Missouri Synod Church in Downtown Memphis


Spotlight On A Southern African American Lutheran Family

Trinity has been blessed with many African-American members who are dedicated and supportive in every way. Many are active in the various missions of the Church and many are either currently or have in the past, held positions on the Council and the Board of Elders. Many represent Trinity as public ambassadors in the community at large and in dealings with other congregations. All deserve honor. Today, I single out one family for special recognition. There have been many generations of African American Lutherans baptized, confirmed and ministered to at Trinity Lutheran Church. One family of third generation Lutherans is the that of Vienna D. Stovall, born 1924 in Natchez, Mississippi. Vienna’s parents and siblings relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in

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A look back, forward. A commentary by Rev. Roosevelt Gray Jr.

The official history of black ministry in the LCMS began in 1877 — 14 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and 30 years after the Synod was formed. The significance of these historic events would change the course of history for many blacks in the Deep South and eventually throughout the nation. In the Deep South throughout those early years, educating blacks and the education system were driven by segregation. Yet it was known that many white Christians would create and encourage opportunities for education as they fought for fairness and equality in educating their black neighbors, fellow Americans, and Christian brothers and sisters. Both black and white churches were creating communities of Christians who believed that

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In Case You Missed Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, we highlighted the relationship of Trinity Lutheran Church and Missouri Synod, with African-Americans and other peoples of color. For instance, Trinity’s pastor was asked to lead the dedication of Missouri’s first African-American church in Little Rock, AR in 1876, just eleven years after the close of the Civil War and how Trinity helped start the first Lutheran church in Memphis headed by an African-American minister and helped run a parochial school in Memphis, set up exclusively for black students. We looked not only at the history of long ago, but recent history as well. We took a look at the how African-Americans have played a vital roll in the ministry of the Lutheran church as

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Rosa J. Young – Mother of Black Lutheranism

Rosa J. Young, the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from the Concordia University System, is often refered to as “the mother of Black Lutheranism.” Born in the tiny farm community of Rosebud, Alabama in 1890, Rosa was exceptionally bright and excelled in school. After sixth grade, her parents sent her to Payne University, a school that had recently been created by the African Methodist Episcopal Church to serve the black community. There, she received her teaching certificate and passed the state exams. She then taught at various African-American schools across Alabama as a traveling teacher. A common practice in areas deprived of qualified teachers. In 1912, she returned to Rosebud. At the time, African American children who were

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Lutheran Seminary Key Player in Battle of Gettysburg

Monday marked the 150 anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the pivotal battle of the American Civil War. This past weekend, thousands of re-enactors assembled in Gettysburg to re-enact the three-day battle in exacting detail (minus the death and bloodshed), and to join with thousands more  in marking the historic occasion. Playing a pivotal role in the event was Schmucker Hall, a stately ediface on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Schumacher Hall, originally served as dormitory, classrooms, and caretakers housing. Emanuel Ziegler, the steward for the seminary, his wife and five of his six children, found themselves trapped in the middle of the deadliest battle in American history. “My father was steward and my mother matron

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