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    CHAPTER XIV.
  --  The John C. Martin Bible Movement.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER XVI.
  --  Songs and Texts of Special Significance in Virginia's
  --  Twenty Years' Experience.

Broughton, V.W.
Twenty Year's Experience of a Missionary

- CHAPTER XV. -- One Year's Work in the Agricultural and Mechanical

CHAPTER XV.
One Year's Work in the Agricultural and Mechanical


College, Normal, Ala.

In September, 1906, Virginia found herself again engaged in the regular work of the school room in the A. & M. College, Normal, Ala. She met a friendly, sociable corps of teachers, all apparently deeply interested and ready for the service as outlined by the management of the institution and its honorable board of directors.

The president's zealous labors of more than thirty years to make the A. & M. College the grand school it now is have been well rewarded in the success attained and he now lives to enjoy some of the rich fruits of his early seed sowing. For natural beauty Normal can scarcely be surpassed. It is situated in North Alabama upon the south side of one of the spurs of the Cumberland mountains, which greatly protect the school buildings from the full force of

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the northern winds in winter. The campus is so elevated, situated as it is on the mountain side, that one from this point can view all the surrounding country for miles away. The lights in the city of Huntsville, four miles distant, can be easily seen at night. Beautiful green grass covers the mountain side upon which the buildings are erected as with a carpet of green. Evergreen, shade and fruit trees of various kinds adorn the ground, and fruit trees of various kinds adorn the grounds, and beds of flowers and potted plants appear here and there, adding much to the natural picturesque scenery of Normal. The most careless observer that passes is attracted by this scene or beauty. Two railroad stations are adjacent to the grounds and furnish ample accommodation for the ingress and egress of students. There are fourteen buildings for the work of the institution besides the president's home and four cottages for teachers' families. Much emphasis is placed upon industrial education and all students are given opportunity to learn two or more trades. The literary school furnished three courses, preparatory, normal and college, and all students are required to take two or more studies for their intellectual training.

Bible study is also emphasized and made a special department of the institution's work. The state, however, makes no appropriation for Bible department. For the lack of some definite support the department

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is crippled to some extent, as sufficient time cannot be given to fully develop it.

Virginia has found the young people even more interested in their Bible study than she expected, as so few young people have been shown the importance of Bible study as a part of their educational training. Bible class work is somewhat new in many of our schools. "The Students' Bible Course" of "The John C. Martin Educational Fund" has been pursued with blessed results.

Books were secured in November, 1906, and the students entered heartily into the systematic study of "The Life of Christ," as recorded in the Gospels. With this perfect threefold system of education carried on in the A. & M. College, Normal, Ala., under the management of that excellent leader of men, President W. H. Council, and his able corps of teachers, our youth are compelled to be prepared for the arduous duties of life that await them.

Virginia entered into the inner life of the school at once; she was made superintendent of the Sunday school at the beginning of the school year, supervisor of the Y. W. C. A. and Bible teacher in the Normal and College Departments, while Rev. Dr. Brooke gave Bible lessons two days of each week to the entire school. In November Virginia was given the entire class work of Bible study throughout the school. She

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was thus enabled to come in close touch with all the young people and help them in their religious life. Blessed privilege! She believes many have been led to appreciate the beauty and loveliness of the true Christian life; several have accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour and have begun to testify of his love and join heartily in the work of the public religious services. Many can be dependent upon to present a creditable exercise for a religious service whenever requested. Special Bible instructions have been given to those aspiring for the ministry and missionary work, thus enabling our young ministers to give the schools several practical, theoretical and acceptable sermons at the Sunday morning services, the principal church service of the day. Much attention is also given to elocution and music as complements to the more solid and arduous work of the Institution. Every class in its respective order presents a weekly rhetorical program. Honorable rivalry exists that causes the classes to vie with each other for excellence in those weekly exercises. There are also four literary societies, the Peabody, Douglas, Adelphic and Phyllis Wheatly. Each Friday evening one of these literary societies entertains the school with an excellent program of a literary and musical character. The social side of life is also given its share of consideration. Occasionally a social is tendered the student body.
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One of special interest was given in November as a reward to the students for faithful service in aiding the farm manager to gather the cotton from the fields, when help could not be secured for love nor money. The students volunteered their services and went to the fields in large numbers and soon had all the cotton gathered. The teachers or Normal have a "Round Table," a social and literary meeting, every two weeks, and thus every one is kept busily engaged in art and science, both theoretical and applied; in literature, profane and sacred, ancient and modern, and music, both vocal and instrumental, according to their respective adaptabilities and capabilities. The Bran Band, under the efficient direction of Prof. L. W. Hammond, was a great success this year. In short, Normal A. & M. College is a regular beehive of humanity, and the king bee is sure to drive out all drones if for no other reason that self-defense.

Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Emancipation Day, Washington's birthday and Easter were all appropriately celebrated at Normal, with helpful instructive and inspiring exercise.

Prof. W. S. Peyton introduced several healthful amusements in the line of sports on Thanksgiving Day. As interest grows in this feature of college life, it is hoped the baseball team of Normal will be prepared

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to contest successfully with the teams of any of our southern colleges.

A standing committee, representing the various colleges from which the teachers graduated, namely, Dr. Annie B. Marsh, A. & M. College; Mrs. V. W. Broughton, Fisk University; Prof. W. S. Peyton, Lake Forest; Miss M.G. Gibson, Tongaloo; Mrs. C.B. Hamilton, Wilberforce; Miss F. T. Johnson, Walden; Mrs. H.M.F. Archer, Niagara Falls, was appointed to arrange programs for all special occasions. Hence much praise is due said committee for the excellence and suggestiveness of the programs for each of the special occasions referred to. Vice-President Hopkins, who largely had the management of the school in hand this year, owing to the impaired health of President Council, was found to be most genial and courteous, ever ready to relieve and assist the teachers in their arduous duties, being made arduous because of the small teaching force provided for the work to be done. Prof. Hopkins' years of experience in the school room enabled him to do the work in the class room whenever necessary, as well as do the more responsible work of directing the entire work of the institution.

Virgina counted herself favored to be associated with such a corps of faithful teachers in this particular school year of 1906 and 1907 for many reasons, one especially she would mention, namely: Led by

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President Councill with a liberal donation these associated teachers and students of A. & M. College donated a large per cent of the expense of her trip abroad, wither she was delegated by the Woman's Convention Auxiliary to N. B. Convention to attend the World's International Sunday-school Convention. This trip prevents her closing the year's report in full. She will leave her unexpired term to be filled by her daughters, Mrs. E. B. Sykes, if she is required to supply a substitute. The commencement alone remains unreported.
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    CHAPTER XIV.
  --  The John C. Martin Bible Movement.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER XVI.
  --  Songs and Texts of Special Significance in Virginia's
  --  Twenty Years' Experience.