Monday, May 13, 2013

Oberlin College: A School Ahead of Its Time

Guest post by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Oberlin College, founded in 1833 in Northern Ohio, was a college ahead of its time in many ways. In 1835, it became the first college in the United States to regularly admit African Americans. It’s also the oldest co-educational college in the US. In 1837, it admitted four women, three of whom graduated and earned a college degree. Mary Jane Patterson, another Obeberlin graduate, became the first African American woman in 1862 to earn a Bachelor of Arts college degree.
One of Oberlin’s founders once bragged that “Oberlin is peculiar in that which is good”. Oberlin was peculiar in many ways in advancing the causes of the time. Charles Finney, the second president of the college, helped it earn it's controversial reputation. He was the founder of the Second Great Awakening, a Christian revivalist movement in the early and mid 1800s.
Oberlin College was the hotbed of abolitionist activity and a stop for the Underground Railroad
before the Civil War. It was once called “the town that started the Civil War” because of its participation in the Oberlin Wellington Rescue in 1858. Slave catchers came to Oberlin to capture an escaped slave and return him to Kentucky. Most of the town came to the slave’s aid and rescued him. For their trouble, over twenty were arrested and put on trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Act. During the raid on Harper’s Ferry by John Brown, three men from Oberlin participated.
Oberlin College was also well known for the women who graduated from the college and participated in the suffrage and prohibition movements. Lucy Stone, considered a pioneer for the women’s movement, graduated from Oberlin College in 1847.
Oberlin was also very well known in the missionary movement of the late 1800s. Between 1860 and 1900, 90% of missionaries sent overseas by the American Missionary Society were graduates of Oberlin College. Between 1899 and 1901, thirteen missionaries from Oberlin were martyred during the Boxer Rebellion of China. An arch in Tappan Square at the center of Oberlin pays honor to their sacrifices.
TAMERA LYNN KRAFT has always loved adventures. She loves to write Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many stories of adventure in American history. She is currently working on a series of three novels about women who graduated Oberlin College set shortly before, during, and soon after the Civil War. She has completed writing a young adult western and a Christmas novella about the Moravians in the late 18th century. She’s also co-writing a post-World War II novel. Her first Civil War Novella, Soldier’s Heart, will be released November 1, 2013.
Tamera was a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
Soldier’s Heart: A Civil War Novella from the Cry of Freedom Anthology
To Be Released November 1, 2013
After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them!
Noah Andrew, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
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  1. Hey, Tamera, So happy to have you here this week! Thank you for a great post.

  2. Thanks, Kathleen. Happy to be here.

  3. Very, interesting, Tamera. I hadn't heard of the history, which is surprising because the school, from what I have heard, is totally turned around and is now very liberal. Is that true? Thanks for the post.

  4. That is very interesting. I am not familiar with the college, at least I don't think I I look forward to reading those stories!

  5. Hey Kathy and Tamera. What an interesting post. I love the picture. That is a beautiful college.

  6. hi, Tammie, Betti and Debbie Lynne! Thanks for coming by and reading Tamera's great post about a great college. So thankful that many of our learning institutions were founded on Godly principles, even if they've drifted over the years. I pray for revival and a return to our Godly foundations.

  7. I know of the college but had no clue about it's active history! Very cool!
    Susan P

    1. I only know a bit about Oberlin, so it was terrific to learn more via Tamera's wonderful research. Thank you, Tamera. Its been great to have you here this week. Can't wait to read your novella in the collection.