Documenting the American South Logo
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nancy Kester Neale, August 6, 1983. Interview F-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Disagreement within the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen

Neale describes some disagreement within the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen. Difficulty communicating created some tensions, but the bonding effect of bringing together different people with similar goals—such as at Buckeye Cove—outweighed these problems.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Nancy Kester Neale, August 6, 1983. Interview F-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Were there any internal dissentions?
Oh certainly. Fine of life. Again, for the same kinds of reasons with different kinds of priorties of them with these different groups, different kinds of ways of perceiving the world and what ought to be done about social conditions. Are you thinking about anything in particular.
No I am just probing.
Sure. Yes, at different times there would be an emphasis that dad ought to go do stuff out in the field when he was working harder at Buck-eye Cove, because that is what he thought that was what he was supposed to do. And that is when he ran into trouble, because he suddenly found out that people were disapproving his not having been out making money for the Fellowship and doing other stuff. When as he understand it the expectation was that he would help build the conference grounds at Buck-eye Cove. That knocked him off of his pants for quite a while. I think one of the things that the Fellowship could have profited from was is known today about good communicaiton skills. Not everybody, but people would carry a lot of stuff along for a while and then it would suddenly come out. Whereas if eveybody would have been a little bit more forthcoming sooner, it would not have worried so about conflict and seen it as o.k. and healthy, then they could have worked stuff out sooner I think. But there were people who would get mad, and people who would get discouraged and want to leave and whatever. But I think there was an amazing bonding effect going on here at the same time, because these were people and families from all over the thirteen or fourteen states who were under amazing duress in their community for their own beliefs. And when they would get together with very different kinds of groups at our house for example, I can picture some of the very different lifestyles and everything else. They had that bond that we must stick together. There just are not a whole lot of options for us if we believe in what we are doing. So that served as a kind of glue. And I think that more people stayed with that organizaiton because of its committment whether it was social or religious or both.