of music in the services of
both chapel and church is necessary for an appreciation of the
religious life of the College. In the earlier years, the family of Dr. W.
L. Poteat had naturally come to leadership in the song services. Both
Dr. Poteat and Mrs. Poteat had a good understanding of music and
good musical taste. It was Dr. Poteat who from 1877 to 1903,
standing by the little reed organ and facing the congregation, led the
singing at chapel and in the church services, while some student
whom he had discovered played the organ at chapel and sometimes at
the church services. Some of the tunes which happened to be favorites
for chapel services of Dr. Poteat, such as "The Crowning Day is
Coming," still ring in the ears of students of those days. Among the
people of the town and the members of the faculty there were not a
few with good voices: Dr. Poteat, baritone; Mrs. Poteat, alto; Mrs. F.
W. Dickson, contralto; Dr. C. E. Brewer had a well modulated bass
voice; Mrs. B. F. Sledd, a good soprano; Miss Mary Purefoy, soprano;
Professor J. L. Lake, coming to the faculty in 1899, had a clear high
tenor; and there were many others who were not much inferior. These
met once a week, usually in a parlor where an organ or piano was
available, and practiced the songs which were to be sung on the
coming Sunday. It was this group, indefinite in number and character
of voices, that constituted what was called "the choir."
A great improvement began on the coming of Professor Darius
Eatman to the College in September, 1903, as professor of Education.
He had manifested musical talent early, and during his student days at
the University of North Carolina was the organist
Previous Page Next Page