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C.J. Rhodes

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

With more than 20 years of leadership experience, Dr. CJ Rhodes, nicknamed the “Scholar with a Holler,” is a much sought after preacher, thought leader and community advocate. A native of Hazlehurst, Mississippi, he was called into the ministry at the age of 18, a month after graduating with honors from Hazlehurst High School, where he helped revive the student government and served as a student representative to the school board. CJ earned his BA in Philosophy from the University of Mississippi in 2004, where he served in the student government and was a leading student voice for racial justice and reconciliation. In 2009, CJ earned his Master of Divinity from Duke University Divinity School and his Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Biblical Seminary in 2018. Before getting his doctorate, CJ gained continuing education in the inaugural Mississippi Black Leadership Institute, as well as Princeton Seminary's inaugural Black Theology and Leadership Institute.

Dr. Rhodes is the Pastor of Mt Helm Baptist Church, becoming the youngest pastor to serve Jackson's first black congregation in 2010. Under his leadership, the church has experienced spiritual revitalization, greater community impact, and assisted in the construction of Helm Place, a mixed-income housing development. Also employed by Alcorn State University, Dr. Rhodes serves as the director of Religious and Spiritual Life; founding director of the Hiram Rhodes Revels Institute for Ethical Leadership; and is a former interim director of the Honors Program, which he renamed after Myrlie Evers-Williams.

Active in the broder Christian community, Rev. Dr. Rhodes is the Founder and President of Clergy for Prison Reform, 3rd Vice President of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi, a member of the Young Pastors International Council for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, board chair for Mission Mississippi, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Rhodes was the co-executive producer of How I Got Over, a docuseries on the Black church. He is also the author of two books: “7 Leadership Principles of Service and Success,” and “Deeper Still: Ministry Empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

Above all, CJ is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and the proud dad of twin sons.


With the Spirit blowing in our sails, we’ll navigate across life’s stormy waters to a deeper place in God to his glory.

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