Samuel Wait and the Convention 45
young ministers facilities for obtaining such an education as will qualify them to be
able ministers of the New Testament. That for this purpose the plan which has
recommended itself to us as combining the greatest advantages, is the purchase of a
farm in a suitable situation, furnished with commodious buildings; the employment
of a teacher of proper qualifications, who shall take charge of the beneficiaries of
the Convention and such other pupils as his duties to them may enable him to attend
to; and the engagement of a superintendent of the farm who shall direct the manual
labors of the young men who shall have an opportunity by their cultivation of the
soil, to earn their subsistence, or pay their board.
The Committee have ascertained that such a farm as will be suited for carrying
their views into immediate operation can be had in the county of Wake, within
fifteen miles of the city of Raleigh, for the sum of $2,000; a sum which they believe
it to be worth. They recommend therefore, that the Convention, if they approve the
measure, do appoint a Board of Trustees, such Board consisting, if they please, of
the Board of Managers, who shall appoint agents to solicit subscriptions for this
object from the members and friends of our denomination in all parts of our State.
The Committee think that such an experiment as this will decide the question
whether this project will receive the general approbation of our churches or not. If it
should, the purchase money will be obtained; if not the subscription, of course, will
stand void.
The Committee believe that a school of the kind, and in the situation they
propose, would meet the patronage of the denomination generally, and would
probably from the beginning support itself without being any expense to the
Convention. The farm they have in view is highly recommended by its central,
convenient, and healthful situation, by the moral and enlightened character of the
surrounding population, and by the cheapness of living.
The report of the Committee was unanimously approved by the
Convention, the purchase of the farm was ordered, and the
establishment of a Baptist literary institution on the manual labor
principle was authorized. On the following Monday a committee
consisting of J. G. Hall of Currituck, William R. Hinton of Raleigh,
John Purefoy of Wake Forest, A. S. Winn of Wake County, and S. J.
Jeffries of Currituck, was appointed to solicit funds to the amount of
$2,000, and on securing that amount to purchase the farm. Dr. Wait in
his Journal tells us
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