Rose Marie Bryon came to Daytona Beach with her family in 1924 from White Springs, Florida. After graduating from Bethune-Cookman College, she embarked upon an illustrious teaching career in the public schools that spanned 42 years.
In 1946, she organized the first Halloween party at the Cypress Street Recreation Center, where 253 children convened for Bible stories and refreshments. In 1947, she organized the Children's Crusade for Christ, which included a Boys Club, gardening and temperance leagues. She fought a yearlong battle in 1948 to equalize the pay of black and white teachers. At the time, black teachers earned only half as much as white teachers.
An ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Ms. Bryon was inspired to build a community center that would help residents remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Fundraisers, donations and a loan from the Federal Housing Authority in 1967 helped make the Rose Marie Bryon Children's Center a reality. Rose Marie Bryon raised one biological daughter, Joy, and 30 foster children, instilling in them a love for reading, education, volunteerism and the love of God.