Dr. Vernon Rosenau was born August 5, 1949, in the Central African Republic (CAR) to Baptist Mid-Missions missionary parents Dr. Eugene and Ernestine Rosenau, and met his Savior face to face December 25, 2020. Vernon spent his childhood and youth in Africa and, as an adult, returned to CAR as a third-generation missionary. His love for Africa permeated his life and ministry and never diminished.
At the age of eight, while at boarding school, Vernon understood his overwhelming need to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. His dorm mother, Beulah Olson (known to him as Aunt Beulah), took her Bible and explained to him how he could receive God’s gift of salvation from sin. Over his lifetime, Vernon always understood that the decision he made that night would assure him of eternal life in heaven. He would want you to know that he is now with those he loves worshiping the Lamb of God who made eternal life in heaven possible through His death on the cross. There is a distinct possibility that today, due to his overwhelming joy at being in the presence of the One who died for him, Vernon is dancing before the Throne of Grace.
Vernon came to the US as a teenager and, while at university, met the love of his life, Janet Lynn Shutt, better
known to him as “Babes.’” They were married on February 12, 1971. He spent two years in active military service before they joined Baptist Mid-Missions and spent 45 fruitful years together in ministry. God gave them three amazing, multicultural, multilingual children: Julie, Sam, and Bill. During his lifetime he enjoyed listening to music, playing and watching golf, fishing, reading books of most any genre but, in particular, international spy novels. He also enjoyed international travel and the study of other cultures and people groups, and he considered it a privilege that his ministry-calling allowed him to experience other cultures firsthand.
Throughout 45 years of ministry with Baptist Mid-Missions, he served as a field missionary in Africa, Field Administrator for Africa and Europe, and lastly as President. His lifelong passion was always the discipleship and training of nationals in ministry, along with serving missionaries and enabling them to do the work of the Gospel.
The Bible verses that steered his life were Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Vernon is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Janet Lynn Rosenau (nee: Shutt); his adult children Julie Jean Rosenau of Greenville, SC; Samuel (Landi) Lee Rosenau of Waxhaw, NC; William (Erica Kuczma) James Rosenau of Lorain, OH; and eight grandchildren; his sister Anna Kay (John) Haskell of Mauldin, SC; his brother Dr. Douglas (Cathy) Eugene Rosenau of Atlanta, GA; and many nieces and nephews.
Vernon was preceded in death by his parents Eugene Vernon and Ernestine Rosenau (nee: Healan).
Open casket, public visitation will be held Friday, January 1, 2020, at First Baptist Church of Elyria, 11400 LaGrange Road, Elyria, OH 44035, by reservation at https://signup.com/go/KECkVhD or by calling 440-988-4451 during business hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A closed casket funeral service will be held Saturday, January 2, 2020, at 11:00 at First Baptist Church of Elyria. Rev. Gary Anderson will officiate. The church will provide a live stream of the service at https://firstbaptistelyria.org/livestream/ and rebroadcasting of services will be available at www.HempelFuneralHome.com Burial will take place on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at Graceland East Memorial Park, 2206 Woodruff Road, Greenville SC 29681.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Baptist Mid-Missions Foundation, Global Impact Fund, PO Box 308011, Cleveland OH 44130-8011.
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