May 20th – Saturday

For He Himself is our peace. – Ephesians 2:14

Elias Neau founded a school in New York City for enslaved and free Black people on this day in 1704. Neau, having been previously imprisoned in France for several years because of his faith, was a missionary and French Huguenot. When he came to New York, he converted to Anglicanism and was appointed as a minister to Black slaves. Neau not only provided reading and writing as part of his curriculum but also included religious instruction. He felt it was an important step toward improving the literacy and opportunities of those enslaved in the American colonies. His school was one of the first known educational institutions for African Americans in North America. His school faced a large amount of opposition from slave owners, who were concerned that educating slaves would make it more difficult to control them. However, Neau’s school continued to operate and functioned as a prototype for other early efforts to educate African Americans.

As the Lord leads, pray with us…

  • For Secretary Miguel Cardona to seek God’s guidance as he heads the Department of Education.
  • For U.S. education officials, teachers, school boards, and parents as the topics for curriculum and content are determined.
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