Some of Rosetta Cora Baldwin's students became teachers themselves.
Others just appreciated the love she showed them or the lessons she taught. Now even those who never met Baldwin will know of her.Two days after the city's Planning and Zoning Commission voted to rename Olga Avenue, the street where Baldwin grew up, R.C. Baldwin Avenue, Mayor Arnold Koonce proclaimed Nov. 29 Rosetta Cora Baldwin's Day.
About 150 students, parents, community leaders and others who knew Baldwin attended a ceremony in her honor Thursday.
Baldwin, who died at age 98 on Nov. 25, 2000, was a High Point native who helped found the city's first Seventh-day Adventist church and school. She taught until she was 94, and those who knew her well said she even taught in her sleep. And if some couldn't afford to pay the tuition at her school, she offered to pay the money herself.
``Miss Baldwin meant a lot to me. She taught me how to teach. She taught me how to love children and she taught me how to be patient with children,' said Sylvia Jackson Wilson, who began teaching at Baldwin's Chapel and now teaches in La Grange, where Baldwin began her teaching career in 1923. Wilson's father, now 75, was also one of Baldwin's students.
After a ceremony of prayer, song and testimonies of Baldwin's dedication, the group marched down Olga Avenue to Green Hill Cemetery, where Baldwin is buried. As his classmates around him sang ``We're marching to Zion,' Julian Foster recalled the time he met Baldwin. The sixth-grader said she was a nice person.
``How many people do you know who has a day named after them?' Julian said. ``I wish she was here to see it.'
At the corner of Olga Avenue and Woodbury Street, Baldwin's cousin, Julius Clark, stopped the procession and pointed to the street signs. Clark, who was the driving force behind the city's decision to rename the street, told the children that the street where they stood would be R.C. Baldwin Avenue in June.
Along the way, the crowd passed by the original Baldwin's Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church, next door to the home where she grew up.
The porch banisters of her white two-story home were tied with yellow ribbons, as were the two oak trees in the front yard.
The group gathered in a semicircle at Baldwin's grave and placed a wreath on the flat headstone.
On the walk back, Clark remembered when the neighborhood was very different. Baldwin would gather the neighborhood children and they would go door to door and sing hymns.
Now several houses along Olga Avenue are abandoned. The roadside is littered with trash.
Clark wants to revitalize the area, starting with his cousin's house. He'd like to turn it into a historical landmark and educational center in Baldwin's honor.\