26 History o f Wake Forest College
day in June, 1811. The original purpose of the "Meeting of
Correspondence" was to "acquire and desseminate information upon
religious topics, to promote the cause of God, and to increase
brotherly love." But it soon became noised abroad that one of its real
purposes was to raise money for the education of ministers. Some
support was given to this supposition by an expression in an "Address
to all the Baptist Associations and churches of the State," authorized
by the annual meeting of 1812, held in Raleigh, in which it was said:
"The preaching of the gospel is a business which we should all
ardently seek to promote." At any rate, before the meeting of 1813 a
very furore had arisen in some Associations, against any suggestion of
raising a fund for ministerial education, and some ardently reactionary
Baptists were making this one of their objections to the "Meeting of
Correspondence." This is taken into account in a Circular Letter of the
Meeting for 1813, written by a committee consisting of Elders Wm.
Lancaster, Robert T. Daniel and Josiah Crudup. Though, as will
appear below, this objection existed only on the imagination of some
suspicious brethren, the committee dignified it with a reply, and at the
same time let their own views be known in no uncertain terms. I give
it entire as indicating how the need of an educated ministry was
already felt by the more progressive North Carolina Baptists of 1813:
To this meeting it is also objected, "that the design is to raise a fund for the
education of young ministers of the gospel." Permit us, brethren, in all the plain
simplicity of Christians, to ask whence this objection? It is not found among the
proposed objects of this meeting. Shall we be told that the Baptist General Meeting
of Virginia has such in prospect? Suppose she has; and suppose, further, that she
had actually brought such a thing into existence, would that prove that the General
Meeting of North Carolina would pursue the same course? Is it not known that the
Charleston Baptist Association has such a fund? And are there not many other
Baptists who have it not? If, then, other associations can exist without such a fund,
the laudable establishment of Charleston notwithstanding, doubtless other General
Meetings may exist without following in all respects the examples of that in
Virginia. But suppose some future General
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