ignation. The change had the complete support of the religion faculty,
and Dr. Easley was named chairman.
In 1961, after five years of negotiation, Carlton T. Mitchell joined
the religion staff. He was a Wake Forest graduate who had attended
Yale University and Union Seminary and held a doctorate from New
York University. Two others were added in 1963, Charles H. Talbert,
a specialist in New Testament, and Phyllis Lou Trible to teach Old
Testament. Talbert, a graduate of Howard University, held a
Vanderbilt doctorate. Dr. Trible did her undergraduate work at
Meredith College and earned her doctorate from Union Semi-
On October 20, 1963, Dr. W. R. Cullom died at the age of ninety-
six. He had introduced the teaching of Bible at Wake Forest in 1896
and had remained on the faculty until his retirement in 1938. He had
served the college in many ways, and after his teaching career was
over, he continued to preach and to write erudite articles for the
Biblical Recorder. In a eulogy published in the annual of the Baptist
State Convention for 1963 it was calculated that he had written more
words for the Recorder than any other person, including its editors.
Dr. Easley stepped down as chairman of the Religion Department in
1962 and retired a year later. He was succeeded in the chair by
Professor Griffin. The value of Dr. Easley's contributions to Christian
education, the college faculty, and the Wake Forest community is
beyond calculation. He served in many capacities, but he may be best
remembered as the conscience of the institution. He chaired the
committee which in 1961 recommended to the faculty that Wake
Forest no longer exclude student applicants "in theory or in practice,
solely on the basis of race or color." And it was he who moved the
Wake Forest Baptist Church to open its membership rolls to all (both
events are recounted in Chapter 8).
It is true that certain ultra-conservative Baptists in North Carolina
sniped at Dr. Easley for years. He accepted their criticism with greater
charity than his foes possessed, and over the years he demonstrated in
his life and his teaching an exemplary devotion to Christian
principles. Thousands of ministers and lay churchmen remember his
classes and his spirit with warm affection.
Dr. Owen Herring also retired in 1963 after a rich and rewarding
career. A graduate of Wake Forest, Class of 1913, he stayed for an-
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