164 History of Wake Forest College
The revival which began two days later seems to have interrupted the
plans, and it was not until August 30 that the church was constituted.
Never was a church formed under more gracious conditions. The
revival then in progress had lifted the whole community with
transports of a spiritual enthusiasm. On this Sunday morning
Professor Armstrong preached a short sermon from John 3:8, "The
wind bloweth where it listeth,"
The simple record of the constitution of the church is told in the
first minute in the "Wake Forest Church Book," as follows:
The religious part of the members of the Institute believing that it would tend
more to promote their knowledge of church government, their advancement in
spiritual things, and the purity of their character as Christians and followers of the
blessed Redeemer, to have a Church constituted at this place, obtained letters of
dimission from their respective Churches, and were constituted a church by the Rev.
Samuel Wait on the last Sabbath in August. After the constitution of the church it
was deemed expedient to elect such officers as are usually attached to churches for
their government. Accordingly, the Rev. Samuel Wait was chosen Pastor of the
Church, which appointment he accepted on condition that the Rev. Armstrong
should be assistant Pastor; which was agreed to. George Washington was elected
Clerk; and Rob. M. Noxon, Treasurer. The election of deacons was deferred until
the next church meeting.
The following resolution was offered and received-Resolved, That this Church
shall be called the Wake Forest Baptist Church.
The blessings of heaven were asked and we adjourned.
The members who were constituted as a church are: Rev. John Armstrong, Hiram
K. Person, Josiah H. Brooks, William T. Brooks, Willie R. Powell, Robert M.
Noxon, James W. Hoskins, Joshua Hackney, Francis T. Riggs, Burton A. Ernul,
William I. Sutton, William T. Outlaw, James A. Delk, Josiah H. Skinner, William
C. Watts, William C. Skinner, George Washington.
A much more detailed account is given in a letter in the Biblical
From Brooks's Diary: "He showed four different ways that the spirit of God
works in the heart of man-comparing Paul's conversion to a tornado, the Jailer's to a
mighty hurricane, that of the 3000 at Pentecost to piercing wind, that of the Thief on
the Cross to a gentle zephyr. After the sermon we proceeded to constitute a church.
The Heavenly Dove with all its quickening powers came down among us. Professor
Armstrong was our organ. Rev. Pres. Wait constituted us as a church."