28 History of Wake Forest College
meeting when Ross became active in planning for a new organization
which should be free to pursue progressive measures. He brought the
matter to the attention of the Chowan Association at Shiloh, in 1826,
and was appointed chairman of a committee "to correspond with the
Associations of this State with a view of forming a State Convention,
and report to our next Association."
But Ross was already a sick man, and was also suffering
bereavement for his wife and his only son by his second marriage. He
was not ablq to report anything done at the next meeting of the
Association, and he died in 1827. He left his ideals in the hearts of his
fellow laborers, who, in 1830, carried them to completion in the
formation of the Baptist State Convention.
And it may be said here that it was in accord with the plans of Ross
that one of the two prime objects of the new Convention should be to
provide for the education of ministers. This matter was on his heart in
his last years. Addressing the Chowan Association, at Cowenjock, in
1824, he rose shortly before adjournment, and warned the body
against too great readiness to accept and ordain unfit ministers.
Showing the zeal for the cause of Christ which had always
characterized him, but conscious that because of his age he would be
able but a little longer to urge this important matter on the
Association, he manifested a solicitude for the improvement of the
ministry that brought a flood of tears to his hearers.10 At the next
meeting of the Association, in 1825, Ross again brought up the
subject, and on his motion a committee was appointed, of which he
was chairman, to report upon "the most judicious method of
encouraging young gifts in the Church from their first exercise until
the time of ordination." This committee made only a partial report at
this meeting, and owing probably to Ross's ill health no further report
was ever made. That his zeal in this cause was great and well known
is indicated by the statement of Meredith in the Memoir already
mentioned. "It is but just to add," says Meredith, "that he was
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10 Minutes of the Chowan Association for
1824.
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