Books Documents

Builders and Connections

The blog software I use has been acting funny lately, which is why I haven’t posted much lately. However, serendipity struck today, prompting me to find a workaround to share something from the 1934 Southern Christian Advocate.

You see, my student assistant, John Bumgardner, finished scanning a book yesterday – a 1932 pictorial directory of Methodist ministers in South Carolina. I’ll be working to put the scans online over the next few weeks – first the pictures, then later, the full biographies. The pictures will complement three earlier volumes we’ve posted online, and will help local churches locate pictures of some of their former ministers.

But here’s where it gets interesting. This morning, John was looking up an obituary for a researcher and stumbled across an article in the Advocate about the publication of Builders. The article was by Herbert Hucks, then a senior at Wofford and later the college and Methodist Conference archivist. I worked for him while I was a student in the early 1990s. An amazing find on the day after completing a scanning project. Here’s some of what Mr. Hucks had to say:

Recently, a book was printed under the name of “Builders” in which the lives of the Methodistministers of our State were sketched. Perhaps there are other builders – students in high school, college, and in life – who desire to build up our state- even though it be merely in dreams. That phase of dreams is entirely worth developing- because some dreams come true, if continually thought about and if they provoke constructive thought.

The present college student has the chance thrust – yes actually pushed – on him to build and dream for others and himself. In the summer of 1932, President Frank P. Graham of the University of North Carolina, said “Let us pause awhile, dream dreams that will rebuild this old South of ours – this South that gave to the entire nation principles of rugged honesty, of of courage, culture and honor.” Is that not enough to force every young South Carolinian and especially the college student, to dream of a better state?

An interesting discovery from a long-ago newspaper, but again, one of those examples of how serendipity always plays a role in what one might find in the library or archives.