III SAMUEL WAIT AND THE CONVENTION Samuel Wait,1 one of the men who helped institute the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, and who was afterwards the first President of Wake Forest College, was born in Washington County, New York, December 19, 1789. In 1806 his father, Joseph Wait, moved to Middletown, Vermont, where on March 12, 1809, Samuel Wait was baptized by Elder Sylvanus Haynes into the membership of the Baptist Church. In 1813 Wait felt called to preach. To prepare himself for his calling he entered Salem Academy in Washington County, New York, where he studied Greek and Hebrew under "the celebrated linguist, Professor James Stephenson." Even at this early day he saw the importance of an education for the ministerial calling, and is reported to have said: "I have a great work to perform, and am anxious to begin it. It is an arduous and tiresome work to get ready, but I dare not begin till I feel some strength to meet the infidel on his own ground, and this strength at this day must be derived from study." On July 13, 1815, the church at Middletown licensed him to preach for one year, and gave him unlimited license on December 16, 1815. A year later he became pastor of the Baptist Church at Sharon, Massachusetts, which church called him to ordination as a full minister on June 3, 1818. Two weeks later he married Miss Sarah Merriam, a daughter of Jonathan Merriam, and a first cousin of Rev. T. J. Conant, D.D. As a wife she proved a true helpmeet for her husband in his ――――――― 1 The most important sources for the life of Dr. Wait are "The Origin and Early History of Wake Forest College," by Samuel Wait, Wake Forest Student, Vol. 2; "Our College," by L. R. Mills, Wake Forest Student, Vol. 3; "Early Life of Dr. Samuel Wait," by W. L. Wait, Wake Forest Student, Vol. 5; "Life of Samuel Wait, D.D.," by John B. Brewer, North Carolina Baptist Historical Papers, Vol. 1; A Manuscript Journal printed and edited with notes by C. E. Taylor in Wake Forest Student, IV, 365 ff. Ibid., 417 ff. numerous letters of Wait in the Biblical Recorder, 1835-1865, and notebooks of Dr. Samuel Wait, the records of the Board of Trustees and of the Faculty of Wake Forest College, and the minutes of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.