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S.C. Baptists Adopt Wait-and-See Policy, Asks Integration Delay General Board's Motion

An article appearing in Furman's student newspaper, The Paladin, dated November 16, 1963, detailing a meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, and the Convention's approval of the General Board's request that the Furman University Trustees postpone action on the recently announced policy of admission of all qualified students until a feasible policy could be adopted for all South Carolina Baptist institutions.

S.C. Baptists Adopt Wait-And-See Policy Asks Integration Delay General Board's Motion -- By NANCY LEE OWEN -- CHARLESTON -- The South Carolina Baptist General Board recommended that Furman be requested to defer its new admission policy for the present, and that was the recommendation which the Convention eventually adopted. On Tuesday afternoon Wayne R. Davis, moderator of the Florence Baptist Association, informed the Convention of a resolution his association had adopted to let admissions procedures be left to the Furman trustees. Davis then asked that such a resolution be adopted by the Convention. This resolution was referred to the Resolutions Committee. Paul Craven informed the Convention that the Charleston Association recommended that all South Carolina Baptist institutions adhere to the same policy with regard to race, and he asked that the Convention direct Furman to defer action until an overall policy has been adopted. In a report on the State of the University, Dr. John L. Plyler praised the trustees by saying that they have tried to find the truth and have had the courage to follow their convictions. Dr. Edward Byrd said that not only was the principle of Integration at stake In Convention's action but also the control of the University. Byrd, after hearing the General Board's motion that Furman wait until statewide policies could be adopted before integrating, said that the matter of admission was not within the province of authority of the Executive Committee. He amended the General Board's recommendation to permit the matter of admission to be left up to the trustees where it has always resided. Julian Cave, speaking in opposition to Byrd, seemed to make the following four points: 1. The convention is trying to help, not block the trustees. He said that this matter was minor to the fraternity issue, and that these two instances were the only two in 30 years in which the convention has asserted itself authoritatively. 2. Furman needs the love of the South Carolina Baptists, and integration will hurt more than help in getting and showing that love. 3. Jesus hated slavery "but said nothing about it"; therefore, he solved the problem by loving men. 4. The Convention should, therefore, prohibit integration in all its colleges. Dr. L. D. Johnson pointed out that if we believe in the principles of love of fellow man, we must begin acting that way. "We must trust the trustees -- we elected them," he said. The convention voted approval of the report of the Reference Committee of the General Board by more than three to one. The General Board had recommended, and with very few changes was in favor of, "requesting the Furman trustees to postpone action on the recently announced policy of admission of all qualified students until feasible policy could be adopted for all South Carolina Baptist institutions." There will be a report made on integration plans for the South Carolina institutions at the 1964 Convention. This year the General Board will listen to all sides. Immediately after the convention all educational institutions will be informed of the decision.