The Trustee Proposals 141
twenty-one Baptist ministers published a statement in the Biblical
Recorder urging the election of a slate of trustees "who will devote
themselves to creating an atmosphere on the Wake Forest campus
more in keeping with the purpose of a Christian institution of higher
learning." The pastors criticized Wake Forest for not bringing its
charter in line with convention
directives,1
for starting a campaign to
get non-Baptist and out-of-state trustees, for flouting convention
policy in the vote to permit
dancing,2
for exonerating the author of
Jonathan Beam and even seeming "to congratulate him for spreading
indescribable filth through the pages of five thousand copies of his
book," for condoning lax morality among students and "cynical and
antagonistic attitudes" in the faculty, and for conniving in the
persecution of Recorder editor Marse Grant.
The list of signers of the statement included many of the names of
ministers who had consistently been critics of the college: H. L.
Ferguson, D. J. Abernathy, Casper C. Warren, Thurman Stone,
Wendell Davis, H. S. Elliott, W. Bryant Carr, and R. Thomas Fun-
derburke, all of Charlotte; David C. Boaz, Jesse M. Head, Richard
Everhart, Lloyd W. Garner, J. C. Lanning, Jack B. Brown, and W. E.
Coates, all of Winston-Salem; Olin D. Hefner, Joseph P. DuBose, Jr.,
and Henry Powell, Marion; Travis Styles, Burlington; Gerald Primm,
Greensboro; and Clyde Tucker, High Point.
Dr. Tribble said it was unfortunate that "a group of ministers should
feel it necessary to meet in secret over a period of weeks and then
launch an attack on the trustees of Wake Forest College and the
college itself at such a late date, just before the annual meeting of our
convention." He added that "the outstanding attitude among our
faculty members is a great anxiety to do a conscientious job of
educating young people for the almost frightening task of living in
today's world. True and basic Christian living and teaching are a basic
concern of our faculty members." As to convention developments, he
said he had "complete confidence in the wisdom, the Christian spirit,
and fundamental concern of the Baptist pastors and people of North
Carolina."
When Tribble found fault with the timing of the ministers' state-
ment, one of the signers said that was just "good Baptist politics."
Invited by the Biblical Recorder to make formal reply, Dr. Tribble
said he thought the Wake Forest charter was not out of compliance
with convention policy, and he rose strongly to the defense of the
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