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When I was about fifteen years of age I was converted and joined Big Oak Christian Church in Moore County, North Carolina. At the age of about seventeen I felt the divine call into the gospel ministry. I made known to the Lord my willingness to obey the heavenly vision. But I could not see how I could prepare myself for so great a work as I did not have any money. Neither was my father able to help me in a financial way. I was then working at public work and the money that I earned was being used to help support the large family to which I belonged, there being nine boys and four girls in our family.

However, I told my father of my desires and how that I desired to become a preacher some day. He told me that if I could make my own way through school he would let me go then, even though I had not reached the age of my freedom. I appreciated this kindness of my father very much. He was always good to us boys, and so was mother. But they were poor and I knew they needed my wages, at least until I was twenty-one. I knew I was no better than my other brothers, and I also 89 knew that my father was not able to treat us all so nicely as to let us quit working for him before we were twenty-one years old. Hence I felt it best to work on with him until I reached that age, which I did.

On my twenty-first birthday the “boss man” paid me off and I carried the money to my father and gave it to him. I then began to work for myself and to plan to go to school. I worked at a shingle mill for two months, saving in that time about $30.00. I then left home for school. I had about fifteen dollars when I got to the first school I attended which was Why Not Academy in Randolph County, N. C., it being conducted at that time by Professor G. F. Garner. Here I kept “bachelor’s hall,” doing my own cooking and cutting wood on Saturdays to help defray my expenses.

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While here I began to correspond with the President of Elon College, Elon College, N. C. This institution belongs to my own denomination and I decided that I wanted to study there. I had no money with which to pay my expenses, but I had some good friends who loaned me enough money to start to college on. So I entered Elon College. I was timid, dull, and embarrassed, but I know God had called me to a great work and that call included a preparation. I was willing to make the sacrifice. Those things with which I busied myself in the afternoons were chopping wood, cutting corn, and cleaning off the town cemetery. I kept up this 90 work for the first year. The second year my conference licensed me to preach and I was called as pastor of two churches. After this I made my way through college by doing pastoral work. It was hard on me, but I believe it was God’s way of helping me through college.

My college career was one of hard work and much toil. In fact it was a miracle that I got through at all. And I am convinced that if a man has a noble purpose prompting him to strive for an education, he can get it.

Elon College, N. C.


J. R. MOSLEY, L.I., B.S., M.S., PH.D.

My observation and experience has been that anyone who is anxious enough for a knowledge and culture to be willing to sacrifice false pride, and do well whatever his hands find to do that needs doing, can easily go through college, and even take advanced university training. It is not so much a question of money as desire, determination and steadfastness. The only exception is where one is bound by higher duties, such as caring for parents, or any call from the Divine that is direct and immediate.

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When I started to college in the fall of 1889, I only had, of my own making, a little more than enough money to buy necessary clothing and railroad fare from Statesville, N. C., to Nashville, Tenn. I had stood the competitive examination for a scholarship at Peabody College for Teachers and that paid two hundred dollars a year in addition to free tuition.

Major Finger, who was then Superintendent of Education for North Carolina, wrote me that while 92 others had won the scholarships open to North Carolina for that year, I was prepared to enter the sophomore class at Peabody, and that if I would pay my expenses one year, he would, upon the recommendation of the President, appoint me to a scholarship which would be good for two years. When mother saw my heart was set on going to college, she said, “Rufus shall go if we have to sell the creek field.” As I was the fourth child of a family of eight children, and as we were not through paying for the whole farm, I could not accept such a sacrifice.

When I told Mr. R. G. Franklin of Elkin, N. C., of Major Finger’s offer, he said he would be one of three men to lend $50.00 each. Col. A. B. Galoway of Elkin, and Mr. James Bates, near Capps Mill, joined him in furnishing the strictly necessary money for the first year. Father stood my security, and he and Col. Galoway and Mr. Bates have gone where such unselfish goodness and generous faith are fully appreciated and rewarded. Only Mr. Franklin lives for me to thank and bless for his faith and helping hand when both were so much needed. The good mother still lives, and has increasing joy and hope in life, and all of her children rise up and call her blessed.

During the first year at Peabody we had a short vacation in February, and I went out as an experimental book agent. I found that as trying as it was on the agent as well as the people, I could make 93 money as a canvasser. Sometime in the spring Dr. Payne, President of Peabody, recommended me for a scholarship, and Major Finger gave me the appointment. This I held for two years until I received my bachelor’s degree. The summer vacations were all employed in canvassing or collecting, and I became a good enough collector for a publishing house at Nashville to pay me $70.00 a month and expenses. Apart from my strict loyalty to my employer and hard work, I regret this part of my life, for I have seen for a long time that the selling of even Bibles to the poor at high prices on the seductive installment plan, is a form of business that is not righteous enough even to use as a means for getting an education. As the true light breaks upon us, we can do nothing that is not necessary, right and beneficent.

During the first three years at Nashville, I received on scholarship, made by summer work and saved enough money to pay back all I had borrowed for the first year and to take one year’s graduate work at Nashville. My expenses had been considerably increased on account of rather poor general health and the loss of time and expense of three spells of sickness while I was canvassing or collecting. Being prominent in college life, and having too much of the pride for the finest and most sensible economy, also caused my expenses to be more than were strictly necessary. Indeed false pride has been my expensive weakness and has stood most in 94 the way of a life in strict harmony with reason, love and the spirit of truth.

Before I had taken my master’s degree at Nashville, I was offered a fellowship in the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania, that paid $160.00 a year, the necessary university expenses. But I had my heart set on going to the University of Chicago. President Harper told that they would do as well by me as the University of Pennsylvania, so I entered there as a graduate student in 1893, the year of the World’s Fair at Chicago. I got to see much of the exposition during its last month without harm to my class work. I was given work as an assistant in the library, which called for cutting leaves of new books and magazines, putting the library stamp upon them, and carrying them to the departmental libraries. I was also an assistant in one of the departmental libraries. A dear college friend and professor at Nashville, Mr. A. P. Bourland, gave me such aid as was necessary until I received a fellowship that paid me $320.00 a year. The fellowship was awarded by Professor Harry Pratt Judson, now the president of the University. A short time after receiving this fellowship I was offered a professorship at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, and the way was open for me to continue my education as a teacher and as a student as long as I cared. For two years it was arranged for me to teach at Mercer half of the year and spend the other at the University 95 of Chicago, where I taught one class and continued my work as a student. The third year I taught six months at Mercer and spent the spring semester at Heidelberg, Germany. The following year I taught about seven months at Mercer, and went to Harvard for the closing lectures of the spring term and for the summer work.

Before the sixth year of my work at Mercer had closed, I was told by Chancellor Hill of the University of Georgia, that with my consent he would go before the board of trustees and recommend the creation of a new chair, the character of which would be determined largely by preferences, and he would recommend me to fill it. As inviting as it was I declined the generous offer, and in a short time resigned my position at Mercer for the quest of health, truth and the larger freedom along the lines of study and activity.

Macon, Georgia.