“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.”
The native of a small Mississippi railroad town, Dr. CJ Rhodes was destined for greatness against great odds. Though his father is a famed civil rights attorney, and his mother dedicated him back to God before he turned one, CJ overcame poverty and social anxiety before receiving his call to Gospel ministry in July 2000, two months after graduating with honors from Hazlehurst High School. At the University of Mississippi, he served in various positions in the student government, co-founded the Department of Minority Affairs, worked with the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, and was appointed to the Chancellor's Committee for Respect and Sensitivity. Ministerially, CJ co-founded two college ministries and was an associate minister to youth and young adults at two Missionary Baptist churches. He graduated in 2004 with a BA in Philosophy.
Known as the “Scholar with a Holla,” CJ continued his education at the Duke University Divinity School as both a Dean's Scholar and a Fund for Theological Education Ministry Fellow. There he served as Vice President of the Black Seminarians Union, was elected by his peers to preach the coveted New Seminarians Orientation sermon, and ministered as a chaplain intern for Duke Divinity School's Goodson Chapel and Wake Medical Hospital in Raleigh, NC. Respected by his peers, he earned the nickname “Bishop” for his charisma, character, and mentorship of fellow seminarians, and received his Master of Divinity in 2009.
In 2010 Rev. Rhodes became the youngest pastor of Mt Helm Baptist Church, Jackson’s oldest historically African-American congregation. By God’s grace, he has helped the nearly 200-year-old congregation grow spiritually and numerically. In 2013 Rev. Rhodes was one of fifty persons selected to participate in the Inaugural Institute of Black Theology and Leadership at Princeton Theological Seminary. He was also a member of the inaugural class of the Mississippi Black Leadership Institute. CJ also serves as Director of Religious Life at Alcorn State University and is the founder and President of Clergy for Prison Reform. Rev. Dr. Rhodes received the Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership for Transformational Ministry in 2018 from Wesley Biblical Seminary.
With the Spirit blowing in our sails, we’ll navigate across life’s stormy waters to a deeper place in God to his glory. Mt. Helm is a member congregation of the National Baptist Convention (USA).
CJ is the host of The CJ Rhodes Show on WRBJ 97.7 FM and is the author of Thy Kingdom Come: Reflections on Pastoral and Prophetic Ministry, and 7 Leadership Principles of Service and Success, and Deeper Still: Ministry Empowered by the Holy Spirit. He also leads Word and Spirit Baptists, a Spirit-led renewal movement among African American Baptists.
Above all, Rev. Rhodes is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and is the loving and blessed husband of his beloved Allison Rhodes, the assistant director of Human Resources Madison County Schools. Together they are committed to glorifying God and raising their twin sons, Carroll Edward III (“Duke”) and Cornelius Josiah (“Jozy”).
With the Spirit blowing in our sails, we’ll navigate across life’s stormy waters to a deeper place in God to his glory.