Founders Day 1966 and Dedication
Mrs. A. J. Foster was honored January 5, 1966 at dedication ceremonies for the Foster Student Center and services commemorating the 74th anniversary of the college.
For many years, Mrs. Foster has been a friend and benefactor of North Greenville. Since 1951, she has given a total of $85,000 to the college. Her generosity has also been directed to other Baptist institutions in giving support totaling almost $500,000.
Rev. Harry Granger, pastor of Crescent Hill Baptist of Columbia, presented an outline of Mrs. Foster’s life. A resident of Columbia, she has been an example of Christian living and giving. He stated, “There is no way to evaluate what Mrs. Foster has done. South Carolina Baptists will always be indebted to her.”
Rev. S. George Lovvell, pastor of the Conway First Baptist and chairman of the executive committee of the General Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, was the principal speaker at the ceremonies on the 74th anniversary of the school. Rev. Lovvell is Mrs. Foster’s nephew.
In reviewing the history of North Greenville, Rev. Lovvell stated, “We are living in an entirely new world – a world that has been made over and continues it rapid change at an accelerated pace.” He stated, “In this dark corner of Greenville County the people could hide in their valleys and behind their mountains, and develop a culture all their own.” But this is no longer true.
He emphasized, “Standing in the midst of a rapidly changing world, energized, miniaturized, secularized, we ask in complete candor, what in the world can we do? To being with, we must up-date our academic program. Christian education in the world today demands the very best spiritual, intellectual, and financial resources that we have at our disposal.
To try to conduct an institution of this type with the same curriculum, the same methodology, the same approach, as that which prevailed a generation or so ago would mark this school as being hopelessly behind the time.
It becomes imperative that we step up our academic training at least to equal the present-day needs, and, by the way of anticipation, we would add to those needs the training which we believe will be necessary during the next ten or fifteen years.”
Rev. Lovvell raised the question as to the purpose of our Christian education program. “In my humble judgement a Christian institution should be designed to give distinctive training that will produce aggressive, capable, Christian leaders in all fields of human endeavor,” he stated.
He continued, “To be sure, our purpose is to train preachers with unquestioned denominational loyalty and genuine ability to become pastors of our churches, but along with this there are strong lawyers, doctors, teachers, business, and professional men who need desperately to be trained so as to retain the highest in American idealism and Christian spirit. Evangelism is hopeless without education.”
In closing, Rev. Lovvell stated, “What South Carolina Baptists really believe about Christian education can be readily known from what they are actually doing about it. We are now at the crossroads, the testing time. We shall soon see what South Carolina Baptists believe. ‘Faith without works is dead.’”
Dr. M. C. Donnan, President Emeritus, closed the service with prayer.
Published in the Winter, 1966 issue of the North Greenville Alumni Newsletter