The first born of eight children to the late Rev. Clifton, Sr. and the late Luella Rhodes  on October 25, 1943 in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Reverend Clifton Rhodes, Sr. moved his family to Grand Rapids in 1950. In 1964 Clifton Rhodes, Jr. married Martha Brown and they have two children Michelle and Troy and eight grandchildren. Pastor Rhodes has six brothers, Sidney, Cleveland, Roosevelt, Mitchell, Wendell, and Larry and one sister, Hattie.

Ministerial and Pastoral Appointments:

His Christian journey began when he accepted Christ as his personal savior at the young age of nine. His ministerial journey began with him serving as an Associate Minister from 1962 until 1972 at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church under the pastoral guidance of Reverend Maurice Jones.  During his time of fellowship with Pilgrim Rest he also directed the choir, taught Sunday School, and assisted with Junior Church.  In 1972 Messiah Missionary Baptist Church called him to Pastorship.  On August 20, 1972 he preached his first sermon as the Pastor of Messiah Church.  Rev. Dr. Clifton Rhodes, Jr. celebrated his 41st Pastoral Anniversary at Messiah on August 25, 2013.


A graduate of South High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1971 received a Bachelors degree in Religious Education from Grand Rapids Bible College and Seminary (presently known as Cornerstone University). In 1980 received an In-Service Masters in Religious Education from Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Theological Seminary. In 1998 received a Doctor of Ministry from Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Theological Seminary.

Religious, Civil and Social Affiliations

Founder of Grand Rapids REACH, Inc., an outreach ministry of Messiah Missionary Baptist Church.

  Present Appointments


Teaching Instructor in the Minister's Division of Wolverine State Congress of Christian Education and Wolverine State Convention

Instructor in the Moderator's Division of  the National Baptist Convention, USA

President of Baptist Fellowship of Grand Rapids

Board Member, Grand Rapids Symphony



Moderator of Chain Lake District

Board of Trustees at Cornerstone University

President of One Church One Child

President  and Dean of the Inter Denominational Ministerial Alliance of Grand Rapids

Awards and Honors:


Presidents' Award Wolverine State Convention, 2003

Recipient of the GIANTS, H.C. Toliver Award

Recipient of Albert C.Keith Humanitarian Award, African American Male Conference

Recipient of the Man of the Decade Award, Messiah Missionary Baptist Church

Cornerstone University, Alumnus Of The Year 1996

Recipient of the Students Together Against Racism Cultural Diversity Award, East Kentwood High School

And Many Others...

Personal Mission Statement:

As a professed man of God, I seek to reach out to the lost (the non-believer) and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And to present to the non-believer the blessed joy of having a personal relationship with the Lord. Further, I am committed to fervently edifying the life of the believer through the clear teaching and preaching of the word of God.




513 Henry Avenue SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
616-458-6340 Fax