276 History of Wake Forest College
Wingate's first work was in the Chowan Association. He was now
working the campaign on the scholarship plan-$500 for a scholarship
entitling the purchaser to keep a student at the College for fifty years
with no tuition. In these scholarships he awakened much interest, and
in less than a week he secured subscriptions for six of them from
Colerain, Cashie, Holly Grove and Bethlehem, Republican, Piney
Grove, and Ramoth Gilead-indeed a remarkable record. Before the
first of April he had secured subscriptions amounting to more than
$8,000.
Being asked by the editor of the Biblical Recorder, Rev. T. W.
Tobey, to give the reason for working through the churches, rather
than through individuals, Wingate said that individuals on the one
hand had little expectation of living for fifty years, and if they viewed
the matter wholly from a selfish standpoint, they would regard a
scholarship as a bad investment, since much of its value would not
come in their lifetime, whereas the churches were continuous and had
fair prospects of always having in their number young men, probably
some of them designed for the ministry, on whom they could bestow
the scholarship year after year until the completion of the fifty years.
After spending the month of April in working in Sampson County,
of which an account will be found below, Wingate returned about the
first of May to the churches of the Chowan Association, where in a
week he obtained four scholarships, three of which were taken in the
Bethel Church in Perquimans County which had been formed under
the hand of the great Baptist pioneer, Martin Ross, who continued as
its ardent and devoted minister till his death. But though the members
of these churches were responding so nobly Wingate was forced to
think of others who were not doing so well.8 He attended the meeting
of the Chowan Association at the
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8 Ibid., May 3, 1853. "How is it possible that brethren in other places can stand
aloof entirely, when some are interesting themselves so much in this noble work?
Can they bear to see this great and good work fall on only a few? It does look noble,
one must confess, to see these few bearing up so bravely, and willing to toil to the
end—if they must—alone. But how those feel who look on at these as they push and
slip and catch fresh hold again, and keep their hands stuck fast in their pockets; one
can hardly see what true-hearted Baptists can enjoy being a mere spectator in a
work like this."
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