Mullins Becomes President

When Southern called E.Y. Mullins as its fourth president in 1899, the school contacted him through telegraph. Mullins, a pastor in New England, sent multiple telegraphs back to the seminary. Mullins had run a telegraph office in his teenage years. His wife later recounted how Mullins returned to form:

“The messages continued to come at intervals through the evening; and then, knowing that the telegraph office closed early, Mr. Mullins went down and asked, as he had on another occasion, to take charge of the wire until his messsages ceased coming. The agent knew him well, smiled and gave him the wire.

As E.Y. tuned in, as he had done in the old days when he was an operator, it was a bit awkward to catch signals correctly and get into the swing of things. Telegraphers are sensitive as their fingertips strike unexpected things. So, one lusty operator called back to the interloper, “Who in heck are you, any way?” and the interloper chuckled as he replied, “Never you mind, just go ahead with your thunder.” He soon got the hang of things, as he told his wife, and took message after message for himself, the very last being the official message from the Board of Trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary calling him to its presidency.”

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–From Isla May Mullins, Edgar Young Mullins