120 History of Wake Forest College
The first teacher to come to the aid of Wait was John Armstrong.
He was born in Philadelphia in 1798, and was in his early years a
tinner, but having conceived a burning desire for an education, he
overcame the handicap of poverty and pressed on until he graduated
from Columbian College with a degree of Master of Arts in
1828 or 1829 he came to North Carolina, first as a teacher in Nash
County, and in 1830 succeeding Wait as pastor of the New Bern
Baptist Church. He was one of the men who organized the North
Carolina Baptist State Convention, and became its first Corresponding
Secretary, serving in that capacity until he left the State in 1837. At
the second meeting of the Convention, which was held at Roger's
Cross Roads in Wake County, in 1831, he, by previous appointment,
preached the introductory sermon. He was asked to superintend the
printing of the minutes of this session, and was made the delegate of
the Convention to the General Baptist Convention of the United
States. He was also appointed chairman of a committee on Education,
of which the other members were N. G. Smith of Chatham County
and W. R. Hinton, the Raleigh pastor. His interest at this time in
ministerial education is shown by the following minute:
Resolved. That the Convention accept the offer of Elder John
Armstrong to educate young men of the ministry, and that the Board
be authorized to send such men as they approve to him or to some
school, and to defray the expense, as far as the funds of the Con-
vention will admit.
At the next meeting of the Convention, that at Rives's Chapel in
1832, as chairman of a committee he made a report recommending a
religious periodical for the denomination in the State. In fact, so long
as he was a member of the convention he had a prominent part in its
His labors for Wake Forest Institute began as soon as its estab-
lishment was proposed and continued with unabating zeal and en-
Letter to J. L. Prichard in Hufham's Life of J. L. Prichard; See also Cathcart,
Baptist Encyclodaedia.
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