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“R” is for Rosemond, James R.

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  “R” is for Rosemond, James R. [1820-1892]. Clergyman. Born a slave in Greenville County, Rosemond was sold to a family of white Methodists under whose influence he was baptized in 1844. In 1845 he was appointed a class leader in the Greenville Methodist Church, South. In 1854, the church licensed him to preach and was a regular preacher at Sharon Church in Anderson District. The congregation raised $500 to purchase his freedom, but his owner demanded $800. After emancipation, he took the name James R. Rosemond and gathered a group of black Methodists in Greenville and established a separate congregation. In 1868 he was ordained a deacon and he eventually established fifty churches in the area stretching from Oconee to York counties. Because of his missionary efforts, James R. Rosemond was commonly called Father Rosemond.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.