North Carolina Baptists Before 1830 25
"Memoir" found in the Minutes of the Chowan Association for 1828,
"were highly respectable." Although he laid no claims to the
reputation of a classical or critical scholar, yet he possessed an ample
fund of general and useful knowledge, and on various subjects of
practical importance his influence was accurate and extensive.
Although denied the advantages of a liberal education he had not
failed to enrich his mind, naturally lucid and vigorous, with the
various fruits of observation, reflection and extensive reading. He
possessed an accurate knowledge of the leading doctrines of the
gospel; was familiar with the general history of the Christian church;
had considerable acquaintance with the most approved theological
writers; was held in much repute for his skill in church government ;
and knew much of human nature and the world."
We have seen above that as early as 1790 Ross was already
interested in the improvement of the Baptist ministry. Doubtless his
general outlook was widened and his interest in an educated ministry
stimulated by reading Rippon's Baptist Register, an ably edited
periodical published in London, giving information of Baptist
activities, of their missions, churches, schools and colleges, all over
the world, and in addition much information of a more general nature
with reference to other denominations and educational institutions of
all kinds. This periodical was begun in 1790, and continued for
thirteen years. In 1791 the Kehukee Association agreed to take fifty
copies, one of which doubtless came into the hands of Martin
It was in 1809 that Ross brought before the Chowan Association a
proposition for forming a "meeting of correspondence." At first this
was intended to embrace only the Chowan, Kehukee and Portsmouth
Associations. But next year the scope of the proposed organization
was enlarged and a committee was appointed to invite all the
Associations in North Carolina to join in the meeting. The
organization was finally effected at the Falls of the Tar (Rocky
Mount) on Friday before the second Sun
See Rippon's Register, I, 298.
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