46 THE HISTORY OF WAKE FOREST COLLEGE
which would be associated with and supported by the Southern
Baptist Convention. Herring's committee went right to work, and at a
meeting in Greensboro in March 1947, it listened to proposals about
the use of the existing plant. Among the suggestions were the use of
the grounds for a strong eastern college, for a Baptist junior college,
for an intermediate school which would offer two years of high school
and two years of college, and for a new home for Meredith College,
with the possibility of selling that Raleigh property to seminary
interests.
Dr. Herring and his panel never wavered far from the original
consensus, though. Assuming that Wake Forest would be moving in
about five years, the Committee of 15 recommended in September
that the Wake Forest campus be used as a site for a southeastern
Baptist theological seminary. On November 12 the messengers from
the state churches unanimously accepted that proposal and directed
that it be forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention. At that same
annual meeting Horace Easom reported that pledges in the church
campaign for the college amounted to $1,116,281.
North Carolina Baptists soon discovered that trying to get action at
the Southern Convention level could be frustrating. It took three years
for the seminary idea to reach the floor of the southern body. In the
meantime Dr. Herring and his committee, despairing of obtaining a
quick sale for the Wake Forest campus, proposed to the 1949 session
of the state convention, which was meeting at Wake Forest, that a
strong new junior college be established for eastern North Carolina as
a counterpart of Mars Hill College in the west. Under that plan
Campbell, Wingate, and Chowan colleges would be combined as a
single new institution. The convention accepted that proposal.
However, on March 22, 1950, the Committee on Theological
Education of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Nashville,
approved the use of Wake Forest as the site for a new theological
seminary and recommended to the convention that an offering price
of $1.6 million be accepted. In May southern messengers gathered in
Chicago and approved that idea, and the way was cleared for the
establishment at Wake Forest of the Southeastern Baptist Theological
Seminary. While the news was welcome to the college, among the
happiest to hear it were the merchants and other resi-
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