Edgar Furr, Sabinal, Texas
The Firm Foundation, September 30, 1947
There has been much said through the papers about schools that are patronized by members of the church of Christ where the Bible is taught as a text book and credit is given toward a college degree. All say that these schools are not the work of the local congregation. If they are the work of the local congregation the board of directors should be dismissed and the work turned over to the elders of some stable congregation as Sunny Glen Home was when the preachers of the valley saw no need of being delegates to a convention to elect directors of a board to do the benevolent work of the church. If our Christian colleges are a business enterprise they are making an outstanding mistake and demonstrating poor business judgment, and are not getting the money they say they need to expand and carry on their work. If the colleges are a business enterprise and want us as citizens who believe they are doing a good work that directly benefits the church to put money into them, they should issue stock in their companies upon the basis of so many shares to so much money put up. One says they are not a money making business and therefore could not pay a dividend. That is no reason for not offering stock to the man whom they wish to put up the money. People are not so constructed to put up large sums or small sums of hard-earned money and have no say us to the manner in which it is handled, when appointed the first board of directors to these schools and how is the board maintained and how are we to know they are business men who know how to handle large sums of money? If the people are going to put up the money why cannot the stock holders say who is on the board and for how long he shall serve? Suppose he serves as long as he wishes under the present system and he is not a business man, what then? If the schools are a business enterprise to whom do they belong? One friend has put up $40,000, what say does he have and what part of the school belongs to him? There are those today who would put money into the school if they knew anything about the work and had a voice according to their ability to support, but as it is the schools want our money and then want us to keep quiet while they teach anything they desire to in the Bible classes which counts to credit on a degree. If complaint is brought to bear on what is taught in “our” schools now, there is no one who “has a say” except the men who are on the board, who may be or may not be of the same disposition as the teacher. I know in one of “our” schools where the direct operation of the Holy Spirit is taught. What has been and what can be done about it? Nothing, and never will be, under present circumstances because the people who contribute above the school fees have no voice and nothing can be done.
In 1945 I started to work to establish a school which became reality in 1946, operating on a small scale. It is now known as the Texas Normal Singing School at Sabinal, Texas. I own my own buildings, grounds, and textbooks. I employ my own teachers and pay them a salary. My school is operated as a business enterprise to give young men a chance to become efficient song leaders in the church of Christ. Our work here directly benefits the local congregation and the cause of Christ in general. Austin Taylor, Holland L. Boring, Hayden Mahan, and myself are the teachers. Too, those who know these men know the boys receive training and are taught the right kind of songs to use in the church. When boys enroll in my school they are responsible to me and the cost is $60.00 for three weeks’ training in the month of June each year. If this little school can operate on a basis of private enterprise the large schools can operate on the same’ basis, either as privately owned or on a stock basis and all wrangling can be removed.