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  • Writer's pictureShameka Reed

2018 Leader of the Year

Updated: Oct 12, 2019

Called into the ministry at age 18, the Rev. C. Edward “CJ” Rhodes II has spent more than two decades preaching, teaching, and leading across denominational, racial, and cultural divides. As the youngest pastor in the history of Jackson’s oldest black congregation, Mt. Helms Baptist Church, Rev. Rhodes is often described as a modern-day bridge builder.

The 36-year-old also serves as the director of Student Religious Life at Alcorn State University. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Duke University Divinity School and is currently a Wesley Biblical Seminary Doctor of Ministry candidate.

A community leader and accomplished author, the Hazlehurst, Mississippi, native is the host of the “CJ Rhodes Show” on WRBJ 97.7 FM. He serves on the board of Mission Mississippi, as the chairman of the National Baptist Convention’s Ecumenical Relationships Commission, and mentors several preachers and activists around the nation.

Rev. Rhodes and wife Allison are the parents of twin sons, Carroll III (Duke) and Cornelius (Jozy).

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