Rosa Young, the first Lutheran Rosa

Rosa Young

Today’s post is about an incredible saint of the church whom might not be very famous among us women.

Rosa (1890-1971) was a black girl living in the countryside of Rosebud. She always had the desire to study and teach, and thankfully her parents always backed her up. She attended the African Methodist Episcopal School and won several scholastic awards and even became editor of the school newspaper. After graduating, she started teaching at different African-American schools until she got determined to build her own private school. In the same year the school was inaugurated and it was a success, she had support from her family and neighbors. The thing is that some years later a plague reached out and her school struggled a lot to survive. She heard about LCMS and sent a letter to them asking for help so she wouldn’t have to close the school. The Missouri Synod sent veteran missionary pastor Rev. Nils J. Baake to survey the situation. Rosa then turned the management and property of the school over to the Lutherans and stayed on as a teacher and advisor there. The Lutheran Church provided money, materials, and other forms of help to maintain the quality of the school.

Afterwards she was confirmed as a Lutheran and founded more and more schools. Many of her students entered the Holy Ministry or became parochial school teachers. She served the church as not only a teacher but truly as a missionary. Her support and service lead to the foundation of many churches and Lutheran schools.
It is important to bear in mind that she was not only a woman but a black woman. It was definitely not easy for her to go through prejudice, insecurities and frustrations because of her historical background, but she didn’t give up. Her strength was in Christ and He was the one guiding her and opening the doors so His work would be done through her life.

May God give us all her strength and perseverance!


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