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By Alfred S Bradford

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5 Members of the faculty and student body at the nascent Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina, debated the question of secession for several weeks, but as the states began seceding most of the students followed the lead of their native states into the Confederacy. Finally, when Virginia voted to secede, the seminary suspended classes and the remaining students left without completing their final examinations. 6 The climax of the secessionist movement among Southern Baptists came at the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Savannah, Georgia, May IO-r3, r861.

Baptists throughout the South lauded their fallen hero. " 63 Another paper recounted that Davis had been ill beyond recovery for many days before his death. "However," commented the editor, loyal Southern hearts hoped that the grand old man would be spared them yet a little longer, that they might honor him more and give attestation of their feelings to the hero of the Lost Cause. [History would place his name where it] rightly belongs-among the greatest men this country has yet produced .... He went to perform his duty, as did thousands of others, and the cause he espoused shall never be called the traitor's cause.

No evil was abolished by emancipation. Southern whites, therefore, still had the same obligation to the freedmen. If they permitted the Negroes to degenerate, God would punish the white race again. 23 As with slavery, so with secession. Baptists had no confessions of guilt. They defended the states' -rights arguments on which the doctrine of secession rested. In resorting to secession Southerners had merely followed a political philosophy which differed from that held by Northerners. The Constitution provided for the possibility of a divided loyalty between federal and state governments.

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