By Francis Neil G. Jalando-on

Rev. Dr. Francis Howard Rose was the epitome of the Central Spirit.

Rev. Dr. Francis Howard Rose is a very popular name in the campus of Central Philippine University. One reason may be because the Rose Memorial Auditorium was named in his honor. However, there is more to Rev. Dr. Rose than this.

He was the Acting President of Central Philippine College from 1938 to 1941. Before that, he was the Acting Principal of Jaro Industrial School from 1914 to 1916.

He was the one who designed the CPC/CPU seal in 1923. He was also the one who designed Weston Hall in 1932. He named the hall in honor of his son who died during the construction period.

He composed many of our Central Songs, and through one of these songs, he is credited with coining the term “Central Spirit.”

He was also a good fund raiser. He spearheaded the campaign for the construction of Weston Hall, Franklin Hall, and Valentine Hall in 1932.

During World War II, he was one of the 11 American Baptist missionaries who went to Katipunan, Tapaz, Capiz when the Japanese forces invaded the Philippines. He became a martyr on December 20, 1943.

Here is a martyr’s hymn entitled “Christ Died For Us–W e Die For Christ” by Rev. Dr. Francis Howard Rose, one of those who died in Hopevale.

All human progress up to God
Has stained the stairs of time with blood;
For every gain for Christendom
Is bought by someone’s martyrdom.

For us he poured the crimson cup,
And bade us take and drink it up.
Himself he poured to set us free.
Help us, O Christ, to drink with thee.

Ten thousand saints come thronging home,
From lion’s den and catacomb.
The fire and sword and beasts defied;
For Christ, their King, they gladly died.

With eye of faith we see today
That cross-led column wind its way
Up life’s repeated Calvary.
We rise, O Christ, to follow Thee!

This year is the 75th anniversary of their martyrdom. The commemoration of their faith and courage will be on December 17-20. You are all invited to go to CPU and celebrate their life and ministry with the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, Central Philippine University, Filamer Christian University, Capiz Emmanuel Hospital, Iloilo Mission Hospital, Capiznon Kasapulanan of Baptist Churches, Bacolod Christian College of Negros, and Antique Christian Center with our international partners: the American Baptist Churches, International Ministries, Japan Baptist Union, and Canadian Baptist Mission.

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