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First Ordained Female in Mt. Canaan Association

Rev. Rosa L. Jordan – first ordained female in the Mt. Canaan Association.

Rev. Rosa L. Jordan – first ordained female in the Mt. Canaan Association.

By Ethel Butler – 

On Saturday, May 18, a beautiful program in appreciation and honor of Rev. Rosa l. Jordan, was given by her daughter Dr. Odessa K. Chavous, her family and her brothers. Dr. Chavous served as mistress of ceremonies giving everyone a hearty welcome and soul-felt prayer to start the program. Mr. Barney L. Chavous, the honoree’s son-in-law, gave a very warm talk about “Sugar,” his pet name for his mother-in-law, Rev. Rosa Jordan. He noted that surely she is an inspired messenger. A dear friend of hers from New York gave a tribute to her by singing “My Living Shall Not Be In Vain.” Reflections in Commitment and Dedication were done by Rev. Dr. George L. Brightharp, pastor of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church. He stated that he ordained Rev. Jordan in 1972 while a young moderator of the Mt. Canaan Association. It was a historical event because she was the First Woman ordained in this association.

Women in the pulpit, at that time, were not popular at all. So she was a forerunner. He talked about her dedication to Bettis Academy. Her family lived, and she was raised, near Bettis Academy. She received her education here so her daughter saw it fitting to celebrate her mother’s 40 years in the ministry at Bettis Academy. Plaques and other lovely presentations were made to the honoree.

Dr. Albert M. James, moderator of the Mt. Canaan Assoc. and pastor of Second Providence Baptist made a special presentation of a plaque to the First Woman Ordained in the Mt. Canaan Association under Rev. G. L. Brightharp. Others – Rev. David Williams, pastor of honoree’s Union Baptist in Aiken; Deacon Richard Johnson, Second Baptist; Dea. Thurman Myers, Union Missionary Baptist Church, Albany, N.Y where Rev. Jordan served when she lived in N.Y.; Rev. Lester A. Smalls (Pastor) Bell Grove Baptist and general manager, WAAW94.7 Radio Station in Aiken presented a plaque from the station for her broadcast “Hour of Decision.” Many kind, loving words of praise, adoration and appreciation came from children Otis Key, Jr., William Key, Odessa K. Chavous, Daniel Jordan; grandchildreb – Shedrick Chavous, Jasmine Sims, Nikeya Chavous, Amon Chavous, Myra Key, Master Isaiah Chavous, great-grandson. A tribute in song was made by Mrs. Betty Mosley as well as a sermonette; Rev. Brendolyn L. Jenkins-Boseman, pastor of Shepherding Abundant Life Fellowship Church in Camden, gave honor to the trailblazer (Romans 10:14-15). “How Beautiful is Thy Feet” was her message to Rev. Jordan. After a special presentation from Mrs. Lessie B. Price, City of Aiken, who represented the Mayor of Aiken with a plaque stating, “Rosa L. Jordan Day.” Mrs. Willa Lanham, curator of Biddle Hall Museum, made very special remarks concerning the honoree’s daughter and son-in-law and how special the campus and historic museum are to this family and others whose roots are tied in some way to Bettis Academy.

Closing remarks and prayer were made by Rev. Limuer Myers, pastor of Old Macedonia Baptist Church, North Augusta. A very tasty meal was served for the dining part of the program.