problems. It could not have been initiated at a more auspicious time.
The Department of Religion went into the World War II years in
the strong hands of Dr. Olin T. Binkley, chairman, and Dr. J. A.
Easley. Binkley was an outstanding graduate, Class of 1928, who had
received advanced education at the Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary and a doctorate from Yale University. In 1933 he had ac-
cepted the pastorate of the Chapel Hill Baptist Church, and in 1938 he
was elected professor of religion at Wake Forest to succeed Dr. W. R.
Cullom as head of the department. He was a founding member of both
Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa and was highly respected
by students and faculty.
Dr. Easley also had joined the department in 1938, moving into
teaching after a decade as college chaplain and pastor of the Wake
Forest Baptist Church. Easley held bachelor's and honorary doctoral
degrees from Furman University, had studied English literature at
Harvard for a year, and was a Th.M. graduate of the Southern Baptist
Seminary. An army chaplain during World War I, he had
subsequently served pastorates in Manning, South Carolina, and
Glasgow, Kentucky, before coming to Wake Forest.
The broadening of the admissions policy of the college in 1942
brought to the campus many young women who wished to prepare
themselves for educational leadership in churches. In response to that
need the department provided a major in religious education, with
suitable courses added to the curriculum. At this time, George A.
Carver, who had been a Baptist missionary in China from 1934 to
1941, served as an instructor for a year.
In 1944 the department suffered a major loss when Dr. Binkley
resigned to accept a professorship at the Louisville seminary. Dr.
Kitchin asked the Board of Trustees to appoint a committee to search
for a successor, but it made no recommendation for two years. In the
meantime, with around four hundred students signing up for religion
courses, temporary appointments were made. Among those who
served briefly were Dr. Everett Gill, a long-time missionary to Italy
and southeastern Europe; Dr. Bruce Benton, a
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