News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ Helps Restore African American Schoolhouse in Louisiana

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been recognized for its role in the historic opening of the restored Rosenwald Schoolhouse at the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

“It is important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to connect with ancestors and to know our history,” said Elder Quinn S. Millington, an Area Seventy. “As children of God, we know there is a desire for each of us to belong and to be connected.”

The official opening of the schoolhouse was held on Saturday, October 21, 2023. It was attended by about 200 individuals of all ages, including past and present board members, graduates of Rosenwald schools from surrounding parishes and states, elected officials and faith community supporters from various religious backgrounds.

Among the esteemed attendees were State Representatives Ed Price and Ken Brass and local Church leaders from Baton Rouge.

The Church’s significant contribution to the restoration of the historic Rosenwald Schoolhouse involved a generous donation of over $73,000. This contribution played a pivotal role in outfitting the schoolhouse with essential amenities, including chairs, tables, smart boards, computers, desks, window treatments and other necessary furniture. The Church’s donation, combined with support from corporate organizations, has played a crucial part in restoring this historic educational facility.

“It is amazing to me to see the evident love of and longing for connection to family in other organizations outside of the Church,” said Isaac Jones, president of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Stake.

Regina Bergeron, president of the museum’s board, provided insights into the future of the restored schoolhouse, explaining it will be used to “provide classes in math, science, reading, nutrition, gardening, technology, and of course, family history.”

State Representative Ken Brass emphasized the positive impact the museum will have on tourism, further enhancing the cultural and educational significance of the region.

The collaboration highlights the Church’s commitment to foster unity and collaboration with other community organizations and demonstrates its commitment to supporting and enriching communities and preserving cultural heritage.

“The African American history and culture in south and rural Louisiana is rich and influences traditions today, and the River Road African American Museum provides a way for visitors to understand the contribution,” said Elder Millington. “We are grateful for the opportunity to help.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.