North Carolina Baptists Before 1830 19
they magnified the work of the Spirit. The spiritual enthusiasm of
their meetings was like that of the day of Pentecost. This same
spiritual enthusiasm has contributed much to the great success of our
Baptist preachers in their evangelizing labors, to which is due the
wonderful spread of the Baptists through all our Southern country. In
the second place, the Separate Baptists had known no creed but the
Bible. Though after the union many of the Separate preachers became
unyielding defenders of the Philadelphia Confession, today the
original Separate view of the adequacy of the New Testament for
instruction in doctrine prevails in our denomination, in North
Carolina.
It was in the Chowan region that the type of Baptists uniting the
best elements of General, Regular and Separate first arose. And here
most fittingly arose the men who took the lead in the work that led to
the formation of the Bapist State Convention of North Carolina.
Foremost among these was Elder Martin Ross. Coming from the
church of Skewarkey, near Williamston, of which he became pastor
on its constitution in 1786, he took up his work at Yoppim, near
Edenton, in 1796. Under his leadership, first in the Kehukee
Association, and after its organization in 1806 in the Chowan
Association, the Baptists of North Carolina began to show an active
interest in missions and in the improvement of the ministry, and in
organic union for the furtherance of these causes. In all these things
Ross was in his later years ably seconded by the able and versatile
young Thomas Meredith who first came to the Edenton church in
1818.
Leaving aside here as not directly connected with our purpose
the development of interest in missions in the Chowan Association,
we turn to consider a matter which was primarily connected with the
establishment of Wake Forest College, the increasing demand in the
half century before 1830 for a better educated ministry. And first we
shall consider the educational equipment of the Baptist preachers of
the State before that time.
So far as records show not one of the Baptist preachers who
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