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 1825.11 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 work. His labors for Wake Forest Institute began as soon as its estab- lishment was proposed and continued with unabating zeal and en- ――――――― 11 Letter to J. L. Prichard in Hufham's Life of J. L. Prichard; See also Cathcart, Baptist Encyclodaedia.
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