We now turn to trace the development of the Baptist
denomination in North Carolina and the events which led to the
establishment of Wake Forest College.
There were doubtless Baptists among the first settlers in the
Ancient Albemarle, but the first Baptist church of which we have any
record was constituted in 1727 in Chowan County, about twelve miles
north of Edenton. Its founder was Reverend Paul Palmer, who a few
years before had come from Maryland. This church in Chowan did
not long survive but in a few years its pastor, Reverend Joseph Parker,
and several of its members moved to Meherrin and began worship
there, founding what is known today as the Meherrin Church, near
Murfreesboro. Only a little later, certainly not later than 1729, Mr.
Palmer joined with William Burgess and several others in founding
the church now called Shiloh, in the present county of Camden, a
church which has survived to this day.
Palmer and his followers were what are known as General Baptists,
that is, they were Arminians rather than Calvinists. They were great
evangelizers, and before the year 1752 their preachers, Paul Palmer,
William Burgess, Joseph Parker, Dr. Josiah Hart, William Sojourner,
and others had established sixteen Baptist churches in eastern North
Carolina in the wide territory from the ocean to the Falls of the Tar,
and from the Virginia line to the Great Cohara in Sampson County.
In the years 1751-55 the General Baptist ministers were converted
to Calvinism and Particular Baptist principles by ministers from
Welsh Neck, South Carolina, and John Gano, Benjamin Miller and
Peter Van Horn, missionaries sent for the purpose by the Philadelphia
Association. These ministers with the help of these missionaries
reorganized nearly all the General Baptist churches on Particular
Baptist principles as set forth in the
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