32 History of Wake Forest College
owing to the high stage fare, they bought a horse and wagon, and in
this conveyance proceeded to Edenton, arriving there on February 6,
1827.4
At Edenton they met the Reverend Thomas Meredith, pastor of the
Baptist Church, who wrote a letter recommending Wait to the Church
at New Bern, a former charge of Meredith, but now without a pastor.
Wait and Staughton reached New Bern on February 9. After a short
stay there they were leaving town when their horse ran away,
throwing Staughton out and demolishing the wagon. On this account
they returned to New Bern and remained there a month, in which time
Wait preached four times in the Baptist church and twice in the
Presbyterian church. The result was that when he arrived at
Charleston on March 23 he received a letter from the New Bern
church inviting him to become its pastor. On his return he accepted
the call. In July he went back to the North, and brought his family to
New Bern in November.
During his first visit to New Bern Wait became somewhat
acquainted with the condition of North Carolina Baptists. The Baptist
church in New Bern was a member of the Neuse Association, which
at that time had followed the Kehukee Association in passing a
resolution "not to have anything to do by way of fellowship with a
person belonging to a missionary, tract, education or Bible Society."
Though the New Bern church "mourned" this it could not prevent it.
The same year, in October, Wait attended a meeting of the Neuse
Association at Old Town Creek, and gained the unfavorable opinion
of the ministry and the churches spoken of above. Discussing this he
says:
But a few years before the meeting to which I now refer, I was
informed, a furious debate had sprung up that threatened to destroy
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4 In a letter to his wife written from Edenton he says: "We came into this town
Saturday last and calculate to leave tomorrow. We find the people very hospitable
and kind. Nothing is more common when strangers come to town than for their
friends to invite them to dinners and other meals almost every day. I am now
staying at the house of Dr. Collin Skinner, a Baptist, and own brother of Rev.
Thomas Skinner, of Philadelphia, who is so highly esteemed for his superior
talents."
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