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Rev Archibald Baker

Rev Archibald Baker

Marion County, South Carolina, USA
Death 2 Oct 1878 (aged 65)
Floral College, Robeson County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 35897400 · View Source
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Rev. Archibald Baker ― Minister and Educator

Archibald Baker was born in Marion County, South Carolina. At an early age, he moved with his parents, Archibald (1769–1842) and Catherine [née McCallum] Baker (1777–1859) to Robeson County, North Carolina; where he grew up. Young Archibald attended Jackson College, Columbia, Tennessee and in 1837 enrolled in Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia. Following his graduation, he was licensed to preach by the Fayetteville (N.C.) presbytery on the 17th of October 1840.

Rev. Baker was ordained by the same presbytery on May 15th 1841 and began his career as a Presbyterian minister at the church in Laurel Hill, North Carolina. From 1841 until 1845 he served the churches on the Ashpole circuit as well as his own. In 1848, Rev. Baker became pastor of the church in Salisbury, which added 156 communicants to its roll during his eleven years there.

While in Salisbury, he took an active part in the affairs of the North Carolina Synod. Elected moderator in 1851, Rev. Baker preached his valedictory sermon in 1852 on Psalm 48. In 1852, the synod named Rev. Baker its first agent for foreign missions, a post he held for seven years. In 1855 he succeeded Drury Lacy as stated clerk of the synod.

Rev. Baker's paramount interest was education, particularly higher education. Elected to the Synodical Board of Education in 1848, he served as its secretary in 1850. He represented the synod on the board of directors of Union Theological Seminary and was chosen second vice-president of the board in 1854. The Salisbury Academy, sponsored by his church, achieved a state-wide reputation for excellence under the guidance of Baker and its board of trustees, which included Maxwell Chambers. Chambers, whose wife, Catherine, was a member of Baker's congregation, shared another interest with Baker: Davidson, the college established by the synod in 1835. Baker addressed the fledgling college's literary societies in 1845 and conducted the sale of Davidson scholarships in Concord presbytery. Chambers, a member of the building committee, loaned $5,000 to the hard-pressed institution in 1852.

When he died, Chambers left substantial sums to every member of Baker's family and his library to Baker himself. He bequeathed the bulk of his estate, over $250,000, to Davidson College. This gift, which put the college on firm financial footing, has been attributed to Rev. Archibald Baker's advice and influence. In 1858, Davidson's trustees placed a history of the college, written by Rev. Baker at their request, and a copy of Chambers's will in the cornerstone of the first building erected with the endowment.

One year later, Rev. Baker left North Carolina for a church in Fernandina, Florida. In 1873 he returned to assume the presidency of Floral College and a pastorate at Centre Church in Robeson County. After more than three years' service, Rev. Baker resigned the presidency but continued as Centre's minister and a leader in the synod Sunday School Association. While addressing an association convention, held in his church, he was stricken by paralysis and died on October 2nd 1878.

Rev. Baker and his first wife, Sarah James (1823-1856), had five children: Hinton J., Catherine, Laura, Archibald Hinton,Jr. and Annie. In 1861, Rev. Baker married Miss Mary Elizabeth Gilchrist (1832–1904).

Rev. Archibald Baker and his 2nd wife, Mary Elizabeth, are buried in Second Presbyterian Churchyard Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina.

Information from GMG FAG Volunteer.

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  • Created by: Saratoga
  • Added: 15 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 35897400
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Archibald Baker (10 Dec 1812–2 Oct 1878), Find A Grave Memorial no. 35897400, citing Second Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Saratoga (contributor 46965279) .