FROM AN "INGATHERING OF SOULS"
"WHO SPEAKS FOR MAN?
A Century of February Meetings
Arda S. Walker
This history was prepared at the invitation of the 1976 February
Meetings committee, co-coordinators David P. Young (Faculty
Coordinator for Religious Life Activities) and Barbara Kerr (senior
biology major). Additional encouragement and help was gratefully
received from Elizabeth H. Jackson (Professor and Chairman of the
Department of English, 1935 - 1975) and Virginia Turrentine
One Hundred Years of Meetings
So profound is the influence of the February Meetings on the
moral and religious welfare of the College that it would be very-
hazardous indeed to intermit the series even for one year.
The Annual meetings are as much a part of the annual program as
are the holidays; and the authorities of the institution would be
as apt to give up Commencement Week as to surrender the College
Meetings as they are called.
As these earnest pronouncements by President and Faculty of
Maryville College in the early 1900's affirm, February Meetings
have long been central in the College calendar and life. Thousands
of students have in these meetings for the first time professed
Christ. One record during 1926, the fiftieth year, cited 2600
known converts by that time. Many other students, as led by the
spirit of these meetings, have entered upon mission work in what
was once called Maryville's "Foreign Legion," more yet into full-
time Christian work. These numbers may be multiplied manyfold
to represent the students who here renewed their decisions to im-
prove their personal lives, decisions sometimes earnestly pursued,
sometimes undoubtedly soon forgotten.
Numerous faculty, administrators, and alumni who have pro-
vided the core of leadership for the College first became Christians
under the inspiration of Meeting leaders. Dr. Samuel Tyndale
Wilson, fifth president of the College, was a new convert in the
first series of Meetings as were his wife and Miss Margaret Henry,
missionary to Japan, teacher, and first supervisor of student aid.
The sixth president was likewise converted in one series of Meet-
ings and later led two other series. The seventh president was the
leader of two series prior to his presidency. Perhaps not all these
products of the religious emphasis services would be as fervent as
was Dr. Wilson in tying their work for Maryville College to this
early experience. Wilson, writing in 1917 while on a campaign for
the College, declared: "Forty years ago this February all the pur-
poses and principles of my personal life were transformed. I am
now in New York working for Maryville College solely because of
a decision that I made in room 24 of Memorial Hall, late at night
on February 12, 1877." Historically, while Memorial Hall has
disappeared, the centrality of the "February Meetings" to the Hfe
of the College cannot be denied.
"In the Beginning"
In 1877, when the first series of collegiate revivals opened,
"the footprints of the rebellion," as a then member of the student
body reminisced, "were still visible." Only a decade had passed
since Professor Lamar, after earnest endeavors, had succeeded in
reopening the College on a new campus, buildings of the old
having been destroyed by the Civil War. General Sherman at one
time occupied the campus. One early reporter indicates that it was
to General Burnside, then encamped on the campus, that General
Sherman sent a note, "Hold the Fort, I'm Coming," a phrase that
was taken over into evangelistic hymnology and traveled the En-
glish-speaking world. It was only little more than a decade since Lt.
General Weaver of the Confederate Army had arranged his artillery
on the ridge just back of the future site of Baldwin Hall and by
throwing a few heavy shot over the courthouse dislodged a small
Union force and persuaded them to surrender. Anderson Hall was
scarcely seven years past the laying of its cornerstone, and, as Dr.
Wilson recalled, students could then jump over the cedars in the
central campus while much of the surrounding area was heavily
Information on the genesis of the Meetings is tenuous and some-
times inconsistent, resting primarily upon the memories of partici-
pants at a later date— memories which, dimmed by time, were
occasionally contradictory. Foundations antedate the Civil War,
when Dr. Anderson held meetings in town at New Providence
Church. After the Civil War, the college was too small to support
an independent "revival," and united with local churches. On the
first of February, 1877, in the old chapel on the second floor of
Anderson, Dr. Nathan Bachman, "father" of the Meetings, held
An article dated February 18, 1939, in the Highland Echo, asserts that Dr.
Elmore was the first to conduct these meetings. Since Elmore as a student in
1869 worked on Anderson Hall and graduated only in 1875, this statement is
undoubtedly in error.
the first series. Writing in the early years of the twentieth century,
Dr. Wilson said, "Other series of meetings were held afterward
during the next 7 years; but, from 1886 to the present, they were
held every year." A later recollection of Dr. Wilson indeed did indi-
cate annual meetings from 1877. In 1926, an Echo account
explained a seeming discrepancy by stating, "Due to the fact
there were two series of meetings in 1877, this [1926 J makes the
fiftieth series of the meetings."
In early years, closely connected with the success of the "College
Meetings," as they were then called, were other religious organiza-
tions, especially the YMCA and YWCA. This relationship was not
incidental. On March 3, 1877, just after the series of meetings held
by Dr. Bachman, three students met in Samuel Tyndale Wilson's
room in Memorial Hall and formed the first College-based YMCA
in the United States. Dr. Wilson later reported they had been "led
to it by the conversions incident to a very successful series of re-
vival meetings that had just preceded." "The aggressive Christian
work of a year," they decided, "cannot be done in ten days' re-
vival. Revivals are good. Constant and aggressive Christian work is
better. Both together are best." This sentiment was to prevail for
most of the hundred-year period that followed.
Any adequate historical study must take into account the
changes in social and intellectual climate as an institution passes
through time. The Maryville of 1877 was significantly different
from Maryville in 1900 and 1975. The town of Maryville's Main
Street was clay and had been graded only to College Street. Not
until six years after the "Meetings" began was the city linked to
Knoxville by telephone. An electric light plant was not installed
until 1901. The College ad in the Maryville Independent in 1876
reads as follows:
Will open the second half of the Term
Monday, January third, 1876.
Tuition $10 for the half term. Incidentals $1.
Good Board $2 per week.
BOTH SEXES ADMITTED
The most complete Chemical and Philosophical
Apparatus ever brought into East Tennessee.
A NORMAL DEPARTMENT
has been organized by I^of S. Z. Sharp, a competent instructor.
Maryville College is prepared to give a more thorough
education than can he obtained elsewhere in this
section of the country. For Catalogues or infor-
mation address Rev. P. M. Bartlett, President.
"Good Board" may have been an overstatement. Dj. Calvin Dun-
can, recalling in 1894 his days in the early seventies, spoke of
"poorly ventilated kitchens and poorly prepared food." These
kitchens vv^ere for the benefit of students who preferred to board
themselves. Fuel, light, and washing was SIO per year; room rent,
The student body was significantly different. Total enrollment
in all departments— Primary, Preparatory and College— was 130 in
the late seventies. In 1882 the College department was comprised
of only 32 students, of which five young men graduated. The fol-
lowing year, of 22, only three graduated, this time all young wo-
men. Some of these students were mere children. In 1895 the
Board of Directors found it advisable to abolish the Primary depart-
ment and to limit the entering age to 15. While the student body
climbed to around 1000 in 1920, the majority of these were in the
Preparatory School, which was disbanded in 1926 because of the
establishment of high schools in the area. In addition to the Bach-
elor of Arts, a Degree of Bachelor of Letters for Young Ladies
(1885) and a Master of Arts for Alumni with successful graduate
careers were offered.
Faculty were different— called upon to be far more versatile than
present-day teachers and to be more widely prepared. For instance,
in the 1890's the Board appointed Professor Goff to the Chair of
Elocution and Modern Languages. His duties were to
care for the rhetorical work of such classes as are not required to
study in the Preparatory building and that of the Freshman class
of the English-scientific course, if the faculty so decide; also to
teach 2 years each of French and German; to teach the history of
English Literature and French's study of words in the English
Department; to have charge of the Christmas entertainments and
of the Adelphic Union public exercises; to assist in the Library.
The Board added, "We require Professor Goff to attend summer
school to prepare for his chair in this vocation."
While facilities, faculty, and students in the beginning years were
somewhat different, problems and some people sound strikingly
familiar a hundred years later. Deficits were an annual event. The
synod in October 27, 1877, reported "some embarrassment in
paying salaries to Professors." In 1900 the Board sought to decrease
the deficit by abolishing the positions of registrar and librarian.
The energy crisis was imminant. By 1899 the student-provided
wood, carried up two flights of stairs to a wood-burning stove in
each room, had been replaced by a boiler house. This technologi-
cal advancement was responsible that year for the delay of a week
in the opening of school for the second term because the boiler
exploded, just as the technology of gas energy was responsible
seventy-five years later for a similar delay. The following year, the
President boasted of a coal pile of 450 tons which "makes us in-
dependent of coal strikes or car famines this Fall" and removes
the possibility of postponement of the opening of College.
Student interests may be gleaned from the topics they chose for
debate or for commencement addresses, each student then being
required to make such a valedictory address. In 1900 students
debated "that the gathering of Americans in cities threatens the
perpetuity of the government." Commencement speeches included
"Problem of Crime"; "Conservation of Energy"; "Earth's Adapta-
tion to Man"; "Women in Literature"; and the not-so-familiar
topic of "Ultramundane Math." Topics for outlining in Professor
Wilson's class included "Defects of our jury system" and "Mrs.
Nation's Saloon-Smashing." Other student concerns were to be
found in the well-digging then in process, the location for which
was designated by a water-witch, a procedure protested by the
students. The students also protested tearing up the lawn for water
pipes, a complaint whose ghost materialized recently with student
objections on an ecological basis to introducing a new sewerage
system to the campus. Women in sports were very much in the
news at the turn of the century, as the girls' basketball team
annually played and even frequently defeated U.T. In 1913, the
Maryville College baseball team supported by the entire student
body, who took a special train to Knoxville, met the New York
Giants in an exhibition game, and the following year they were
defeated by the Brooklyn Nationals by only 11 to 0! It is against
this background of similarities and differences that progressive
changes in the "College Meetings" must be examined.
"With Purpose of Heart"
To read the record of one hundred years of February Meetings
without being constantly aware of the purposes held by those
responsible for these events would do violence to the principle of
historical-mindedness and to truth. A more "modern" or perhaps
self-styled "more sophisticated" age must not impose its own
standards of propriety or assume that its own ways of getting
things done are the measuring rod for a past generation. It also
behooves those nurtured in an earlier "idyllic" age not to judge
too harshly and anachronistically on the basis of their selected
memories the techniques of today for fulfilling current purposes.
The one thing that may be tested on a continuous basis is the ob-
jective or spirit behind evolving methods. To arrive at such a
"spirit" is difficult. Much depends upon remaining fragmentary
written records or the absence of such records. Much depends
upon who the reporter was.
How does one "read" the spirit? Does he examine the form-
ulated statements of those responsible for inaugurating and carry-
ing out the Meetings? Does he rely upon the expressed responses
of the few student voices that managed to see their views in print?
Does he try to assess the mood that shines through action and
read between the lines? All of these techniques taken together will
help those interested to understand the invisible spirit and to trace
the evolution of the "College Meetings." For the present, we will
direct ourselves to the stated purposes of the leaders and the spirit
which permeated them. Later we will present the manner and tech-
niques of holding the Meetings. An attempt will then be made to
assess the student response and the spirit focused in the successive
With a measure of regularity from the early years, those respon-
sible for planning the Meetings published synoptic statements of
the aims of the annual series. Frequent at first, the numbers and
precision of these statements have tended to fade out in more re-
cent times, perhaps because responsibility for the planning shifted
from the executive faculty to committees composed of students
and faculty representing a wider spectrum of College life. Perhaps
it was because, in more recent years, the purpose was assumed to
be firmly established, or perhaps again because there was a less
systematic approach on the part of the planning committees. When
the patent statements are examined over the hundred-year period,
one notices a subtle shift in their temper, or maybe a broadening
out and lessening of the preciseness of purpose. This may best be
seen through characteristic statements in three different time
periods: the early years, including the administration of President
Wilson, in which statements have a remarkable consistency; the
administration of Dr. Lloyd; and the administration of Dr.
In 1895 one leader stated that the "aim is not only the conver-
sion of every boy and girl in College but also that every student be
a member and an active member of the YMCA and YWCA." Later
statements in the 1920's expressed it thus:
to turn our thoughts from the commonplace and awaken within
us an interest in the higher things of Ufe ....
The time-honored purpose of the college in these meetings is to
build up in every student a genuine Christian character, to inspire
him to usefulness in life, and to prepare him for immortal life
During the middle period of the century the basic statement of
purpose, in the terse words of President Lloyd, was "Christian
Faith, Christian Life, Christian Service." Already toward the end
of the Lloyd administration, in 1951 and again in 1954, this pur-
pose was put in more general and less precise terminology: "to
devote a portion of the College year to concentrated spiritual
emphasis." Early in his administration President Copeland desig-
nated the period as that set aside "to focus our time and energies
upon the essential opportunity and responsibilities of the Christian
Faith." By 1970 the definition of purpose as published in the
Highland Echo carried a negative as well as a positive expression:
"The purpose of the meetings is not to convert everyone to a par-
ticular position or to demand that all of us be Christians. The
purpose is to confront the College community with ideas and new
perspectives on the Christian's relation to his nation and his church."
The careful observer reading these statements will note a meta-
morphosis from the objective of personal conversion to confron-
tation with ideas and perspectives on Christianity in relationship
to the secular and a shift from "the hereafter to the here." No
longer was the "demand that all of us be Christian." On the surface
it would appear that more attention was being given to the intel-
lectual understanding of the Christian faith and less to the emo-
tional act of becoming a "professing Christian." This change had
not come suddenly but had slowly evolved and reflected not only
changing religious climates in the national community but gradual
changes in the nature of the student body and its professors. One
cannot, however, state that in the earlier period the whole purpose
was toward a change of the inner being and faith, and in the later
period the whole emphasis was action. Both ingredients have been
present throughout the time, but the proportions of each have
gradually been reversed. Some probable reasons for this shift will
be returned to later.
Behind these manifest statements of objectives lies an essence
that can only be distilled from non-explicit evidence. There is a
spirit that permeates the endeavors of those responsible for the
"Meetings," "revivals," "Pentecostal experiences," "Spiritual
Ingathering," "spiritual emphasis," or "February Meetings and
January Meetings"— the various names by which the College Meet-
ings have been known. The very terminology speaks of a spirit
which was changing. To arrive at this "essence," the statement of
hopes for the meetings and, more important yet, the successive
statements of "what the meetings were not" are helpful.
E. A. Elmore in 1904 declared the motto of Mary ville College to
be "as always, 'Education for Evangelization.' " Early leaders were
quite open in the use of this term. The President most active in the
spirit of evangelism was Dr. Wilson, who had personal concern for
and guided the spiritual progress of each and every student through-
out his college life. A leader of the Board of Christian Education of
the Presbyterian Church in 1914 stated to a national meeting that
he knew of only one College president (Dr. Wilson) who personally
led the students to direct and definite acceptance of Christ. Early
in the century in a New York speech entitled "Planning for an
Ingathering" President Wilson revealed the spirit of the planners
when he cited necessary ingredients for a successful program— first
the selection of Christian men for the work, men who honor reli-
gion and God above all things and who enforce careful discipline;
for, as he noted, "when the decisions of the College authorities are
patient and impartial, just, and fair, unmistakable and inflexible,
they teach in a very real way the dignity and sovereignty of the
law of God and they clear the way to the logical submission to
the law." And second he demanded a steady on-going program.
observations on the Meetings by professors throw light on fac-
ulty spirit during these early years. Thus, in 1906, in the Assembly
Herald, Dr. Clinton Gillingham was careful to note, "These meet-
ings are neither hysterical nor spasmodic attempts to sweep young
people off their feet." For the Meetings, he added, "There is al-
ways a four-fold preparation: devout, continuous, systematic and
cumulative." In the next decade an article by another professor
in the United Presbyterian revealed that "the most delightful part
of the meetings as far as the workers were concerned was to see
earnest Christians going after their classmates, roommates, and
friends with all the rational [italics inserted] enthusiasm of saved
young men and women with little emotionalism but with the
direct appeals to our religion." The writer followed this avowal of
rational low-key enthusiasm with a concrete example of "one of
the strongest men" in the freshman class who had resisted the
"direct appeals" throughout the night. The next morning the stu-
dent rose and addressed the President in chapel: "Dr. Wilson, I
may not be a Christian but by the help of God, I'm going to be."
Within the hour, he turned to plead with other non-Christian
classmates. In 1926 came another disavowal of excess emotion-
alism from the faculty: "It is not the policy of the College to excite
anyone in these meetings but simply to get each one to face his
or her duty to God." This faculty opinion was affirmed by a stu-
dent editorial in the Highland Echo:
It has been the experience of those students who have attended
the February meetings in the past, that no wave of exciting,
nerve storm is found in any service. One simple but sincere pur-
pose seems to run through all the services— to show the sanity
of living the Christ Life .... The meetings are not of the ultra
emotional type that is so common in many revivals .... No
attempt is made to play upon the emotions [the emphasis
being] that faith has its foundation in fact.
Whatever the actualization of the program— a thing which readers
will adjudge later— its leaders felt and students confirmed that there
was rational restraint and reasoned presentation in the early years.
Such was apparently not always viewed as the case in other con-
temporary Presbyterian college religious programs. In 1906, the
President of Park College having read an article on College Evan-
gelism written by Dr. Wilson inquired, "Is there a valley following
the meetings in which the devil gets possession of the students
[as at Park College] . . .? I have almost come to the conclusion
that the special meetings for students, if of intensely exciting re-
vivalistic character, are a disadvantage. At any event," he added,
"we have discontinued them during the past three or four years.
I do not see but that our spiritual life is better without them than
it was with them." We do not have Dr. Wilson's response to this
inquiry, but one who knew him can hear in the mind's ear firm,
fervent words of negative reply.
Faculty not only were expected to support the Meetings but did
so enthusiastically in this early period. One professor noted in
1936 that he had missed only one service in thirty-seven years, and
that was the night his eldest child was born. Faculty actively en-
gaged in soliciting the non-Christians, serving as guides and elder
brothers. One retired faculty member recalls a certain unconfirmed
young man in his class whom he had finally decided to approach.
While he was searching his mind for an entry, almost miraculously,
the young man, who had hitherto been reluctant to become
Christian, left his cap in the classroom when the bell rang. When
he returned for the cap, the professor engaged him in earnest
conversation. This meeting resulted in a healthy conversion and a
very active Christian life. This type of story could be repeated over
In the major portion of the Lloyd presidency, assessments of the
spirit of the Meetings remained the same as earlier. One observer
expressed it this way: "The very fact that everything is explained
in such a natural way with deep sincerity and devotion touches the
practical nature of the students." For the first fifty years the term
"revival" was unabashedly used. As late as 1931 a writer in the
Echo declared, "We like the word 'revival' " By the 1950's this
word had taken on new connotations. The theme for tKe Meetings
in 1949 was "New Spirit, not old-fashioned Revival." The impli-
cation here was that here was a change in spirit. As the reader must
agree, on the basis of contemporary assessments in the earlier
period, the participants would not have admitted such a change.
In 1957, the February Meetings leader, in a four-page post-mortem
review of the campus religious climate, noted among other criti-
cisms: "The strong tone of pietism that is the more vocal and ob-
vious form of commitment of a certain type of student with the
implication that those lacking this terminology and pattern of ex-
pression are somehow not quite Christian." From this point on
there was an ever-increasing tendency to derogate the term "re-
vival," and a shift in spirit occurred, as will be seen when student
response to the Meetings is discussed.
The objective observer at a distance in time would conclude that
in actualization the Meetings fell far short of the stated purposes
and sometimes even seemed to be permeated by a spirit expressly
denied by their leaders. In fact, one alumnus close to the College
for a half century, expresses the conviction that even Dr. Wilson
was much embarrassed by the extreme turn of events taken in some
of the Meetings. Comments penned on the carefully recorded notes
of Dr. Lloyd through the years evidence occasional concern with
the levity or the direction some of the Meetings took. The writer
of this article, who recalls series over the past half century, also
remembers occasional cases of vocal faculty objections to the tone.
The reader can best judge for himself how much of a reality the
spirit sought by the authorities responsible for the Meetings be-
came as we turn now to a reconstruction from the documents of
the past of procedures and programs followed.
"A Man's Heart Deviseth his Way"
In 1876, students arriving at Maryville College came by means
of horse or railroad, or on foot. In 1976, none of these means of
transportation is used. It is not, then, strange that the vehicle for
delivering the religious spirit has changed over the past hundred
Except for rare Meetings in January, the series has always been
in February. Every day of the week has been used, and every day
except Saturday has been the beginning day. Over this span of
time, Meetings have lasted from four to sixteen days. For a few
recent years, they have centered on four weekends, Friday to Sun-
day. In the early years, twenty-four hours were sometimes spent
in the "Inquiry Rooms." More recently, twenty-four hours have
sometimes been used for uninterrupted prayer or fasting or all-
night "happenings." Because of the season, more often than not
the weather has been wretched-"stinky" as a leader in 1949 des-
cribed it. One year ice and snow prevailed the entire time and
temperatures hit subzero, making it especially arduous for stu-
dents, since evening sessions that year were in town. During the
1897 meetings, a storm destroyed the electricity, but oil lamps
were hastily procured and the service continued with Httle dis-
For the first thirty years, services were held in the old chapel
in Anderson, moving in the evenings to New Providence Church.
Dr. Boardman in the Delineator described how, after the faculty
and more advanced students had taken their seats, "from one to
two hundred preparatory students marched in, two abreast, from
the south entry and passed before the platform to their places.
Most were 15 to 20 years old, and the majority [were] professed
Christians." This was usually done as the hymn "Onward Christian
Soldiers" was being sung. But even if it was not, Dr. Boardman
noted, "I have never seen the youthful, hurrying throng, pressing
forward to prepare for the future work of the church and the
world, without feeling in my own heart the thrill and impulse of
the words." For thirty-six years afterwards, the Meetings were
held in Voorhees Chapel. Upon its destruction by fire, morning
sessions took place in the alumni gymnasium, evening ones in
New Providence, the First Christian and First Methodist Churches
and in the Maryville High School auditorium. Since 1954, both
services have been held in the Samuel Tyndale Wilson Chapel.
As a device for handling massive materials extending over a cen-
tury, let us again focus on four periods: 1877-1900; 1901-1929;
1930-1960; 1961-1975. These dates, except the first, correspond
with the presidential terms of office. Occasionally, because of the
nature of the topic there will be some overstepping of these bor-
ders, but where such is the case, a date will be designated.
Early College Meetings must be seen in the context of many
other community "revival" meetings and meetings in other col-
leges. Local churches in the 1870's held Fall and Spring Meetings.
A meeting in progress in 1899 at New Providence Church ad-
journed because the College Meetings began that night. The Mary-
ville Times, January 12, 1912, reported unusually successful evan-
gelistic meetings of the united churches in town, in which sixty-
two businesses signed agreements to close for afternoon sessions
^he first service of the 1896 series was held in Baldwin dining room.
This may have been an earUer practice, but conclusive information is
at 2:30 p.m. Some 750 conversions took place during this and
the College series which followed. The tabulations made later
indicated 474 conversions in the city meetings which college stu-
dents were discouraged from attending because of limited space,
96 conversions in the College meetings, 51 conversions in
"Colored People's Meetings" and 125 re-conversions. Because
space was inadequate 500 people the following year were turned
away in a similar city revival. The 1912 union meeting was fol-
lowed up with a one-day "Echo meeting," its program consisting
of secret prayer in the home, evangelistic services in the churches,
church services, and a union prayer and praise service at 6:30 in
the evening and a "Soul-Winning" service at the Presbyterian
Church at 7:00. Even after all this effort, the Times reported,
"Still 1400 people in and around Maryville are lost."
Other colleges likewise were in those days deeply engaged in
meetings of this sort, and, by correspondence, colleges encouraged
each other. In 1914 this communique was received by the students
of Mary ville College: "We men of Lafayette College are praying
such a blessing for you as came to us last week 200 men making
decisions and pledging $1200 for the work: College life more
wholesome than for forty years." When this telegram was read,
the six hundred Maryville students rose and gave fifteen rahs for
Lafayette. Thus it was in a total atmosphere of nation-wide emo-
tional evangelism that the College Meetings occurred in those early
The College Meetings were only one point in a year-long endea-
vor and total involvement on the part of students and teachers.
Planning for the next series began even as the follow-up for the
last series was taking place. In 1894, a student noted, "One of the
first questions asked a new student is, 'Is he or she a Christian?'
There is a sense of responsibility for each other— no hot house
pressures or forcing of Christian life, but an atmosphere that en-
courages Christian Life." When September came, the Faculty
met in the music room of the President's home "to forecast in the
sacred light of the Sabbath the sacred duties of the coming year
and to engage in limited prayer for especial blessing." Every New
Year's morning from 1879 to the turn of the century, at least, the
College held sunrise prayer meetings dedicating the year to God.
Prayer circles were formed early in the year. Student leaders and
professors were apprised of those who were non-Christian, and
many of these were converted prior to the opening of the Meet-
ings. Tuesday evening prayer meetings "with the spirit of revival
in them" and Bible classes in mid-week in Baldwin Hall were held
throughout the year. On Saturdays a missionary meeting was held
monthly in the College chapel, and on Sundays at least during
1894 and 1895 a mission band met in the local jail. Very active
throughout these years and until its demise in the 1960's were the
YMCA generated by the first series in 1877 and its sister organiza-
tion created in 1884. Indeed, a large measure of the success of the
College Meetings must be attributed to these organizations. Once
the climax of the spiritual year was passed in February, both fac-
ulty and student groups met to review the Meetings and to
encourage and instruct newly confirmed Christians. One might not
be far from accurate if he said that, in those days, the College did
not come fully into focus for a student until the Meetings arrived.
With this spirit abroad, then, it is not surprising that careful
tabulations were kept of Christians and non-Christians. While more
will be said of this practice during the discussion of the meetings
in the Wilson presidency, we might cite some early figures where
)erts to Christianity
These figures are striking when one notes that a large majority of
the students were already Christian when they arrived, many of
them planning for the ministry. Thus, for example, prior to the
opening of the series in which 35 conversions occurred in 1901, of
350 students 15 years and older, 250 of them were professing
Christians. Fifteen were candidates for the ministry, and 100 were
in the Y's. The leader of the meetings in 1899 declared, "Skepti-
cism of any kind is unknown among the instructors and scarcely
exists among the students."
To suggest the ways in which the meetings were conducted in
this early period, we turn in some detail to the 1899 series. On
Sunday evening, after the first sermons had been directed to pro-
fessing Christians, "one of the best confessional meetings ever"
was held in which more than 100 Christians made earnest confes-
sions. Christians spoke with brevity and simplicity, lamenting their
lack of fidelity in religious duties. The final meeting of this series
led by Dr. Solomon Dickie was divided into three parts. First, the
speaker presented the request by Ehsha to Elijah: "I pray thee, let
a double portion of thy spirit be upon me." He called on those
over sixty to say a few words to younger Christians. Ex-President
Bartlett, Elder Gillespie (graduate of 1849) and President Board-
man responded. There followed brief remarks from a large number
of students stating their religious desires. A second service then
followed, men and women being separated by folding doors. The
leader spoke to the men while an 1894 alumna conducted the wo-
men's meeting. In a third session all came together again. The
leader asked every Christian to stand. Four or five hundred were
reported as present at this meeting.
Every evening after the first three, sessions were held in the
Inquiry Room, where earnest students would bring their non-
Christian companions and entreat them to become Christians. The
Inquiry Room will be discussed more at length when the Wilson era
On the final day of the 1899 Meetings, February 23, a large
number of students accompanied Dr. Dickie to the railroad de-
pot, where he made a "touching farewell address" entitled "Christ
Being on the Seashore in the Morning." The students then sang
"Blest Be the Tie That Binds" and, as the train bore the leader
away, went back to celebrate with an old-fashioned steeple chase
"Little Georgie's birthday"— late since observation of it had been
postponed because the Meetings were in session. It was customary
then, as for many years later, not to permit anything to interfere
with the annual Meetings. Even final examinations were post-
poned a week on one occasion.
The dominant factor in the Wilson administration was the Pres-
ident himself. Nurtured in these services from his youth in 1877,
he was the key both to the methods used and the success achieved.
Dr. Wilson called the Meetings "Ingatherings of Souls." In 1907
he explained his approach as being perennial, annual and immediate.
Each of these steps in planning will emerge as his methods are
At registration students were aked to indicate whether they
were Christians. The President then set up interviews with all non-
Christians and began his campaign. Rolls listing non-Christian
students were given to teachers and leaders of the two "Y's". Dr.
Wilson emphasized that the fundamental force of success lay in the
teaching staff. Only strong Christians were chosen for the faculty.
Among the new students each year, an observer in 1914 indicated,
there were usually some 100 who were not professing Christians.
By this time, enrollments were growing to peak at about 1000 in
1920. At the end of the Meetings, repeatedly, the leaders could
announce that all or almost all students in the College department
were Christians. For example, during the second decade of the
twentieth century, for four straight years all students in the College
department ended their collegiate days professing Christians.
Faculty were expected to engage in prayer and to exhort young
people throughout the year. For a while the "elder brother" plan
was employed whereby each non-Christian was assigned a faculty
member whose duty was to nudge him, if possible, into Christian-
ity. There are extant in the College records long lists of students,
their Christian status, and their "elder brothers" among the faculty.
Faculty also assisted in the "Inquiry Room." This institution, ac-
cording to Davidson's History of the Presbyterian Church in Ken-
tucky as cited by Dr. Wilson, was the heir to the "Anxious Seat"
which Maryville College's first president. Dr. Isaac Anderson, had
been the first to establish. It later became popular throughout the
United States. Opened the third night of the series, the Inquiry
Room was enlivened by Christian friends from the College and
from town who would engage non-Christian students "lovingly and
faithfully in an attempt to lead them to the Saviour." During one
period, townswomen made this task an annual practice, but faculty
also participated. Four keynote prayer meetings were held each
year— two by faculty and two by the "Y's." These emphasized
preparation for the Meetings, and Dr. Wilson's invitation to faculty
enjoined them not to "allow anything unless it is providential to
keep you from the meeting." Some years, for a month prior to the
Meetings, a prayer series was established by the Faculty to run con-
current with student prayer circles which had been operating since
the fall term or in some instances since the previous February.
Commenting in 1906 upon the success in one dormitory, the pro-
fessor in charge said, "Well, the reason is not hard to find; the
Christian boys formed their own prayer circles at the beginning of
the Fall term and then tried to live up to their program.
When the Meetings arrived, faculty were assigned to a large num-
ber of supporting committees. In 1925 the roster of committees
included Order indoors, Order outdoors, Attendance, Publicity,
Health, Ventilation, Disinfection, Heating and flag raising. Ar-
rangement for interviews. Cooperation with the speaker, Recep-
tion, Music, and Prayer meetings. Dr. Wilson pointed out that even
the lowly usher was very important to the success of the endeavor.
Ushers were used to intersperse Christian with non-Christian in
such a way that the latter would feel isolated from like-minded
associates. This made the pressure of the appeal at the climax of
a meeting far more effective. In Dr. Wilson's own words, the ra-
tionale for this seating arrangement was "to take away support
that numbers might give to any opposition and to make it easier
for Christians to get access to their unconverted friends during
and after the meetings." Young men and young women were seated
on opposite sides of the Chapel. Dr. Wilson revealed that it was
Kim Takahashi, the active Japanese student of the 1890's respon-
sible for building Bartlett Hall, who suggested this psychology
and rationale. Ushers were therefore carefully chosen. Even the
janitor in providing "God's pure air" had an important role.
The college pastor after 1917 likewise played a major part in
preparations for the meetings. Dr. William P. Stevenson held stu-
dent interviews and contributed to the gatherings being held in
the dormitories each weekday for a month prior to the Meet-
ings. His Thursday morning talks and Sunday vespers for some
time before were preparatory to the Meetings.
Once the Meetings were in progress, all other events on the cam-
pus were terminated for the duration. In the words of Dr. Wilson,
"The line is kept absolutely clear for the Gospel train." Oc-
casionally, since the Meetings came at the time of the term
examinations, these were postponed.-^ The Echo was suspended, as
There were three terms from 1902 to 1921.
were all athletic events. An Echo headline in February 1928
reads "February Meetings give Athletes two Week Vacation from
the Court." The ensuing article pointed out that the basketball
teams that year had not lost a single conference game vs. such
noteworthy opponents as the Universities of Tennessee and Ken-
The Meetings always built toward a climax on the last day.
Attendance was good. In 1920 required morning attendance, near
1000, was almost equalled by voluntary night attendance, running
between 700 and 1000. Each year large attendance was noted
though perhaps not as high as in that centennial year.
To suggest the nature of the final evening sessions two accounts
will be given, the first in 1916, and the second, in the rather un-
usual year of 1920. In 1916, Dr. William Thaw Bartlett was the
leader. Son of a former president, P. Mason Bartlett, he was closely
related to the Thaw family, major benefactors of the College. A
graduate of the College himself, he was an appealing figure to the
students. He had been a professional baseball player of some im-
portance in the South and had a powerful way about him. On the
last full day of the Meeting, according to an account by one of the
made a strong plea for reconciliation on the part of any who,
though professing Christians, were stumbling blocks in the way
of others by reason of their inconsistencies. . . .Students were
apparently dazed at the tremendous import of the appeal, but
in moments, first one, then by twos and threes they rose, until
scores were on their feet in earnest committal of their lives.
By the night meeting every student in the College department ex-
cept one had made an open confession including some who had
resisted the Spirit during their entire years in college. Friday
morning the President dismissed the students for the day. "Just
at that moment the last college man arose in his seat and speaking
brokenly accepted the Savior." Students lingered on "seeking out
and entreating unsaved friends" in the Preparatory department for
the rest of the holiday and the next day. At the end of the last
service, the Doxology was sung and was followed by "Howie
How's for Jesus Christ." Those converted came forward and re-
ceived pocket testaments. After singing "Blest Be the Tie" and
"God Be With You Till We Meet Again" the student body followed
the speaker to the station. As the train pulled out, Dr. Bartlett in
the caboose, the students sang "Since Jesus Came into My Heart"
and the Doxology three times, as they gave the Chautauqua salute.
While in much the same spirit, 1920 was a somewhat atypical
year. That year the authorities with the assistance of Homer Ham-
montree, gospel singer and graduate of the class of 1909, had
secured the services of Mel Trotter, an evangelist of national repu-
tation in a class with Billy Sunday of an earlier date. A traveling
salesman, turned drunkard and converted while on his way to sui-
cide in Lake Michigan, Trotter headed the Pacific Garden Mission
in Chicago as well as a mission in Grand Rapids and had been in-
strumental in establishing some sixty-seven other missions. On the
team with him were Hammontree and a quartet, "The American
Four," along with a distinguished accompanist, "Little Dick Oliver."
These had spent twenty months with Allied troops in Europe and
claimed part in bringing about 15,000 decisions for Christ among
soldiers. The Highland Echo was exuberant in its reports of the
series. "At one moment the audience would be laughing and in an
instant they would be all aglow with indignation and shame at
the sins that drag men and women to the depths of hell." The
terminus of these Meetings, as in the case of most of their prede-
cessors, was a trip to the depot and the "Howie-how for Jesus,"
led this time by Homer Hammontree. This event will be ex-
plored further when we direct our attention to music.
Endings were always dramatic. In 1917 a reporter noted:
The ice began to break and one by one in quick succession young
men and women arose to indicate decisions in response to the
leader's appeals. One of the Seniors arose! It was easy now to ap-
peal to others. They followed so quickly and so steadily that the
President who had been through forty such campaigns buried his
head in his hands and wept like a child.
Confessions were normal throughout the weeks of meeting. In the
early years of the century they were written, usually in pencil,
on "Big Five" notebook paper or its equivalent. They ranged from
contrition for such peccadillos as anger or procrastination to that
of a young lady who confessed "I enjoy the company of evil men
and do not reject them." Collections of these are in the Wilson
papers, often scrawled in childish handwriting. (It was not until
1916 that the 8th grade was dropped from the curriculum and not
until 1926 that the Preparatory division was not a part of the Col-
lege.) Later, at least as early as 1912, decision cards were distribu-
ted to the audience. The card in 1912 read simply: "Trusting in
Jesus Christ for Salvation, I do now accept him as my personal
savior." The 1916 card read:
Sign up as far as you will go.
Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?"
Do you accept him for your personal savior?
Are you wilUng to give your life to him?
Will you join his Church?
With some variation these cards were in continuous use until the
1960's . Students occasionally asked for prayer in the Meetings as
did a third-year student who wrote he had fallen from his Chris-
tian duty during the summer. Other students only after much
resistance would succumb to the appeal of a worker. In Dr. Wil-
son's papers there is a note dated 2/21/21 from a young lady:
"There's no use. I am sorry and appreciate your interest very much,
but I see no chance for myself at present. Sincerely," Appended in
Dr. Wilson's handwriting were the words, "Became Christian
Most often, these exertions by the entire College community
led to apparent success. An Echo headline in 1921 was not entirely
one of a kind: "Forty-fourth Series of February Meetings Reaps
Large Harvest: One of the Cleanest Sweeps in the History of the
College: One Hundred and Eight Conversions, Three Hundred
and Forty-nine Reconsecrations during Eleven Days."
Following the Meetings there was usually a holiday or in the
early days a "Snap" sponsored by the Faculty. In 1912 the Faculty
announced "Washington's Birthday will be moved forward only a
few days. . .It will be a holiday." As in 1899, this National holi-
day had fallen in the midst of the Meetings. A carefully drawn
petition by the students in 1916 was received after the Meetings
asking for a holiday on February 29 "since it comes only once
every four years and since we want a chance to enjoy snow sports
and; whereas, we did not have a snap after the revival as we usually
After a snap and/or holiday, the College got down to the serious
matter of following up the benefits reaped in February. Bible
study groups would be held in women's dormitories. Students
would repair to read newly distributed pocket testaments or
religious tracts such as Torrey's "How to Succeed in the Christian
Life," "First Words to Young Christians", or "Self-Help and Thrift."
In 1912 a Pocket Testament League was formed by 350 men
pledged "to carry the New Testament with them." In 1920, every
Tuesday evening was set aside for meetings for converts. A new
institution was established to continue throughout the year in
which every evening, as the lights-out flashed, each student was to
go to a room designated in respective residence halls for a short
Frequently other programs allied with it followed upon the heels
of the February Meetings. For most of these years the Fred Hope
Drive was associated with the Meetings. Founded by Fred Hope in
1901 as a result of Dr. Wilson's talk on conditions of China, this
drive collected rather remarkable sums. By 1905 the fund was
supporting a student in China (for S67.60) as well as a worker.
By 1925 the students were collecting over $1500 for this mission
fund. After the 1912 meetings, according to Dr. Wilson's Annual
Report to the Board of Directors, "A timely and valuable series
of addresses by Professor Shannon, a specialist in the teachings of
Christian views as to eugenics and sexual life" was held.
In earlier years there were a number of problems not normally
encountered in meetings of a later day. Leaders frequently missed
trains or were delayed in their arrival by health and death in
families, events which also sometimes forced them to terminate
their services early. The student body likewise was not immune to
epidemics. Rumors of smallpox frequently sent them scurrying
home. In 1918 smallpox broke out. One student was cared for in
the third story of Willard Hall, another removed to the College
Woods pest house, where he was joined by a third. Compulsory
vaccination rules had to be enforced, and the College lost some
students by this requirement. In 1911, Dr. Elmore was one week
late because of an outbreak of smallpox. On another occasion, a
student interviewed by a professor during the Meetings and en-
joined by him to "live a Hfe of constant prayer," was taken ill the
next evening with cerebral meningitis. When his volunteer nurse and
then a third student, were stricken, more than half the student
body in panic went home. With a great deal of persuasion most of
the refugees returned for the term examinations, but even then the
College lost 53 students for the third term. In 1903 also, smallpox
and mumps militated against the success of the Meetings. In 1919
over one third of the student body was stricken by the virulent
flu then widespread. This type of problem was to disappear with
advancements in medicine.
In 1929 Dr. Wilson noted an entire change in pace in the Meetings
since the closing of the Preparatory department. Their purpose he
indicated is now "spiritual uplift of professing Christians." This
was to be the primary thrust during the Lloyd presidency. Dr.
Lloyd too called attention to changes when he took over. Gone
were the former long nights, the separate younger groups and the
dramatic endings. Solemnity was the vogue, save when toward the
end of the Lloyd era, leaders would sometimes resort to jokes as
they said goodbye. On more than one occasion Dr. Lloyd's notes
would carry such comments as "No jokes at the end. This is an
improvement" or "Both men made responses; good, except when
jokes in responses spoiled the services." The last meeting usually
consisted of a sermon and a dedication with the signing of com-
mitment cards or by a show of hands, after which the assembly
filed out silently without even a musical march as was the practice
in ordinary chapel services. Community evangelical services were
no longer held at the same season as the College Meetings. Inquiry
Rooms were no more. But statistics on conversions were kept and
reported until the late 30's to the Committee on College Visitation
of the U. S. A. Church in Philadelphia. After that, the College
authorities received some idea of student response from the cards
turned over to the leaders. Toward the end of the period, even
that type of check diminished and was less emphasized. The large
number of faculty and student committees continued as did the
very active work of the YWCA, YMCA, and Student Volunteer
groups. Snaps and holidays were passe' even though, after the last
meeting, classes for the remainder of the morning were usually
cancelled. Health problems were no longer of moment. Thus there
were many changes, all in keeping with the changed religious at-
mosphere in the larger community.
Some things continued with little appreciable change. The weeks
of the Meetings were to be kept absolutely clear of competing
events. Athletic programs were scheduled only on Saturday nights
"to permit some relaxation." When in the mid-forties Dr. Lloyd
noted that county teachers' workshops were breaking up at the
time of evening meetings, or that buses to take students to the
U.T. artist series were parked outside the Chapel at the time meet-
ings were to begin, these events were enjoined. Attendance during
the Lloyd years remained uniformly high. Morning attendance,
which was required, was practically total, while the voluntary
evening services usually had between 700 and 1000, reaching over
that mark on a Sunday in 1940.
February Meetings were still the great divide in the school year.
Plans were made in the spring and following fall. In these plans,
Dr. Lloyd, who, hke his predecessor, had been converted in the
Meetings and had been the very successful leader of the 1928
series prior to his presidency, held the dominant role. He was join-
ed by active Y's. In January, letters were mailed to all "Alumni,
Parents and Friends of the College" asking for their support and
prayers in the approaching endeavor. Many responded by letters,
of which Dr. Lloyd read a few each night of the series.
Typical letters reveal a wide band of prayer circles throughout
the world. A widow of a prominent physician wrote: "I cite one
instance of annual recurrence. Before and during the February
Series he [her husband] , spent much time each day praying for
the power of the Holy Spirit, going apart during the service hours
and uniting petitions with those being offered in the College." A
younger alumnus wrote: "I have received assurance from my fel-
low veterans here that at noon-hour a session of silent prayer
shall be faithfully observed during the college meetings, beginning
February 9." During World War II, two young army men wrote
from France, "Of the many mountain-top experiences that we
found in four years at Maryville, none were so real or so lasting as
the week of spiritual emphasis. . . . Those experiences remain and
take on new meaning as time goes on." Eleven alumni cabled
thoughts and prayers from Iran, while a housewife in Texas
avowed, "I beheve Maryville College is the best all-round school in
the country, but with all its good features, I would not exchange
the spirit of the February Meetings for all the rest." Finally, there
was the letter from a young art student, whose campus interests
while in school were decidedly not religious. While working on a
Master's degree in 1961, he wrote:
I shall never forget how I scoffed when you read a letter from an
alumnus during the February meetings my Freshman year. He had
said he would always remember the meetings as the highUght ot
his 4 years at Maryville, and I remember wondering how this
could be, but as of today there is no doubt in my mind that he
was right ....
If it were possible to carry the Spirit of the February meetings
into all the troubled points of the world, from Africa to Europe
and Asia and the Americas, mankind would have little to fear
Unfortunately many of these reactions came only in retrospect,
but there is no question that the Meetings made a tremendous im-
pact on Maryville students during this third of a century.
It had been customary in the Wilson era for the President to
open the meetings with the first address. The Sunday before the
opening day, Dr. Lloyd delivered the sermon at New Providence
Church. Meetings began on Tuesday or Wednesday and continued
every morning and evening for ten or eleven days, including Mon-
day morning, when there was ordinarily no chapel service. To
compensate for this, Friday after the Meetings was a non-chapel
morning. Sometimes, as in 1948 and 1949, the day before the
Meetings students would conduct days of continuous prayer from
sunrise to bedtime, signing up voluntarily for fifteen-minute
intervals. Faculty held from three to five prayer meetings prior to
and during the meetings, a practice which continued until the late
1960's, when students asked to be included in these prayer meet-
ings for a few years, after which they were disbanded. Mornings
and evenings, four students and two faculty led in public prayer
each day for the duration. Normally, as in 1947, student partici-
pation in leadership of the meetings was high, 140 having assisted
that year. Speakers made themselves available for interviews with
students on request. In addition, as late as 1940, non-Christians
were sought out and interviewed by the deans or leaders. Most of
the time, interview schedules were filled.
Special interest groups— Student Volunteers, Y's, the Ministerial
Association, dormitories, etc.— had the services of leaders for
discussions and forums. The latter were first introduced in 1940
by Dr. Louis Evans and were quite popular with two to three hun-
dred in attendance on most occasions. Especially popular were
customary discussions with the leaders on Christian marriage and
sex. Dr. Evans also in 1940 introduced student-composed booklets:
"Fourteen Prominent Collegians look at Life." Leader for three
series over a twenty-five-year span. Dr. Evans was a popular
speaker. In the 1950's he was selected by Life magazine as one of
the twelve great preachers in America, by Newsweek as one of the
ten top preachers, and by Tau Kappa Alpha Speech Fraternity as
Speaker of the Year.
In the last session of each series— as has been mentioned— it was
customary to distribute "decision," "dedication," or "commit-
ment" cards. These varied from year to year, and leaders used
them differently. Until the late thirties, they were provided by the
Board of Christian Education of the national church; after that,
they were printed locally at College expense. Sometimes the stu-
dents were asked to keep the card. Other times, cards were col-
lected by the leaders, who customarily wrote each student
personally if he had made a commitment for the first time,
either to Christ or to full-time Christian work. First-time decisions
for Christ declined significantly during this period. Numbering
65, 27, 35 and 40 in the early thirties, they were 2 (1949), 39
(1950), 8 (1957), 9 (1959). Not every year were the cards re-
turned to the speaker and in the later years statistics were not
diligently kept, but figures available indicate a decline. In 1961,
there appeared to be an exception. Dr. Louis Evans that year indi-
cated that he had received 103 acceptances of Christ, but he
added, "Of course many of these had obviously confessed Christ
before. . . .or thought they had." At the same time he reported 68
interested in full-time Church vocations.
Questions asked on cards varied. Quite simple at first, addi-
tional options were added until in 1961 there were eleven.
Somewhat typical was the card for 1941, which read:
I will today accept and confess Jesus Christ as my Savior
and master and will commit my life to His direction.
I will renew my allegiance to Christ my Lord and pledge
anew my loyalty to his Church.
I pledge my life to full-time Christian service, as God makes
known his will to me.
The customary procedure was to place cards in boxes at the back
of the auditorium.
Sometimes the leader would use devices other than cards, as
did Evans in 1936. That year, he asked all to close their eyes
after each service. He read a verse of Scripture and asked the stu-
dents who would accept Christ for the first time or rededicate
themselves to Him to raise their hands. "Nobody sees but God,"
he assured them.
The years 1943 and 1944 were war years and the forty-second
Army Air Force Cadets was based on campus. Protestant men were
invited to services, and some came. One problem noted in 1944
was that the services started at 7:00. Soldiers could be out with
girls until 7:15; so only twenty-six or thirty attended. The enlisted
men would sit together, marching in with their service flag pre-
Increasing criticism of the methods used in the February meet-
ings during the late fifties indicated that a new mood was
creeping over the campus. Part of these strictures undoubtedly
may be attributed to greater freedom of expression. Part may be
assigned to a changing profile in the student body. Almost all
students were Christians in the early thirties— many dedicated to
preparing for Church professions. By 1960, students came from
differing and many from non-Christian backgrounds. Campus
interests were changing.
Some of those leading February Meetings were also quite
critical. The earliest and most negative record of this type of
censure came from the leader of the 1957 Meetings in the form of
a five -page letter of criticism. Among other things, he criticized
the "over-preponderant tone and attitude of a fundamentalist
minority." He said he longed for some "good old fighters" and
called for "healthy agnosticism." He viewed the dormitory
discussion with the leaders as the most beneficial part of the
series. This leader likewise criticized the "Y" organizations so
central to historical success of the Meetings as previously noted.
He suggested the substitution of the United Student Campus
Christian movement or a similar organization. In 1959, the
dormitory sessions became strident. A letter concerning the
Carnegie discussion that year expressed concern that the students
"shifted the emphasis from the sins of the individual where the
preacher was putting it to the sins of the College." That same
year, an Echo editorial indicated that the campus was shifting
from Christ-centeredness to secularism. Then in 1961, came the
very enthusiastic reception by students of Dr. Louis Evans. A
new chaplain had just arrived on the campus. Three years later in
a letter to a prospective leader and church official, this chaplain
recalled his reaction to those 1961 sessions: "[They] had the
atmosphere of old type emotional evangelism." He continued by
saying he considered the Meetings "almost frightening."
Students in 1960 discussed the commitment cards, noting that
some of their companions resented this card. They decided that
year, however, that the cards must be of value since so many were
turned in voluntarily. But by 1963, virtually no student favored
the card, which, as one student expressed it, savored of "signing
a contract with God." Communion, which had been employed in
the forties, was substituted for this practice and continues to be a
part of the program. Some students in 1965 expressed concern
about the embarrassment this communion service held for the
many non-Christians among students in attendance. By 1960, also,
students were complaining of "too much congregational singing"
and insisting that the evening meeting be restricted to one hour.
These negative voices being raised were bell-wethers of changes
in procedure that came with the arrival on campus of new leader-
ship—a new president, a chaplain, and dynamic new members of
the Bible department as well as an unusually fluid faculty mem-
bership during the 1960's. Coupled with these novelties was a
changing student body reflecting new interests and a new religious
orientation then abroad in the country and in the Church as well.
"Kaleidoscopic" would seem to be the best word to describe the
changes during the administration of Dr. Copeland. The new pres-
ident was not a newcomer to February Meetings. In 1954 and
1959 he had been the leader. As a speaker he was quite popular
and he had a sense of dedication to the religious sentiment which
the Meetings represented. Circumstances noted above, however,
were to decree new structures, new modes of worship, and a major
change in campus response to traditional ways of doing things. The
1962 Meetings were conducted with Httle change in the format by
Dr. Brubaker, who had also led the 1957 Meetings. Students were
asked to evaluate these meetings. Their chief complaint was that
the series was too long, and the speeches were too numerous. The
following year a committee of over fifty representing a wide spec-
trum of campus concerns was organized into the Religious Life
and Action Committee. It consisted of the leaders of the student
body, the president and vice president of each of the Y's, class
presidents, the Echo editor and other representative faculty and
students. Noticeable was a growing desire to turn toward topics
related to social education and action and away from emphasis on
personal religion and character. Race, ecumenicity, war, peace, sex,
ecology, and like themes have dominated the Copeland years, as
students and faculty have sought to integrate religion and group
Ufe. The year 1963 hkewise saw the introduction of four counselors
to assist the principal speaker, Dr. Thomas Franklyn Hudson. The
speaker still used Bibhcal themes as he drew from the Parables of
the Old Testament, but these were oriented toward the meaning
for 1963. This was the year in which the commitment card was
abandoned by student desire. Dr. Hudson still addressed the entire
campus as had earlier leaders mornings and evenings but the
series was shortened to eight days. Youth workers held a series of
dormitory meetings after the evening sermons.
The following year, the series was further reduced in time to six
days including a weekend. Dr. Lewis Briner and Dr. K. Arnold
Nakajama were brought for separate sessions. Dr. Briner the first
two days and Dr. Nakajama the last three. Dormitory counselors
were again employed— two local ministers, a pastor from Decatur,
Alabama, and a popular student leader from Greeneville, Tennessee.
The theme that year was "Man in the 1960's," and topics devel-
oped included social drinking, sex, and cheating. Student response
was generally quite enthusiastic. The Editor of the Echo devoted
much space in the newspaper to the happenings of the Meetings.
His editorial said: "The phrase, 'February Meetings' normally
causes a shudder in those members of the Maryville College family
vvho object to religious emphasis in a week's dose. This year, how-
ever, we find quite a different atmosphere invading the campus."
Again the Echo commented on impressions ranging from "O.K."
to "Cool as a Moose." A freshman said, "They weren't the awful
February Meetings that everyone had told me about; they were
interesting." A new generation had found a new vehicle and were
proud of its appearance. Not since that year has the Echo devoted
so much space in so many issues to this subject. As novelty
became commonplace, reports in the paper dwindled to nothing
in 1967 and 1968 and cursory announcements in most other years.
Of course there were also adverse criticisms. Some complained of
"too much sociology" and others of a "lack of real religious
emphasis." Nor did the music satisfy all. "I miss Barry and his
piano banging," commented one girl. The communion service
''everyone"" agreed was "wonderful."
The years 1965 and 1966 saw the employment of a principal
speaker in the mornings in conjunction with evening panels made
up of five and four counselors for each year respectively. In 1965
the panels came after the evening services extending over six days.
In 1966 the sermon in the evening was dispensed with, and panels
consisting of the morning speaker and the counselors discussed
such topics as the "Twentieth Century Church" and the "Place
of Christ in a Christian College."
The meetings in following years seem to have been related to
each other in chain fashion, the linkage being a continuing factor
which was joined to novelty. In 1967 the duration of the series
was still seven days. Mornings retained the sermons. In the evenings
panels gave way to forums as counselors, this year including two
recent graduates, devoted time to considering problems of youth
in deteriorating urban centers. The activist pastor of the First
Presbyterian Church in Chicago, the Reverend John Fry, and a
University of Tennessee sociologist were on hand for the occasion.
The forum idea continued in 1968, but novelty was introduced
through substitution of four weekends for the week's concentra-
tion of spiritual emphasis. The Meetings opened with a three-day
hturgical art workshop. This concluded with a Vespers speaker.
The following week a three-day series with a Friday-morning
speech and an evening forum ended in a Vespers service conducted
by the primary speaker. Dr. E. Cantelon, assisted by two recent
graduates who were now seminarians, conducted this series. Morn-
ing and evening speeches on two other days and a forum of four
Presbyterian and Reform Church moderators completed the
February sessions that year. The four-weekend concept continued
in 1969 but shifted to January. Three "CIV" (Community Issues
and Values) and Vespers speakers and the Singing Sisters from
the Medical Mission Sisters in Philadelphia provided the leadership
that year. An ecumenical panel of Protestant, Greek Orthodox,
and Catholic leaders joined Dr. Bruce Rigdon on the third week-
"The Christian and the State and the Christian and the Church"
provided the topics for the January Meetings in 1970. The series
was now confined to two days, in which four leaders were on
hand for CIV meetings and panel discussions in the "Lantern,"
the local name for an informal student gathering place. "Infor-
mality" was the keyword of the year. Classes were dismissed, and
speakers joined faculty in classrooms for discussions. The Vespers
service prior to these two days was given over to a celebration of
the "Feast of Lights."
Informality and "no classes" were carried over into the fol-
lowing year, but a new word had gained currency— "rapping";
so the four leaders "rapped" on the general theme of "Chris-
tianity: Confrontation and Change." One speaker made his
imprint on the student body by wearing a brand new pair of
overalls for his CIV presentation. The meetings extended from
Thursday through Sunday and, aside from the CIV program,
included talk sessions with the speakers, panel discussions, a
slide presentation, a folk-rock festival, an all-day retreat, and a
final Communion vespers, an event which by this time had become
"traditional." The Echo, virtually silent after recent series, voiced
considerable dissatisfaction following this 1971 series. The editor
objected to its "sociological," "Do Good," "humanistic" type of
religion and the calling off of classes. He noted the large number of
students who had left the campus. Echo comments may not
always be relied upon as voicing general opinion, however, and
those who remained on campus apparently considered their
experience rewarding, as a number were in attendance at the
retreat in Tremont (the Maryville College ecological center) and
the various forums.
Revision of procedures in 1972 brought high praise from the
Echo, as it devoted almost an entire edition to the Meetings and
declared, "The meetings reached new heights through novel
devices." The theme that year was "Worship." The characteristic
phrase might have been "A Happening." The position of speaker
was dispensed with and a "Worship Coordinator" was substituted.
Father Geoffrey Skriner, a recent Maryville College graduate and
an Episcopal priest, held this position. Entitled "The Struggle to
be Human," this January series embraced such programs as a
multimedia and celebration worship; seminars with CIV credit on
such topics as "Contemporary Problems in Coaching," "Do You
Have to Belong to a Revolution to Be Human?," "Ecology, Abor-
tion, and Government," "Politics and the Free Man." These
seminars— eleven in all— were led by Faculty members. Adjuncts
of the meetings included an all-night program on Friday with
athletic events, recreation, folk singers, refreshments, the movie
Rachel, Rachel and the Sartre play "No Exit" with a reply by the
English department, "Centuries of Exits," and a celebration of
the Lord's Supper. Saturday provided another movie, "Only Two
Can Play," inaugurated small-group suppers in the homes of
faculty and staff, with liturgies for the home, ending in a kiss of
peace and concluded with a country hoe-down. The highlights of
the series were brought together in a January Meetings Vespers
in which Dr. Copeiand and Dr. Harter provided the leadership.
Reaction was enthusiastic. Such comments as "the lack, of outside
speakers gave the meetings a less stratified approach" or "Through
innovation the January Meetings became a more vital force than in
several years past." The celebration worship, in which balloons
bearing such slogans as "God is love," rated high on evaluation
questionnaires afterwards, but the Saturday-night suppers rated
the highest. Seminars were attended by seventy-three on Thursday
and sixty-six on Friday.
The campus-based leadership for seminars was continued the
following year, when the theme was "There is Hope, But. . . .
"This year there was a return to an imported speaker, and dismissal
of classes was repeated. Seminars varied, with each department at-
tempting to relate its discipline to Christian and non-Christian
hope. A contemporary cantata, athletic events, Appalachian folk
music, an art workshop, a work-service project for two hours
Saturday afternoon, faculty-home suppers, a country hoe-down,
a rock concert and dance, and a Communion Vespers service made
up the program. The Echo receded into its former scanty comment
following the meeting. One writer noted that the students were
dubbing the series a "mid-term vacation" but concluded with an
"unqualified 'yes' " to the self-raised question "Is there value to
January Meetings?" "Those who attend are challenged," he
affirmed, "to reexamine their values and are better for it."
Again in 1974, meetings were held from Thursday through Sun-
day. Classes were again dismissed. The theme this year was
"Freedom (Self-Determination)." Dr. John Fry was brought again
to the campus to make two CIV speeches: "Take Charge of Your
Own Life" and "Ha-Ha-Ha!" and to engage in informal discussions.
Athletic events; a country hoe-down; faculty-student-led seminars
in the afternoon; the all-night event on Friday, this year, in keeping
with the theme entitled "Freedom Night"; a Saturday work-
service project, followed by supper in faculty homes and a Sunday
Communion Vespers service were repeated.
Pursuant to evaluating committee reports for the precedmg
three years, the 1975 Committee on Religion and Life recom-
mended the return to a program without dismissal of classes.
"Survival: Alone or Together? Christian and Global Consciousness"
was the 1975 theme. Two off-campus speakers were brought for
morning and evening speeches for each of two days. The practice
of faculty-student-led seminars was continued, but they were
reduced to four. Group singing similar to that of earlier years was
reintroduced prior to the evening service. (Partly due to insuffi-
cient publicity, attendance was less than desirable.) A discussion
meeting followed the services. Athletics, two appropriate motion
pictures, and a Communion Vespers service concluded the events.
An innovation was a twenty-four hour fast symbolizing the need
for food for the world. The small number of enthusiastic fasters
who participated in this event met at the conclusion of Vespers to
participate in a meal together.
In 1960 the YMCA and YWCA were merged with other religious
organizations to form the United Campus Christian Fellowship
(UCCF). This in turn gave way eight laters later to the United
Campus Movement. Student religious leadership was passed from
one to the other of the organizations, which in sequence played
diminishing roles in carrying out the February Meetings programs.
In recent years, the UCM has disappeared and the student role in
planning for the series is left in the hands of a subcommittee of
the Religion and Life Committee of the All-College Council. In
1975, this subcommittee was headed by a student who was most
devoted to his task and largely responsible for the program as it
Trial, error and experimentation have characterized the formats
of the last dozen years. As the program is shuffled kaleidoscopical-
ly by successive committees, old practices are united with novelties
to form new patterns. Students join with faculty in their search
for the most attractive and meaningful combinations which will
unite religion and life and join academic and spiritual progress
into ar integrated whole. One who probes deeply may discern
earlier paradigms for almost everything done today. An all-night
"happening" means more to today's youth than an all-night In-
quiry Room. Folk singers' concerts or a country hoe-down serves
the purposes of earlier after-the-meeting "snap" socials. There may
not be student delegations to the depot and a campus band to
wind up the series as in the early 1900's, but there are trumpets
and guitar or brass ensembles in the formal evening sessions and
sometimes in Communion services. Each age tries to fashion itself
anew out of scraps of the past in new configurations, sometimes
quite unaware that it is doing so.
"And All Kinds of Music"
Hold the fort, I'm coining,
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to Heaven,
By thy Grace, we will.
See the mighty host advancing,
Satan leading on.
Mighty men around us falling
Courage almost gone.
Hold the fort, I'm coming; etc.
by P. P. BUss
If, indeed, the message which inspired this hymn by P. P. Bliss
was sent from the Maryville College campus as reported, it un-
doubtedly, along with Bliss's "Rescue the Perishing," was a favorite
in the early Meetings. While fragmentary, information is sufficient
to reconstruct a probable idea of the part music played in the early
years. The piano was the only instrument used in chapel services,
though by 1895 leaders were noting the need of an organist. There
were also volunteer orchestra and song groups by that time, the
quartet being a strong favorite. By 1899, Professor John G. New-
man was using Song of Praise and Consecration by J. Wilbur
Chapman in 1899. That year, the speaker noted he had not "been
in [his] room five minutes before [he] heard the stirring strains of
'Throw Out the Life Line' as it was sung by a band of students in
another part of the building [Baldwin] , and as the train rolled out
of Maryville on the last morning the teachers and students joined in
a Christian song."
Another song popular in the early days was the "Battle Hymn of
the Republic." In 1894, the National Association for the Advance-
ment of Women held its convention on the campus. Julia Ward
Howe was present for the occasion and from the platform recom-
mended a modification of the final verse to make it appropriate for
peace instead of war. To the present, many Maryvillians sing this
hymn with its pacific rather than its martial connotation.
Music played a major role in the conversion appeal. Thus, Dr.
Wilson in 1906 could relate the account of a young Kentuckian who
"had enhsted for Christ the night before" asking the quartet to
repeat a song that had helped him make his decision. As a result of
the encore another student gave his life to Christ. In the memorable
1920 meetings led by well-known evangelist Mel Trotter, music
was central. That year Homer Hammontree, as he had for some
years, headed up the musical team. This consisted of "one of the
finest quartets in the business" and an accomplished accompanist,
"Little Dick" Oliver, who had traveled with the American troops
during World War I. The quartet, "The American Four," called
themselves "Sharks for Christian Work". For four and two-thirds
cents, Homer Rodeheaver had prepared a special songbook for the
meetings. It was the pianist, however, who evoked the greatest
student response. Numerous Echo notations were made on his
playing. One, in a somewhat humorous vein, perhaps deserves
reproduction. Entitled "How Dick Oliver Played," the column
Dick Oliver came out and sot down at a big pianner that looked
like a three-legged pool table. He started running his fingers over
them keys kind of airy like and sort of like he was hunting a
place to start ... I hadn't more'n got my hat when he came down
on that old pianner both handed and with a slash that sent chills
of music reverberating up and down my spine like an electric
shock .... He did a crosshanded shimmy somewhere in the
neighborhood of Middle C . . . . The thunder rolled clear down to
the bowels of perdition. Now he started fox chasing up the treble
cleff till the notes got as fine as sunbeams. After he got them notes
clean out of sight, he took a few spasmodic curricules and jazz
coaxers, holding every blessed note on that old pianner down at
the same time, in jada-jazz i-quivers.
Students of a later age would be able to detect a kindred spirit for
"Little Dick" in "Barry."
Some of the gospel songs sung at this period included "Just as I
am," "I Am Coming Home," "Almost Persuaded," "Gethsemane,"
"The Land Where the Roses Never Fade," "The Prodigal Son,"
"There's a Song in My Heart." In years just prior to this,
Awakening Songs had been purchased for the occasion, while later
special purchases were made of Revival Gems.
The year 1921 also placed special emphasis on the musical team.
Hammontree, returning that year, brought with him the "Victor
Trio." The pianist, B. D. Ackley, was acknowledged to be "not
only a Master at the piano, but ... a composer of note," producing
hymns such as "If Your Heart Keeps Right," "I Walk with the
King," and "I Am Coming Home," all of which were sung in the
Meetings. That same year, Mr. James Goddard, called by Hammon-
tree "the world's second greatest baritone" happened to be visiting
relatives and donated his service to the success of the Meetings by
giving a Saturday evening concert. In this performance a high point
was reach when he sang "The Golden Bells," sending "a thrill
through the souls of the audience."
In those years, music always terminated the Meetings, as the
congregation sang "Blest Be the Tie That Binds," "Till we Meet
Again," and, after the "Howie-how for Jesus," the "Alma
Mater." In 1921, the band under the College director, Mr. Harry
Bannister, played at the final session and accompanied the de-
parture of the student body.
The arrival on the campus of the Reverend Sidney E. Stringham
in February, 1922, brought a red-letter year. Up until 1953, Mr.
Stringham, fondly called "Stingem," led the singing some thirty
times and in the early years was a perennial favorite among
students. The Highland Echo in 1923 noted that he "Worked
many miracles on the Hill. Many sang who never had sung during
the year." Some of these the Echo singled out by name. "No
one," it continued, "could go away and say they had not been
shown the way to salvation" as voices were lifted in songs such as
"Love Lifted Me" or "Back to My Father and Home." Most of the
Stringham years saw the use of local pianists, students or faculty.
It became customary for Mr. Stringham to introduce choruses to
become the annual theme songs. Such choruses as "Wide, Wide as
the Ocean" and "Beyond the Sunset" were employed in the
forties. Occasionally Mr. Stringham would venture to compose his
own chorus, such as the one in 1943:
There is a joy in following Jesus all the way;
There is a joy in following Jesus everyday;
His love is hke the rainbow when earthly skies are grey;
There is joy in following Jesus all the way.
In 1949, Stringham was joined by Henry Barraclough, who had
been discovered by Chapman and Alexander and had been their
accompanist as a young man. He too was a composer of gospel
songs, among which were "Nothing but Leaves," sung by String-
ham as a solo that first year "Barry" was at Maryville; "Ivory
Palaces"; "We are Going through the Valley, One by One"; and
the anthem "Trumpet of God." In 1950, Stringham set his words
to Barry's song "Shine, Shine," to provide the 1950 theme song:
Joy, Joy, Joy in the Heart;
Joy, Joy, Joy in the heart;
Serve him today;
Serve him alway;
Serve him with joy every day.
Throughout the entire scope of the meetings until recent years
the choir was a key element. Barry endeared himself to the mem-
bers and they to him. He set up an award for outstanding choir
members which has continued to be given each year.
By 1960, as they did in other areas, students began to question
the use being made of music in the services. That year they stated
that there was too much congregational singing and that the
services should be limited to one hour. Mr. Stringham was replaced
by John Magill, an alumnus and a Presbyterian minister, who led
the singing seven times between 1952 and 1962. Hymns in 1963
were cut from seven to three in the evening services, and students
began to suggest that they be permitted to choose their own "good
old hymns," a practice that had been followed to a degree in
earlier meetings. Maryville's choir director, Harry Harter, provided
leadership for congregational singing. This type of singing largely
gave way to folk and rock groups such as the Singing Sisters (1969),
Blufton College Travellers (1971), the Schillings (1972), and a
modern cantata (1973), although it was never totally absent. The
choir was used only on special occasions. Where congregational
singing was employed, songs were often of the modern or folk type
such as "Lord of the Dance," "Comebyar," or "They'll Know We
Are Christians." In recent years there has been a growing tendency
to interject some of the Old gospel songs such as "Amazing Grace."
Instrumental music is currently more in vogue than in the past.
Old religious favorites are often rendered on guitar, or as was "Jesu,
Joy of Man's Desiring" in 1972, played on the Moog Synthesizer.
In 1975, with only partial success, an attempt was made to rein-
troduce the half-hour congregational singing prior to the evening
service. In a sense, save for the reluctance to engage in congrega-
tional singing, music used in the February Meetings has come full
circle, but with variations on the themes.
"Speaking the Truth in Love"
Leadership during the century of February Meetings has covered
the spectrum from evangeUstically fervent to intellectually dig-
nified. The one norm sought was dedication to the Christian hfe.
For approximately half a century, eleven leaders conducted the
services. Four— Bachman, Elmore, Bartlett and Broady—account
for a quarter of a century. Except for Bachman, the "father" of
the Meetings, these were Maryville College graduates who had
themselves been converted at the Meetings. Five of the seven who
led for another quarter of a century were Maryville graduates.
Graduates throughout the century have sought to be invited back
for the occasion. Some of the initial meetings of the series were led
by administration or faculty persons, as was the case for the first
four meetings inl914. Recently less emphasis has been placed on
leadership off campus, one year there being no visiting speaker.*
The College has always sought men of stature with qualities
which would appeal to youth. Dr. Bachman, pastor of Second
Presbyterian Church in Knoxville and founder of the Meetings, was
called by President Wilson "Apostle of love and gentleness, loyalty
and vision, who like Goldsmith's village preacher sought to allure
to brighter worlds and lead the way." The leader for eight years
over a span of thirty, Dr. Bachman had been a well-known
evangelist. His interests according to Wilson were directed "man-
ward as well as Godward." This is evidenced by the fact that from
his meager savings he set up a student loan fund of $2000 to
enable needy students to pay academic expenses.
In terms of tenure, E. A. Elmore held the record as leader. A stu-
dent worker on Anderson Hall, alumnus of the College in 1875,
professor from 1884 to 1888, and later chairman of the Board of
Directors, his service to the College ended in 1928. That year it was
announced cryptically, "Dr. E. A. Elmore whose turn it was to
conduct the meetings this year, died last May." Even in 1924, the
last series which he led, the Echo billed him as "advanced beyond
the alloted span of life."
*Names of leaders for the meetings may be found in R. W. Lloyd, Mary-
ville College: A History of 1 50 Years. For the years since 1969 see Appendix
while one comment by students on the general leadership
extolled the "quiet, sane methods" of the men, there were other
attractions as well.** Dr. W. T. Bartlett and Dr. Louis Evans were
set apart because of their powerful physiques and the associations
they held with national competitive sports— baseball and basket-
ball respectively. Some, as was the Reverend E. A. Cameron in
1906, were admired for their youth. The comments most in evi-
dence from student writers, however, singled out spiritual qualities
as those most admired. In 1904, Dr. Bartlett was praised because
"the presence of the Holy Spirit was manifestly present, convicting
of sin, and convincing of duty." In 1965, students themselves
helped to lay down norms they desired for a leader; "a man of
tried ability to preach to young people; a convincing personality,
a clear evangelical belief and message, an intellectual approach, a
balance of the intellectual with the emotional and ethical."
As previously noted, topics and themes of speakers tended to
shift over the century from those of personal salvation toward
those of social action. As many of the topics and themes as could
be found are listed in Appendix A for the readers' perusal. It was
customary during the first half century, when the leadership was
rotating each quinquennium, for some of the leaders to repeat
their sermons. Thus, Dr. Gillingham, in 1935, president of Tennent
College, could write:
It interests me that they [the February Meetings] begin today,
for one of the other times they began on February the 5th was
exactly 30 years ago today, during my own senior year at Mary-
ville, as this is the Senior year of my twins— a day, Sunday, snow
**The one dramatic exception to what faculty and staff regarded as
restrained evangelical methods was Mel Trotter, whose procedures have
previously been noted. A 1920 assessment of Trotter's methods notes his
"rapid fire method of jumping from text to apt illustration and back,
keeping his audience awake and on tiptoe every minute. He translates the
gospel into the vernacular so its meaning is not mistakable. He believes in
covering the jail, the streets, the parks and factories." However, the
writer concludes, 'There is only legitimate emotional appeal in his
a foot deep or deeper and temperatures several degrees below
zero. Dr. Elmore was the preacher that year. 1 can remember
yet some of his texts and large parts of sermons on those
texts. You [Dr. Lloyd] heard them ten years later in 1 91 5,
your senior year."
The writer then proceeded to prove his statement by reviewing
Dr. Elmore's topics and their contents.
Financial resources for the Meetings came from varied places.
Some leaders contributed services freely or for a nominal hono-
rarium. A number of individuals made donations toward expenses
as did an anonymous donor in the 1920's. The Presbyterian Church
Board of Christian Education made fairly regular contributions for
a number of years. Of $700 expenses in 1961, S80 was provided
by this board. Dr. Evans that year was paid S300, while the musi-
cians received $175 each. Students, too, made their contributions
in the form of gifts to the visiting leaders. In 1920, a little over
$207 was collected from the student body. This was expended for
a gold watch— $50
a wardrobe trunk— $55
5 gold pieces at $20 each
cartage for the trunk— $1
balance to Fred Hope Fund— $1.41
The most significant donation for the on-going costs of the Meet-
ings came from the Second Presbyterian Church in Knoxville.
Close ties to Maryville College have been held by this church since
the beginning of both institutions under the tutelage of Isaac
Anderson. With the $3,980 contributed to the Nathan W. Bach-
man February Meetings Fund, the income from which was to be
used for current expenses, financing of the series became easier
after 1920. Dr. Wilson expressed his gratitude for this largess with
the suggestion that "Dr. Bachman would be made happier, even
in heaven, if he heard of that much-needed and most useful gift."
"Many who Heard the Word Believed."
Remaining to be examined is the student response to the
Meetings. Difficult to summarize, or even to assess, one may
safely categorize it as generally favorable, sometimes enthusias-
tically so; often conflicting; sometimes indifferent ; and inire-
Some reactions persist throughout the hundred years. Each
generation has stressed its modernity and difference from its pre-
decessors. Each generation has tried to assess and criticize the
receptivity or lack of receptivity of its contemporaries. Most of
the responses have been couched in terms of the acceptabihty of
the leaders. As leadership has become less important in recent
years, Echo assessments have become less prominent and in some
years have disappeared entirely. Negative responses have become
more frequent. Many responses have been reflected in the review
of striking phraseology of the speakers, often banalities, which
students deemed worthy of repeating. Early editorials and letters
were basically favorable while, occasionally, later writers have
become antagonistic. This may be explained partially by the
greater freedom of expression, bordering on license, assumed by
the student newspaper in recent years, as compared with the more
faculty-controlled press in the earlier part of the century.
It may safely be said that each generation has viewed itself as
unique, modern, and undergoing change. A student in 1905
stated: "Narrowness of mind is disappearing. The character of
the class of students has been undergoing a change. . . .The change
is a modernizing one, and is resulting in greater mental breadth."
The essence of this statement has been repeated monotonously
through the years. Integrally related to this opinion was the avowal
of most student generations that Maryville College Meetings were
somewhat different from most in that they stressed rationality as
opposed to emotion-laden presentations. Describing the average
reaction to revival as an "emotional spasm mistaken for religion or
salvation outlasting revival by a day or two," a 1927 editorial af-
firms: "Maryville College revivals or February Meetings have an
entirely different meaning. No undue emphasis on primitive
instincts, though of course, they are involved in all men's actions
and behavior" is present. "The appeal throughout the entire series
was non-emotional, sensible, and rational." Some quarter of a
century later two editorials echo this view. "Many of us are simply
repulsed by religion typified in 'sawdust trail,' amen corner,' and
'sing that chorus a Httle louder. Brother,' but our meetings each
year need not be like that. . . .They are relevant to our own day."
Again, "The February Meetings avoid 'Cheap Sensationalism.' "
In 1961, the same issue of the Eclio carried letters with opposing
views. One, reflecting the sentiment of the new College pastor
(cited on page 30), suggests, "Evangelists such as Billy Graham
must encumber their preaching with powerful emotional
appeals. . . .but the College student should not require as much
emotional bombardment for intellectual stimulation." Then in
indirect criticism of Louis Evans, the speaker that year, the
writer called for a leader for the next year "who will treat us
intellectually and emotionally as college students."
In marked contrast to the above view, a student widely known
for his intellectual proclivity wrote an open letter in the same issue
of the Echo to Louis Evans. Because this seems to reflect the wider
sentiment as to the speaker for his three visits to the campus,
large parts of this letter bear quoting.
. . . We have become perhaps more tolerant of our own college
situation, while at the same time developing sensitivity to a
much-needed constructive dissatisfaction with personal areas
of our institutional hves ....
Many have said that MC was "ready" for the February
Meetings, and thus the gaping pit of their indifference was par-
tially filled. There are others who hold that your [Evans']
presentation style was the striking factor of the meetings: some
feel that it was ineffectual or even detrimental, and most others
looked on it as the spur to goad us out of complacency. There
will be the pure cynics of us, whose lack of ambition will prevent
us from plumbing depths more profound than ourselves, any-
time; and some or us, the "open minded"— to use your garbage
dump metaphor— who have only been tossed on the high waves of
togetherness and self-imposed "February spirit" and will just as
quickly be left high and dry when the tide goes out. Ninety-five
per cent of us, though, are in the third, middle-of-the-road
category, the two aspects of which are alike: the honest searchers
and the honest doubters. But, being constantly turned, these are
the most fertile grounds on which that seed could have fallen.
Whatever the reasons for our individual attitudes, your visit
had an effect, for once in MC's life— you uncovered furtive some-
things that have been latent a long time. For the first time in
years, the entire student body has been moved to a point where
they must accept or reject, and has been left with the charge of
its own decision: there's no more room for indifference, because
the future of our lives, the college— and more important, the
world-is at stake. The point is, sir, that you were one of few
speakers on this campus in at least four years who has had much
to say at all; about the second or third to relate your word to
any existence outside the college community; and the only per-
son of any kind-inside or outside MC-to "challenge" us instead
of talking about "challenge" .... Most outstanding of all, hitherto
unmoved faculty and students have awakened to take stock of their
personal obligations; indeed a more conscientious, vigorous re-
lationship between the taught and learned seems essential now. . . .
Now almost no one has been fool enough to think that Febru-
ary Meetingsism implies automatic salvation or reawakening for any
of us. There's a sort of natural skepticism in us that would rightly
make us resent being used like that, and it's hard to find a better
atom-age antidote for a religion that has previously been presented
in comparatively medieval terms. . . . Most students and personnel
here feel indebted to you for having shown us something of a duty
without trying to do it for us. That's unique and even occasionally
borders on the inspiring. Thanks a million, Coach.
Evans appeared three times as leader. The occasion responded to
above was twenty-five years after his first enthusiastic reception.
It is worthy of note that what the new College pastor in 1961
regarded as "the old type emotional evangelism" was assessed by
one student to be a reflection of ninety-five percent of the student
body's view as a challenge to a "more vigorous relationship between
the taught and the learned."
Upon numerous occasions, student editors pointed out that
the success of the "Meetings" depended upon the nature of the
student body more than upon the leader. A writer in the Maryville
Magazine in 1914 notes, "If there is one thing on the yearly pro-
gram which the College authorities stress more than another, it is
the 'February Meetings' . . . But a great part of revolutionizing the
lives of the students depends upon the Christian student body and
the YMCA." Leadership assessment of the nature of students has
remained remarkably consistent through the years. The then preva-
lent opinion of leaders of education as to the nature of students
was cited by Dr. Lloyd in 1928 to be that "college youth is but
slightly concerned with religion." Assessment by a leader in 1939
was that "students have no purpose in life." A student assessment
of his own generation in 1959 was that it was "a growing practice
to make fun of God, Christ, and all aspects of worship." Students
in 1962 viewing the religious climate on the College campus used
such words as "lukewarm," "activity without depth," "self-
centered," "spiritual laziness," "academic overemphasis," "too
much emphasis on religion, therefore we become stagnant," "too
intellectual or pseudo-intellectual," and even complained that
"students receive no spiritual experience from exams"! In 1965,
the view of the Chaplain was that the College generation was
"little concerned with the world issues except race," and that
there was a "too fundamentalist approach in the Bible Depart-
ment." The editor in 1971 called "contemporary religious activity
hardly worth a hill of beans." if, therefore, response did indeed
depend upon the nature of the student body, the prospects for
success of the Meetings would have been consistently gloomy.
Throughout the period, however, much enthusiasm as to the
effects oi the Meetings was expressed by students. Perhaps the best
way of presenting such response is chronologically. Representative
student comments were as follows during the years.
(1907) "Of all the good things that come to us in Maryvilie
College, we can say that by far the best is the annual
(1924) "Almost all the students are behind the great move-
ment." "Eternal destinies were made in those days."
(1928) "His messages are overflowing with good, sound advice
and words of truth."
(1942) "We believe there is no exaggeration in the statement
that every student present has been influenced by the
messages and personality of Dr. Barbour."
(1943) "How do you like the Meetings?" Ans. "They get
better every day." "Why do we like him more?"
"Because we know him better."
(1944) "I wasn't planning on going at all this year, but they
were so interesting, I ended up going to every one."
(1951) "There is something good intrinsic [sic] in the February
meetings; what we get out of them depends upon our
(1954) "If you go expecting to be bored, you will be bored. If
you go expecting to experience spiritual growth, you will
experience spiritual growth. . . .Long after we graduate
from Maryvilie College, we will look back with thankful
memories to the inspiration of February Meetings."
(1958) "February meetings to me hold a very high standing.
They should never be done away with, whatever is
discussed for or against."
(1960) "We wish to make public the voice of the students both
Christian and agnostic who have expressed appreciation
for the intellectual and spiritual integrity of the 1960
(1962) "The meetings tend to unite the student body; provide a
common commitment for spiritual growth."
"They attract and change to some extent those students
who before refused to respond to a Christian way of life."
(1964) "One of the girls who was most critical and who made a
very bitter speech at the forum, told me [the Chaplain]
that the communion has changed her whole outlook on
Admittedly selective though these comments are, they reflect the
dominant mood throughout the century.
A minority and negative opinion first openly appeared in print
during the 1960's. The negativism, voiced privately in a letter from
one of the speakers in the late sixties, was submerged for a number
of years. In the late sixties a measure of student indifference to-
ward the Meetings followed an initial enthusiasm for novelty and
experimentalism in Meetings format. This indifference is demon-
strated by the silences of the Echo after the conclusion of the
series e. g, in 1967 and 1969; normally, up to that time, the Echo
had conducted extended post mortems. Some of this "blackout"
of commentary may be attributed to the taking over of other
interests, such as the new All-College Council. Some may be ac-
counted for by the fact that classes were dismissed and a smaller
number of students participated in the Meetings. Moreover, a more
openly secular-minded student body had appeared. The 1970 Echo
complained that the "meetings interfered with classwork." The
calling off of classes resulted in sizable exodus from campus in
1970 and 1971, but in a more enthusiastic group of those in at-
tendance. The editor of 1970 objected to the "sociological,"
"do good," "humanistic type" of religion on campus. Although
most indifference and voiced negativism is to be found in the past
dozen years, the dominant expression, even during these years, has
been positive and enthusiastic, but this comes from a smaller group
What of the future of the Meetings? One writer's answer is this:
The future must be shaped by the age in which we live. Things are
not as they were 70 years ago. We are no longer shut in by moun-
tains. A new age confronts us— an age of competition. . . of
materialism. . . of individualism. We must keep step with the spirit
of this age. We must allow freedom of investigation and give men
time to think their way to the truth.
"We must keep step with the spirit of this age." A modernist view?
Indeed it was— in February 1892, when Dr. Elmore, leader of the
Meetings, expressed it! May these words and the circumstances
surrounding them serve as a humble reminder that there were
"modernists" in those days too. In Tennyson's timely lines,
Let knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before.
Partial List of Topics and Themes of February Meetings
1898 to Date
Days of Heaven upon Earth (Theme)
Thesaurus of BibUcal Wealth (Theme)
The Master Has Come and Calleth Thee
The Master Has Come and Calleth for Thee
Come Thou with Me unto My Lot and I Will
Go with Thee unto Your Lot
So I Came to Kadesh Barnea
The Glory of God and the Advancement of
the Kingdom Purchased by the Blood
of the Only Begotten Son (Theme)
Restitution for Wrongs Done (Theme)
The Master has Come and Calleth for Thee
Come Thou with Me unto My Lot and I Will
Go with Thee unto Your Lot
So I Came to Kadesh Barnea
In the Beginning (Theme)
In the Image of God (Theme)
What Must I Do to Be Saved?
By Faith the Walls of Jericho Fell Down
Create Within Me a Clean Heart
Surely the Lord Is in This Place and I
Knew It Not
In the Days of Trouble Pray
Receive the Meekness of Jesus
Be Ye Reconciled to God
Use and Abuse of Riches
Way to Active Christian Life (Theme)
(A Series of Gospel Sermons)
Loyal to the Royal in Thyself (Theme)
A Challenge to the Great Christian
Adventure of Religion
Price of Christianity
Freedom Among the Lilies
The Yellow Streak
Relay Race of Life
I Would See Jesus
What Met at Calvary
Come Let us Reason Together
The Lost Christ
A Great Rock in a Weary Land
The Great Question
Let Down the Net
Wild Beasts of Ephesus
The City Four-Square
How Much Are You Worth?
Great Battles You Have to Fight
Right or Wrong: How Can You Tell
Let No Man Despise Thy Youth
What It Means to Be a Christian
Keeping the Doors Open
Power to Finish
A Place Where Two Ways Met
Weighed in the Balance
What Must I Do to Be Saved?
I Know Not the Man
The Left-Over God
Parting of the Ways
The Invitation of Christ, "Come."
A Seeking God
Christ Curing Incurables
Miracle in a Boy's Heart: Broken Bread
Waste of the World
Body of Christ
Sword or the Cup?
Doors of the Upper Room
Peter Between Two Fires
Broken and Unbroken Nets
Vision of the Risen Christ
He Is Able to Keep
Storming the Fort
Badge Wearers and Brand Bearers
Rich Young Ruler
Making up Your Mind: Your Real
Jacob and Essau
An Idea from God
Seven Words from the Cross
What Is He Doing There?
Lost: Three Parables
Jacob and Essau
The Test of a Friend; Truth, Courage,
Friendship with Christ
The Purpose of Life
The Sin of Omission
Deepening the Friendship
God is Love
Wanted: A Master
Christ in All of Life
The Game of Life
Rich Young Ruler
Youth and Marriage
Three Words for the Master: Teacher,
Rabbi, My Teacher
Christ, Youth, and War
Master of Your Money
It Happened to John
Youth and the Cross
Master of Your Service
What Shall I Do With my Life?
Christ: Master of Conscience
God's Old Ironsides
Master of Your Wills
Forgetting the Things That Are
God's Second-Hand Store
Seeing the Invisible
God's Four Leaf Clover
We Would See Jesus
Peril and Power
She Supposing Him to Be the
The Master of Joy
Christ and Our Day
What Does it Mean to Be a Christian?
Christ and the Cross for Today
The Difficulties of Non-Behef
The Stewardship of Life
The Difference Christ Makes
Christ for the World
One Thing Lacking
Christ's Message to the World About
What Is Good for Man in His Life?
The Humihty of Christ
That Which We Have Seen and Heard,
Declare We Unto Thee
What My Religion Means to Me
What I Believe About God
What I BeUeve About the Bible
What I Believe About Prayer
What I Believe About Immortality
Coming to Terms With Life
What I Believe About Jesus
What I Believe About Sin and Salvation
Making the Most of Life
The Necessity for Adequate Loyalities
How Can I Tell That I Am a Christian?
Resources for Living
Making the Minimum Do for Religion
Christ, The Satisfactory Answer to
The Intolerance of Christianity
Taking Christianity into Everyday
The Educational Imperative
Youth Begins with Why
The Religion of College
Mores of the Crowd: Who Holds the
The Gospel According to You
Lo, I Am with You Always
Rocks of Assurance
I Want it: the Battle of Our Impulses
The Great Examination
The Religion of a College Man
How Christians Believe
The Unshaken Realities (Theme)
The Gospel for the World
The Questions Christ Put to Men
Gone with the Wind
The Overcoming Life
The Peril of Unconscious Failure
His Cross and Ours
The Question which Shocks Us: "Man,
Who Makes Me a Divider and Judge
Christian Faith in a Time of Crisis
Our Place in Christian Faith in a
Time of Crisis
The Place of Christ in Christian Faith
in the Time of Crisis
The Place of the Holy Spirit in the
Time of Crisis
The Place of the Christian Church in
the Time of Crisis
The Tale of Three Men (talents)
The Tale of the Kingdom in Christian
Faith in the Time of Crisis
Two Plus Two Equals Four
Our Complete Savior
The Place of Christian Faith in the
Time of Crisis: II
Behold I Stand at the Door
Direction of Desire
The Reproducible Experience of Jesus
How Did Jesus Develop Means of Personal
What Do You Believe to Be True About
How Can We Overcome the Things That
Keep Us from Power?
Getting Above the Crowd Level, Out of
On Being Misunderstood
What Christianity Can Do for Character
On Facing Trouble
Charting a Course for the Future
Little Man: Big Problems
Pull Yourself Together
What Kind of Religion
Great Works Shall You Do
Pursuit of Happiness: Important
Matters of Religion & Life (Theme)
Have You the Courage to Be Different?
When a Man Talks to Himself
God and the Ordinary Man
On Making Your Faith Your Own
God at the Door
Who Would Have Thoutht It?
Secret of a Happy Home
The Conquest of Doubt
Christ's Interpretation of Discipleship
Some Confessions of a Past
Do You Want to Get Well?
The Secret of a Christlike Personality
For Such a Time as This
Faith as a Trust
Faith as Truth
Platform of the Kingdom
The Program of Jesus
The Goal of Jesus
What Is Pearl Harbor?
Two Men Who Took the Way: Columba
and St. Francis
Four Johns: Chrysostem, Calvin, Knox,
Our Unrecognized Allies
Answering the Ultimate
The Eleventh Commandment
Behold, I Stand At the Door and Knock
The Mission of Christ (Theme)
Reveal the Truth
Retrieve Men in Moral Contusion
Revolutionize Life's Objectives
Redeem the Passions of Man
Revise the Mathematics of Religion
Receive the Talents of Men
Rectify the Loyalities of Life
Recall Runaways from God
The Fraction of Life
Stockpiles and Crisis
Christ as a Builder of World Order
Pioneer of Life
Companionship with Christ
Masters of Circumstances
The Gamble Magnificent
Stumbling Blocks to Salvation
Business of Living: Questions We Have
a Right to Ask (Theme)
The Longings of Man
Growing Up and Building Up
The Business of Being Alive
Ye Shall Be Witnesses of a New Order
That's for Me
He is Able
The Morning after the Night Before
How Can We Keep Christ?
Can We Have the Mind of Christ?
Can We Find the Will of God?
What Shall I Do When Life Shoves Me
How the Gospel Relates to the Individual
Trying to Live in an Empty Room
Jesus and the Man in the Street
The Place Where all Spiritual Victories
The Unpardonable Sin
A Reasonable Sacrifice
No Divine Imperative
How the Gospel Relates Itself to the
When Christians Read History
The Urgency of the Time
The Church's Strong Foundation
The Kind of Church Christ Wants
What Do You Want Out of Life?
Four Great Facts
Keeping the Faith
To Whom It May Concern
Truth at the Cross
Some Inconvenient Convictions
Are You Honest About It?
Life's Biggest Question
Yoking Yourself with Christ
Marks of a Christian
Basic Requirement for Satisfactory Living
Place of Christ in Our Personal Relations
Meeting the Measure of the Stature
What's Your Trouble
"Living Power of the Living Christ"
Jesus Christ the Same, Yesterday, Today,
The Living Word
The Living Christ and History
The Touch of Christ
The Choice Before Us
Speaking Face to Face
With or Against?
Power of Christ for the World
The Gift of Joy with Christ
Power for Present Problems
Friendship: Human and Divine
Power of Christ for the Problems of Man
Christ's Call for Sacrifice Begins Faith
Are You Wanting Happiness?
Have You the Courage to Be Different?
Your Declaration of Independence
In the World but Not of the World
The Glens of Gloom
He Profits Most Who Serves Best
For Those Who Feel Their Limitations
Our Choice of Life Work
God Is At the Door
The Pleasures of Being a Christian
The Parable of the Last Son
One Request God Will Not Refuse
On Making God a Last Resort
Are You Morally Passing the Buck?
How God Treats a Repentant Sinner
The Elder Brother
On Getting Rid of a Dragon
Days of Decision (Theme)
Born to Receive
To Whom Shall We Go?
Born to Give
New Lives for Old
What Do I Get Out of It?
By the Renewing of Your Life
Finding a Vital Faith
Remember Jesus Christ
I Am Four Monkeys (Four Aspects of
Life Is a Laboratory
What Good Does It Do to Pray?
The Christian's Destiny
Finding the Will of God
Marriage Is for Maturity
The Set of the Soul: Night, Sin and
Who am I?
Who Is God?
Who Is Jesus?
Job: The Problem of Suffering
What Jesus Can Do for Us
A Colony of Heaven
Immortality and Everlasting Life
Remember Lot's Wife
You Are Living in an Unchanging World-
The Christian Vocation
You and Your Enemies
The Necessity for God
The Gospel: Christ in Relationships
The Power to Become
The Gospel According to Enemies of
The Power in the Cross
Voices for God
The Power of Prayer
The Power of His Resources
The Power of the Living Christ
Relationship of Gentlemen and Ladies
Relationship Between Old and New
The Purpose and Power of Life: Honest
Answers to Honest Questions (Theme)
Power Over Powers
Power of Cooperating with God's Laws
The Cross and the Crossroads
Power of God's Directing
Power of God's Concern
Power of God's Love
Power of Surrender
Shall I Turn the Other Cheek?
Does It Pay to Be Honest?
How May I Have a Mature Faith?
Can a Christian Sin?
What Color U a Christian?
What Is Christian Marriage?
How Can I Know God's Will for Me?
Tyranny of the Herd
When a Man Comes to Himself
The Secret of a Christian Personality
Begin with Yourself
Is Yours a Second-Hand Religion?
Man Is Heaven-Starved
Why Not Try God?
God Is At the Door
When One Feels His Limitations
This Business of Being Christian
Is It Worth What It Costs?
Ye Are The Branches
Ye Are My Friends
Ye Are the Salt of the Earth
Ye Are the Light of the World
And Ye Shall Be My Witnesses
The Set of the Soul (Theme)
Who am I?
Who Is God?
Who Is Jesus?
What Is Sin?
What Is the Church?
What Is ImmortaUty?
What Is Faith?
Who Is God's Enemy?
How to Have a Happy Marriage
Only God Is Great
The Deadly Sin of Accidie
What Is Judgement Day?
You Are Living in an Unchanging World
The Danger of Becoming a Christian
The Danger of Being a Christian for the
The Danger of Daily Encounter
The Danger of Faith That Pretends
Religious Faith or Discovery
The Danger of Crucifixion
The Most Dangerous Word You Can Hear
The Church As a Threat to Society
Do You Love Me?
Putting Your Faith Through College
The Seven Deadly Virtues
What Do the Miracles Mean to Modern
God and Color
The Christian Doctrine of Sex
The Will of God for Your Life
In Search of the Uncommon Man
There Ought to Be Some Changes Made
Three Ways to Nowhere
Love and Marriage
Man of the Years
Our National Health
The Satellites and You
About Our Faith
God Is What You Believe In
What Is a Christian?
Life's Greatest Question
Three Theological Questions
The Faith and the Future
By-life of Belief (Theme)
I Believe in God
I Believe in God's Revelation
I Believe in Jesus Christ as Lord
I Believe in Jesus Christ as Savior
I Believe in the Holy Spirit
I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins
I Believe in the Resurrection and Life
I Believe in a Creed to Conduct
The non-Conformity of Conscience
Hot and Cold Blooded Sins? the Rebel
The Meaning of Baptism: Sprinkled by
the Spirit; Dunked of God
Progress with a Christian Purpose: What
is Christian Education?
Power Over Powers
Knowing God's Will for My Life
Circling Around Religion
Your Faith and Your Life (Theme)
Christians Must Be Unpurchasable
God is Not Unknown
Our Hope for Years to Come and For-
Life's Events and God's Providence
From Separation to Reunion
The Primary Purpose of Prayer
On Living Before and After you Die
Believing by Doing
On Recommending Your Religion
Whom God Hath Joined Together
When Work Becomes Worship
Where Is God's Dwelling Place?
A Tough Mind and a Tender Heeirt
Why the Cross
The Changing and the Changeless Church
This Thing Called Love
The Church: Old Ironsides
Are You Good Soil?
Is your Religion Real?
Test of Behavior
Love Not the World
Test of a Creed
The Rewards of Being Christian: Is it
Marriage: Duet or Duel?
Not to Live Long but Well
What Christ Can Do for You
Themes: Parables of the Old Testament
and Meaning for 1963
A Christian's Creed
Man in the 1960's (Theme)
On the Nature of Love
The Second Sexual Revolution
The Twentieth Century Church
The Place of Christ
The Christian College
Rapid Changes and a New Burst of
Loss of Identity and New Styles of Life
The Erosion of Authority of Respon-
The Failure of Belief and the New
Do You Really Believe?
Prayer: Do You Care?
Christians in a Vacuum
The Meaning of Faith in Our Time
World Church and Christian Unity
The Christian's Relation to His
Nation and Church (Theme)
The Christian and the State
The Christian and the Church
Christianity: Confrontation and Change
Panel: Role of a College in a Changing
Student Life Styles in a Changing
The Struggle to Be Human (Theme)
There Is Hope but. . .(Theme)
Freedom (Self Determination) (Theme)
Take Charge of Your Life
Ha! Ha! Ha!
Survival: Alone or Together: The Chris-
tian and Global Consciousness (Theme)
Who Speaks for Man? (Theme)
1970 Dr. Edward Brubaker
Mr. Ray Nott
Dr. Bruce Rigdon
Dr. George Webber
Leaders of February Meetings, 1970-1976*
1972 Father Geoffrey Skrinar
1973 The Rev. Beverly Asbury
1974 Dr. John Fry
1971 Mr. Feliciano Carino
Dr. C. Samuel Calian
The Rev. Mr. John G. Gatu
Dr. Daniel B. Wessler
1975 Dr. Chnton M. Marsh
Dr. George R. Edwards
1976 Dr. Phyllis Trible
Dr. Patrick Henry
(Mr. Norman Cousins spoke to the
theme in March)
* Leaders prior to 1970 may be found in R. W. Lloyd, Maryville CoUege 150 years ,
1819-1969 . Only the off-campus leadership has been listed here. These were years
of many campus-led seminars.