This column appeared in the July 2021 issue of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate
Issues of the Advocate in June and July 1921 featured the varied work of Methodists around South Carolina, including revivals, conferences, Episcopal travel, and the work of conference institutions.
The Advocate reported on a revival in Edgefield in June 1921 that evidently went on for two weeks. “After a little over two weeks duration, Rev. Mr. Bridgers closed the tent revival meeting on Tuesday night, after a most successful and soul-stirring and beneficial fortnight’s spiritual awakening of all our people of all classes and conditions and ages and colors. Its tangible results should rank it the best and most far-reaching in its good and uplifting influence of any like revival ever held in Edgefield. Rev. Mr. Bridgers is a man of wonderful power and magnetism, and the good work and genuine benefits occurring should have a lasting and telling effect for a long time to come. Edgefield enjoyed the meeting thoroughly, and we trust its laborers will be felt for the betterment of the whole town and country.”
The Advocate also posted a note from Bishop Urban Darlington that spoke both of the challenges of travel a hundred years ago as well as the international aspect of the work of the bishops. Darlington wrote “It is my purpose to sail from New York on July 5th for the inspection of our European work, being appointed to such mission by the College of Bishops. While absent my Episcopal District will be in the hands of Bishop Collins Denny of Richmond, Va. Let all the brethren take notice. I hope to return about September 20th.”
The Advocate also brought events at Lake Junaluska to the notice of its readers. Several meetings and training events were on the calendar, including the Rural Life School, then the Epworth League Assembly would run from June 30 to July 10. A training school for Sunday School teachers would follow, from July 13 through 27. That sounds like a lot of training. August would see the missionary conference, the conference of laymen, and the Bible-Evangelistic Conference, and the Social Service Conference. The Advocate encouraged South Carolinians to take a vacation to the Lake to take advantage of “innocent recreation.”
The editor noted receiving Wofford’s College Catalogue, a document that described the college’s course offerings as well as other information about the institution. It noted that Wofford had hosted nearly 600 students during regular and summer terms. It noted the students, which coming most heavily from Spartanburg County, represented almost every county in the state, with 21 of the upcountry counties and 21 of the lowcountry counties having students at the college. Of note, 21 students came from Orangeburg, 19 from Darlington, 16 from Williamsburg, 15 each from Lexington, Florence, and Richland, and 14 from Calhoun. The college had about 32 employees, and the Advocate made note of the size of the campus community and the college’s focus on training students in scholarship and character. A later item noted the arrival of a new faculty member. Dr. A. M. Trawick, who was becoming professor of religious education. The editor noted Dr Trawick had “a very unique and attractive personality, splendid equipment, and ripe classroom experience” which made him “a really great teacher, and it is an easy forecast that he will soon become one of the most popular members of the Wofford faculty.”
Along with these items, the Advocate also focused on meetings of the Woman’s Missionary Society, with a full report of their recent meeting at Anderson College, hosted by the ladies of St. John’s Church. Methodists were indeed busy doing the church’s work in the summer of 1921.