NATCHITOCHES – Rose Long, who was a prominent figure in Louisiana Baptist life, a national advocate for the unborn and a person of spiritual influence among state lawmakers, passed away April 30, at the age of 69.
She was married for 50 years to Gerald Long, the president pro tempore of the Louisiana Senate, and the couple had three children, nine grandsons and one granddaughter.
Rose Long served as chair of the Louisiana Baptist Moral and Social Concerns Committee in 2016, advocating for the protection of children from pornography, the moral rehabilitation of prisoners and the rescue and protection of women and children from human trafficking.
She was a founding member of the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Rogers, Arkansas, a founding board member and first director of Life Choices in Ruston, Louisiana, and a board member and president of Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches.
Additionally, she chaired the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast Committee and likewise led the Louisiana Legends committee for Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
The couple mentored college students, coaches and students through the 18 years they were involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
She also led Bible study groups among women leaders serving in the Capitol.
Her husband Gerald told the Baptist Message “her passion for people, her devotion to Christ and her dedication to family” best described his wife.
“She was most remarkable when it came to relationships with people,” he said, noting in particular her concern about the eternal destiny of others. “If she shared once, she shared ten thousand times or more how you can know Jesus Christ as Savior.”
She was gentle and softly persuasive in changing people’s attitudes, he said, adding that people could see “she walked the walk and talked the talk.”
“She did two Bible studies a week, one with 15-20 legislators’ spouses and the other with women of the Senate staff,” Long shared. “I’ve had others tell me she helped change the spiritual climate in the Capitol.”
Calling her salt and light, he said he viewed her as “a living epistle” in her biblical example, and said she transformed the thinking of others using her Christian faith.
“Of all the people I’ve ever met, I’ve never met anyone who transcended so many boundaries – of race, religion and politics – to touch so many individuals one heart to another heart.”
Friends, family and others will have a chance to honor the legacy she left behind during a visitation at First Baptist Church in Natchitoches – where she was a member – Wednesday, May 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held in Prather Coliseum on the campus of Northwestern State University, also in Natchitoches, 10 a.m. Thursday, May 4.