Filming for “The First Rosa” — a documentary about Lutheran black-ministry pioneer Rosa Jinsey Young — got underway Sept. 22-26 in and around Selma, Ala.
The project pays tribute to the church confessor who established some 30 Lutheran schools and 35 chapels in that area of the country during the early 1900s. It is partially funded by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod but needs continued donations to complete the film.
To read a Reporter Online story about the project and its director, the Rev. Dr. Ardon Albrecht, click here.
See photos from the fall filming below (to view, click on photo). All photos are by Erik M. Lunsford, photojournalist and a staff writer with LCMS Communications. To see more photos, go to
Paula Schlueter Ross (1953–2019), former managing editor of Reporter, was a magna cum laude graduate of Webster University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. During her nearly 35-year career with the LCMS, she wrote for both Reporter and The Lutheran Witness and often took photos to accompany her stories. Ross won 17 national writing awards from the Associated Church Press, including seven first-place “Awards of Excellence.”
I’m excited to see this film and to learn more about Rosa’s life and service to the Church. While a student at Concordia Seward in the early ’70s, Prof. Ronald Brusius led a few students on a good-will, cultural exchange visit to Concordia Selma. During that trip I had the privilege of meeting and shaking hands with the 100+ year-old Rosa in her home in her rocking chair. Her home, on a dirt road in the country, was a shack by most standards 40 years ago, with a dusty, bare wood floor with occasional gaps allowing you to see the ground below. …It was, for me, the highlight of a memorable visit that included witnessing more poverty and racial prejudice than I could imagine from my sheltered, Southern California upbringing. I pray that the film will be an accurate portrayal and a blessing to the Church. PJS
PS I believe I still have a snapshot of Rosa and her daughter (I think) from that visit, if it would be useful for the archives.