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The South Carolina Baptist Convention, 1909
By Z. T. Cody
From The Baptist World
      I promised you a word about our recent convention at Anderson; but before I had a time in which to write, the World of last week came with its many pictures of the faces of old friends and the places where they labor, and with the articles from my ever-dear friend, Dr. Sowers announcing his acceptance of the call to New Orleans. How could an ex-Kentuckian write a letter to the World and not speak of last week's issue? I look on Sowers as one of the greatest pastors that God has given us. He has capacity for work, leadership and enthusiasm. His success at Norwood, Ohio, was rich in all the results a pastor and people most desire to see. And you may be sure that he will make good in New Orleans. Difficulties are his inspirations. But Sowers is not

The South Carolina Convention

      Dr. A. J. S. Thomas, our editor and moderator, guided the convention so perfectly that no one was conscious that there was any machinery at work.

      Rev. John F. Vines, the pastor, is the prince of entertainers and the hospitality of the church has never been surpassed.

      The convention was blessed with a number of distinguished visitors: Drs. Frost, Willingham, Gray, DeMent and the editor of the World. Most of these gentlemen were to attend also the North Carolina Convention, which was in session at the same time. Some of them came to us via the old North State. Steps were taken to try to prevent other conflict of dates of meeting and I trust they will be successful for our secretaries and representatives are a large part of the conventions.

      The reports revealed a great year's work. In all $137,000 was given. Seven years ago when the convention met in Greenville, Mr. W. W. Keys introduced a resolution requesting the churches to contribute $65,000, and it was opposed because it was asking too much. Next year the convention has set its mark at $154,300.

      There had been a very general effort to go to the convention out of debt; but this was not to be for the State Board. Yet the debt was reduced and it is confidently believed that another year's work will do the clean [?] thing. Our debt at the convention was about $6,000.

Dr. T. Bailey.

      The saddest hour of the convention was on Friday morning when a committee reported that our beloved secretary, Dr. T. M. Bailey, who has served the convention for twenty-four years, asked to be relieved of the responsibilities of his great office. His wishes were acceded to and he was elected secretary emeritus for life on a salary sufficient to meet all his needs. He felt that the burdens of this office were too great for one of his years and the action of the convention in relieving him was in accordance with his own wish and suggestion. No one in South Carolina is loved as Dr. Bailey is. To him above any other living man is due the present unity and prosperity of our denomination in the state. The eulogies of the man and his work were full and heartfelt. There has never been a tenderer hour in the South Carolina Convention. Dr. Bailey is in good health and we have the prospect of having him with us for many years. And while he lives he will be in the closest relations with our State Mission work, of which he has been and is the embodiment.

Furman and the Greenville Female College.

      These beloved institutions came in for a fair share of the convention's attention. We are closing up a campaign for $100,00 for these colleges, and the part that goes to Furman

p. 7
is to secure a conditional offer of $25,000 by the General Education Board. The time limit is out December 31 and something like $14,000 is to be brought in. Notes have been taken, but the cash must be secured by that time. I wish notes meant cash. But alas! And this is why there must be a deal of hustling for the rest of this month. But it will come and what a happy Christmas it will give us.

Dr. Wm. B. Johnson.

      I ought to make reference to the unveiling of a monument that was erected over the grave of Dr. W. B. Johnson, the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The ceremonies were very appropriate and were in the presence of a great many who knew Dr. Johnson and of some who had been students in the old Seminary at Anderson. Among many others two of his granddaughters were present. Miss Claudie Townes and Mrs. Kate Corbett, both of Greenville.

      Much love to the dear friends of old Kentucky.
      Greenville, S. C


From The Baptist World, December 30, 1909, pp. 6-7; via Baylor U. Digital Documents. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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