606 History of Wake Forest College
suspended for the War was eleven, seven graduating in the years
1856-62. More will be said of these and the other beneficiaries below.
We now turn to consider the means provided for the support of these
beneficiaries and the terms of their acceptance and the oversight kept
over them by the Baptist State Convention.
From the organization of the Convention in 1830 until 1858 its
funds were, unless otherwise designated, distributed equally among
three objects, Home (State) Missions, Foreign Mission, and
Education. In 1858 a fourth object, Colportage, was added, to which
designated funds were allotted. Before the Convention was many
years old, many churches and individuals had begun to designate their
gifts. So long as there were only three objects any expense for agents,
printing minutes and such things was charged an equal portion to each
of the three departments.
During the early years the department on education, by which was
meant ministerial education, fared as well as the other departments.
The Baptists of the State had been taught the advantages of an
educated ministry by the example and teachings of Wait on his three-
year educational canvass in 1830-33, and some were ready to
contribute to ministerial education who gave nothing for foreign
missions. But in the early years both interest in the denominational
enterprises and the contributions for them were pitifully small and
education and missions suffered alike, as the following statement
made in 1838, in a circular prepared by a committee of the
Convention of which Thomas Meredith was chairman, will show:
Our education fund has failed probably even more than that appertaining to the
department of domestic missions. We have now not a single missionary under our
patronage, nor have we funds to defray the expenses already incurred in that
department. When the importance of this branch of our conventional operations is
considered --when it is considered how much the cause is suffering from the lack of
an improved and effective ministry, it is impossible to contemplate the state of our
education department without emotions of deep regret Instead of having a
flourishing school to which our young men, called to the ministry, might repair, and
where they might obtain instruct ion
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