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The Baldwin School: Yesterday and Today

The Baldwin School

God in the Classroom

The Baldwin Chapel School was a pillar in the Burns Hill neighborhood, but it was equally central to the Seventh-day Adventist community in High Point. Brought together by their religious beliefs, the Seventh-day Adventists used Baldwin’s school as a haven for their children, who received an education based on their beliefs.

Although not all students were part of the Seventh-say church, their days would begin with a devotional and the recitation of a Bible verse. During their studies, students were expected to recite the books of the Bible, which were written out on Rosetta’s blackboard. Baldwin’s students remember that her faith was the most important part of her teaching, affecting every aspect of her daily life and the lives of the children in her care. The verse always on her tongue was, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. She incorporated this verse into her teaching style, instilling discipline in her students:

“Religion was right there every day in the school because it was a Seventh-day Adventist church and a Seventh-day Adventist school. And every day you started off by praying. We would have a worship session every morning where you would sing a song and Ms. Baldwin would have a word of prayer.” - Lonnie Butler

“To go to Miss Rosetta’s school you had to first learn the books of the Bible. You had to be able to stand up and recite them from Genesis to Revelation; then you had to do a Bible verse. She instilled Bible in you so much that you were able to conquer all the other tasks easily….She just had a unique way of teaching.” - Julius Clark

In the 1980 Baldwin Chapel School yearbook, the motto “Teach then Baptize” can be found written across a page
The motto “Teach then Baptize,” as seen in the
1980 Baldwin Chapel School yearbook.

“It was very hard, because you could see children doing things that you thought you would like to join in, but there were some restrictions in this house. We were raised very strict, very strict—no cursing, no smoking…strictly by the Bible.” -Julius Clark

Jeff Faust was not a member of the church when he went to Rosetta’s school, but his time there strengthened his own faith: “Starting school here, I think it was, along with my mom, the seed planted for my spirituality. That’s the biggest thing I can remember from here.”

“My mother was a single parent so one day I asked Miss Rosetta, ‘Where is Mr. Rosetta?’ She reached for a little black bible she carried and said, ‘This is all I need.’” - Barbara Collier

“Miss Baldwin did not let you do anything without prayer, and Miss Baldwin taught them [her students] how to pray.” - Eleanor Wonce

You might decide to ease on up a little bit, do what you want to do.  It wasn't soon after she'd let you know that she's got [her] eyes on you.  And it wouldn't be shortly after that that switch would be on you! Yes sir!  She got me several different times….Like I said, I'm thankful. I'm thankful for having a teacher who liked to let me know that she really cared about us….Here I am fifty years old— never been to jail, never took a drink, never smoked. I'm thankful to God for sending me parents like I had, and I'm thankful that he sent Miss Rosetta to be there for us, to help raise us, to guide us.” - Lonnie Butler

Rosetta’s students often went to Seventh-day Adventist camp meetings in Florida, such as this one in March 1976. Courtesy Rosetta C. Baldwin Museum
March 1976 Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting in Florida.
Courtesy Rosetta C. Baldwin Museum

“It was a catch-all school. If you had a bad child and the public school system couldn’t deal with it, they would send it to Miss Rosetta….First thing Miss Rosetta would do is get the child’s attention, and then—we had children come here who were very rebellious—I mean, they’d talk back, use profane language….But after a couple of swipes with that switch, all that changed. Most important was to see the parents come in and notice the change in that child.” - Julius Clark

Faith-based Field Trips

Every year, Baldwin would pile students into her station wagon for a twelve-hour road trip. Their destination was Hawthorne, Florida, where camp meetings were held. Camp meetings allowed Seventh-day Adventists from across the region to mingle with each other, and also allowed Baldwin a chance to practice her hobby of photography.

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