Indeed that consideration was implicit in the nomination, by a group
of Wake Forest critics, of an alternate slate of nine potential trustees
who would be running against the regular list that originated with the
Board of Trustees.
The convention in Raleigh that year attracted more church mes-
sengers than ever before in North Carolina Baptist history, more than
forty-five hundred. Between thirty-five and forty newsmen were in
attendance, and the proceedings were so rancorous and sensational
that Life magazine ran a two-page spread of pictures and text a week
On Wednesday, November 20, in Raleigh's jammed Memorial
Auditorium, Judge Olive offered a motion which would have left the
determination of social issues at convention-affiliated colleges
exclusively to their boards of trustees. That motion was tabled and
had no chance of revival because the messengers were in a conten-
tious, hostile mood. The two sides on the dancing question were each
given a half hour to present their cases, and the debate was largely a
repetition of statements that had already been aired in public print.
For the trustees of the two colleges the speakers were Dr. Broach
from the Wake Forest trustee committee; W. H. Weatherspoon, for-
mer president of the Meredith board; Charles B. Deane, speaking for
Meredith as well as for Wake Forest, of which he was an alumnus;
Dean Lois Johnson; and Larry Williams, the ministerial student who
was president of the Wake Forest student government. In opposition
were Rev. M. O. Owens of Lenoir, representing the trustees of
Gardner-Webb College; Dr. E. W. Price, Jr., High Point; Rev.
Wendell G. Davis, Statesville; Rev. T. L. Cashwell, Gastonia; Rev.
John Lawrence, Shelby, and Dr. Casper C. Warren, Charlotte. Most of
those names, with the addition of a few others, were to identify a
conservative Baptist ministerial clique which would oppose Wake
Forest at nearly every turn over the next decade.
The decision came on a recommendation of the General Board
calling for reaffirmation of the convention's 1937 statement on danc-
ing. The voice vote upholding that expression came in what the
Biblical Recorder called "a thundering crescendo" of opposition to
dancing at Baptist institutions. It was estimated that the "thunder"
represented the voices of about 85 percent of the messengers.
Considering the mood of the convention, it seems almost para-
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