Concerning the touchy issue of communications, the General Board
members reported that
we have been gratified by the cooperation of the Wake Forest administra-
tion, trustees, faculty; and student leaders in correcting what had become an
intolerable situation in certain student publications, particularly The Student
and the Old Gold and Black. The offensive ads [showing a student mixing
drinks in a dormitory room] which ran for several weeks in the Old Gold
and Black have been deleted and we have been assured that they will not
We also feel that the administration, faculty, and student leaders are
concerned about improving the lines of communication between the college
and the convention.
We recognize that the problem created in the publication of The Edu-
cation of Jonathan Beam, by Russell Brantley, has been a painful and
complicated one for everyone concerned. The task of our convention com-
mittee has been to deal with Wake Forest College at the point of tensions.
The "Jonathan Beam problem" has been discussed both with the admin-
istration and the principals involved.
The committee would like to make it clear that the employment and
dismissal of personnel must remain the sole responsibility and prerogative
of the Board of Trustees and the administration. For this committee or any
other committee to act on any other principle would create confusion.
Nevertheless, our committee has conveyed to the administration and the
Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees the fact that for many North
Carolina Baptists the book, The Education of Jonathan Beam, is offensive in
three major respects:
1. That it came from a communications officer at the college and that it
was released on the eve of what was to have been a great financial campaign
for all North Carolina Baptist colleges.
2. That certain living Baptist leaders were held up for ridicule.
3. That the gross language, while mild in comparison with much modern
literature, is highly offensive to a host of our Baptist constituency. This
committee would like to make it clear that it is not passing judgment on the
literary qualities of this book, nor upon the rights of an individual to write
such a book.
Our committee has spent many, many hours prayerfully considering this
matter and has agonized over possible solutions; but we have only been able
to convey to Wake Forest College, through its administrative officers, the
feelings of many of our Baptist people―that the solution to this distressing
problem must rest finally with the Board of Trustees, the administration, and
Russell Brantley.
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