a
covenant,
a
fire,
and a tangerine bowl
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237
One hundred and thirty members of the College faculty, “alarmed”
over the effect that such language would have on “the reputation
Wake Forest has earned in promoting fellowship and understand-
ing among various Christian communions,” strongly urged the
Trustees not to accept the use of the word “evangelical,” but, reluc-
tantly, the Trustees, fearing that the more hopeful features of the
covenant would be sacrificed in any ensuing controversy, capitu-
lated to the Convention’s change, and “evangelical” remained as a
descriptive adjective for “Christian” in the University Bylaws con-
cerning Trustee selection.
As part of the new agreement, the funds that the Convention
had placed in escrow were released for use by the University (mak-
ing possible midyear salary increases for faculty and staff), but in
the future Wake Forest would be excluded from the Convention’s
“Cooperative Program” budget except where an individual Baptist
church specified that a designated portion of its contributions to
the Convention be set aside for Wake Forest. The effect of this his-
toric change in Convention support for the University would be
financially significant: whereas in 1980, the last year under the old
formula, Wake Forest received $1,057,479 from the Cooperative
Program, in 1981 the amount of money would be much less: it
would depend on gifts of uncertain size from individual churches.
A survey in the spring indicated that, of 158 churches responding
to a questionnaire, only nineteen would be inclined to give sup-
port; thirty-eight said that they “probably” would help; 101 report-
ed that they would decline—or “probably” decline—to participate
in behalf of Wake Forest.
With regard to the earlier controversy over the CAUSE grant,
as well as any similar future efforts by Wake Forest to attract funds
from the federal government, the Convention agreed that the Uni-
versity would no longer have to seek approval for such actions from
the Convention’s Services Rendered Committee but at the same
time urged Wake Forest to “do everything possible to avoid exces-
sive entanglement with government.”
The concept of the “covenant” had its origins in the principle
that Wake Forest would no longer be “an institution of the Con-
vention” but would instead be “an institution related to the Con-
vention by means of a mutually agreed upon covenant.” The
covenant was explained to the Trustees in the following way:
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