Lottie Moon (A Biographical Sketch): Smarter Than the Average Southern Bell

ImageA year later Lottie was sent off to a boarding school entitled The Virginia Female Seminary at Botetourt Springs. The next year the school’s title would change to the Hollins Institute. Lottie excelled in language studies at the school and in spite of a few lesser marks in other subjects; she gained a reputation for being a studious intellectual.[1]

Young Lottie Moon also had a lighter side. Late in the evening on March 31, 1955, Lottie snuck into the attic of the dormitory and navigated the rafters to the bell tower.  She packed sheets and towels into the bell that was scheduled to ring out the daily regimen. The next day, April 1, 1955 the bell did not ring as scheduled and Lottie earned a place in school lore as an April fool’s day prankster.[2]

In 1857 the Albemarle Female Institute opened in Charlottesville as a Female counterpart to the University of Virginia. Lottie was one of the first students in attendance and joined the university structure with a request to major in languages. She excelled in learning Greek and Latin and took many courses in more modern languages as well.[3]

Lottie earned a reputation as a prankster and developed a disposition against Christianity. In December of 1858 John A. Broadus, the pastor of the Charlottesville Church, lead a revival directed at the students in the area. She initially showed up to see “what that old fool had to say.”[4] Yet engaged in a conversation with Broadus after the service and returned to her room to pray all night.[5] A group of students from the Albemarle Female Institute met early for prayer and prayed for Lottie’s salvation early in the morning. To everyone’s surprise Lottie showed up to the meeting. [6]

Lottie Moon made a public profession of faith on December 21, 1858 and was baptized the very next day. Lottie shared her testimony and stated that a barking dog had kept her up the night before. While she was lying there awake, her mind turned to considering the condition of her soul and she decided to give Christianity a fair investigation.[7]

Lottie continued to excel in her study of the languages. She became proficient in Greek, Latin, Italian, French and Spanish.[8] She stayed on one year after the required three years and ended up being one of the first women in the South to earn the equivalent of a MA degree. John Broadus noted that Lottie was “the most educated (or cultured) woman in the South.”[9] Lottie completed her degree just a few short weeks before the first shots of the Civil War were fired and life in the South would never be the same.[10]

More Tomorrow.

[1] Allen. The New Lottie Moon Story, 23.

[2] Lawrence. 38.

[3] Ibid., 42-43.

[4] Sullivan, Chapter 1, Location 532. Kindle Electronic Edition.

[5] Lawrence. 45.

[6] Allen. The New Lottie Moon Story, 35.

[7] Allen. The New Lottie Moon Story, 35

[8] Ibid. 38-39.

[9] Ibid. 39.

[10] Sullivan, Chapter 1, Location 538. Kindle Electronic Edition.

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