Rev. Dr. C. Edward Rhodes II received his call to Gospel ministry in July 2000, two months after graduating with honors from Hazlehurst High School. ffectionately called CJ by family and friends, Rhodes is a 2004 graduate of The University of Mississippi (BA, Philosophy), where he served in various positions in the student government (e.g.: co-founding 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, Rev. Rhodes co-founded two college ministries and was an associate minister to youth and young adults at Clear Creek Missionary Baptist Church and Mt. Hope Baptist Church, respectively.
Dr. Rhodes 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, Rev. Rhodes earned the nickname “Bishop” for his charisma, character, and mentorship of fellow seminarians.
Upon returning to Mississippi, Rev. Rhodes worked for Mission Mississippi, a statewide Christian movement demonstrating and promoting racial and denominational reconciliation. In 2010 Rev. Rhodes became the youngest pastor of Mt Helm Baptist Church, Jackson’s oldest historically African-American congregation. Under his transformative leadership, Mt Helm regained its local and statewide status as a flagship church, became more engaged in evangelism and advocacy, and modeled adaptive paradigms that made the nearly two century old church more relevant and visible for 21st century ministry.
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. That same year he was employed by Alcorn State University to lead religious life of the campus and to teach courses in Philosophy. In 2018, Rev. Rhodes earned the Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership for Transformational Ministry from Wesley Biblical Seminary.
Denominationally, Rhodes is also a popular instructor in the General Missionary Baptist State Convention Congress of Christian Education. On the national level, Rev. Rhodes was a member of the Campaign to Elect Jerry Young President of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., and was asked by Dr. Young to preach for the Mid-Winter Board Meeting the year he was inaugurated the Convention’s 18th President. He presently serves the President and Convention as the Chair of the Ecumenical Relationships Commission.
Civically, Rev. Rhodes serves on the board of Mission Mississippi, is president of Clergy for Prison Reform, and has been a prophetic voice advocating for social transformation in Jackson and throughout Mississippi. He is the host of The CJ Rhodes Show on WRBJ 97.7 FM and is the author of two books: Thy Kingdom Come: Reflections on Pastoral and Prophetic Ministry and 7 Leadership Principles of Service and Success.
Above all, Rev. Rhodes is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and is the loving and blessed husband of his beloved Allison Rhodes. Together they are committed to glorifying God and raising their twin sons, Carroll Edward III (“Duke”) and Cornelius Josiah (“Jozy”).