218 History of Wake Forest College
cottage, that now is part of the residence at the corner of North Main
and Pine Street, to the southeast, and serves as kitchen. In January,
1888, he purchased and occupied the house nearest the railroad
beyond the Old Athletic field, which since 1891 has been the Carlyle
On taking up his pastorate Dr. Vann was thirty-one years of age and
in the prime of his powers as a preacher. There is much evidence that
the students heard him gladly.19
From November 25 to December 12, 1883, the church had special
meetings, with the pastor preaching at night and several times at
eleven o'clock a.m. The professions numbered between thirty and
forty, the baptisms seven, of which three were of students.20 Owing to
the fact that Pastor Vann had lost his hands and much of his arms
when a boy of twelve years it was necessary for the baptisms to be by
another, who in this instance, and usually during Dr. Vann's pastorate,
was Professor W. B. Royall.
The small number of baptisms following this meeting, only three of
them of students of the College, may be explained by the following
statement of the pastor, found in the Biblical Recorder of December
19, 1883.
Our meeting here closed Wednesday night, having begun 4th Sunday in
November. This church has suffered in several respects from its practical
association with the College; but in nothing has it suffered more than in its lack of
discipline. It will readily appear that any pastor connected with the faculty would be
handicapped in administering rigid discipline in a church composed largely of
students, accustomed to consider the church a constituent part of the College. Hence
the evil. Our main thought in the meeting has been to draw the line sharply by
reclaiming or excluding backsliding members. There were thirty or forty
professions during the meeting, mostly from the class above named. Some of these
were from our brightest young men, who,
Records of the Wake Forest Church; the Wake Forest Student, III, 121; VII,
Wake Forest Student, III, 124, "the students are quite enthusiastic over the
sermons of Rev. R. T. Vann, our new pastor; Ibid. XX p. 174; and page 251, April,
1884: "Rev. R. T. Vann, pastor of the church here, is still the delight of his
congregation, and the good fruit of his
ministry is apparent."
20 Records of the Wake Forest Church, p. 111f.
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