Chapel -- FALL -- 1966

by Dr. L. H. Hollingsworth, Chaplain
Wake Forest Magazine, November 1966

Wake Forest College is, by heritage and by choice, a Christian College, affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The College recognizes that to call itself Christian is to declare a purpose and express an ideal more than it is to claim an accomplishment. Nevertheless, it will never let its failure to achieve perfection in this ideal be any other than a challenge to intensify its effort

Traditionally, the student body has been cosmopolitan, not only in terms of the communities and states from which the students come, but also in terms of background, outlook and religious affiliation. Wake Forest believes in individual freedom, not as a right, but as a responsibility . . . freedom to be and, more important, to become. Attendance at Wake Forest is a privilege, not a right. The College's traditions and principles, accepted by each student in his act of voluntary registration, evolve from the core of this concept of freedom and responsibility that are indivisible. Therefore, it is presumed that the student who elects to come to Wake Forest does so with the intent of being, in fact and spirit, a cooperating member of this community.

Wake Forest attempts to maintain a wholesome Christian atmosphere in which students are given every encouragement to develop their spiritual lives to the highest possible potential. Wait Chapel, named for the first President, who led the students in prayers and devotions twice daily from the beginning of the life of the College, is the center of the campus both physically and symbolically. It is a beautiful and inspiring testimony to the place of religion in the well-balanced life. Its beautiful sanctuary is the scene for twice-weekly chapel programs which are under the direction of the Chaplain of the College, assisted by a committee of students who are selected for the task by their fellow students. These programs provide worship opportunities for students and faculty, the presentation of great ideas within the context of spiritual values and, in a very real sense, constitute one way in which the College keeps constantly before itself and its constituency its own proclamation of faith in and commitment to the Christian Gospel. While students are in no sense required to embrace the ideas and beliefs which may be presented in these Chapel programs, attendance is required of all students and their respectful and courteous attention is expected.

In keeping with a tradition dating back to 1835, there is a Baptist Church on the campus which meets in regular services each Sunday in the Chapel. This Church provides all the ministries and services common to Baptist Churches and, though not officially connected with the College, offers a most cordial welcome to faculty and students alike. In addition, every encouragement is give to students to avail themselves of the ministries and opportunities provided by the churches of Winston-Salem.

The Chaplain of the College seeks to interpret the place of religion in culture and society and, particularly, the significance of Christian Education. He seeks to minister to students and faculty in all ways. In addition he serves the College in helping to develop effective communication with its constituency. The Chaplain office also encourages students to translate their worship into effective Christian living. A rich program of activities is offered to challenge their interests and meet the needs. These activities are developed both in terms of campus-wide emphases, such as Religion in Life Week and in terms of group organizations and programs. Students of various faiths and denominations are organized and assisted by their own chaplains or advisers. The Chaplain seeks to coordinate these groups and encourage them both individually and collectively to promote a vital religious experience.

In short, Wake Forest College believes that because men may they must ". . . increase in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man!" and its constant developing efforts in the area of religion are designed to encourage and assist this growth.

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The above paragraphs appear in the catalogue of the College as a brief attempt to state the philosophy and purpose of Wake Forest in retaining the tradition of chapel as one of the ministries of the Chaplain's office. The schedule of programs below is this fall's special effort to translate this philosophy and purpose into fact. One of the first programs of the season provides a fine example of what the potential of the series really is.

While fewer than one hundred of the more than two thousand students who heard him are Catholics, Dr. David J. Bowman, a Catholic priest, several times in his talk on October 4, called us, "My dear brothers and sisters in Christ!" It is our hope that all of us will learn to say it back, not only to Dr. Bowman, but to all of Godís children who so surely are our brothers and sisters.

The schedule below is published for information and alumni and friends are cordially invited to visit us at any time.

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