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Remembering ACC

By Bob Cruse

religion, articles, christianity

In the fall of 1946, a 22-year-old Pan Handle farm boy enrolled in Abilene Christian College. He was "country to the core" having been nurtured to manhood by godly Christian parents but bewildered and confused by three and one-half years of Navy life during World War II.

The spiritual aura around "the hill" captivated him immediately. He immersed himself in his studies for a long time, seldom surfacing for exposure to any kind of social life, drinking in the "heavenly" a cappella music during "chapel" each morning and taking into his heart the words of Jesus Christ offered humbly, yet forcefully, by brother (not Doctor) James F. Cox, his freshman Bible professor.

Here was a true Christian gentleman and scholar. With the exception of his mother, brother Cox reached into this young man's heart more deeply than any other person ever had. But there was much more to come.

Brother Charles H. Roberson took up where brother Cox left off. Sophomore Bible, in those days, was "Me Teachings of Christ." Brother Roberson expounded the subject matter with zest and scholarship. Having earned the title of "Dr." he never claimed it or used it. His thin, gray hair and the "whistle" as he spoke the s sounds betrayed his age, but the softness of his voice, the sparkle in his eyes, and the smile on his lips never did. He talked humbly about the Son of God as if he had been with him - as he was only a few years later.

Among the young man's other Bible professors during four winters and summers at ACC were R.C. Bell and Homer Hailey. Other names have been forgotten. But what has not been forgotten is that none of these men even hinted at a disbelief in any doctrine of the Bible. True, they knew ACC's charter under which they operated, and they knew it would be strictly enforced. But their loyalty was to God and his Word, not to the charter. They were believers and scholars.

Neither this young man nor his parents were ever concerned that godless evolution might be taught in one of his biology classes. They had no fear that an ACC Bible professor would write an article denying the virgin birth, have it published in a religious paper, and afterward receive the support of the president of ACC. They were supremely confident that if a situation ever arose in which ACC's charter was violated in letter or in spirit, it would be handled quickly and decisively by brother Don H. Morris.

The young man of our story, nearing his promised three score and 10 years, has seen the passing of Don Morris. Since then, he has seen men and women, lacking the character to stand for the truth of God's Word, come from ACU into our churches which is the only force able to make us "one" again.

Our friend and his wife through many years of happy marriage always dreamed of sending their four beautiful daughters to ACC. But these dreams were dashed by continual rumblings from "the hill." When the time came, these parents reluctantly yet lovingly chose another Christian college for their daughters.

Now, they wonder about the grandchildren. Will ACU return to the spiritual greatness of the old ACC before they are ready for college? Will all the uncertainties about ACU be erased by then? That's an uphill dream but not a totally impossible one.

It would take only a few Don-Morris-like strokes by Dr. Money, fully supported by the trustees (or vice versa), to remove the doubts that our grandchildren would be spiritually safe under their tutelage. Then, and only then, can these grandparents and the thousands of other grandparents like them lend their support to ACU again.

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Published November 1993