When self-styled entrepreneur and restaurateur Barry Randolph started attending Church of the Messiah in the early 1990’s, he certainly had no idea where his journey would lead him. But as he did with everything in his life, Barry made himself available to work. He started off as a volunteer tutor in the after-school program. Then he became the Sunday School teacher and went on to serve as Youth Director and, eventually, the church’s Worship Leader. Finally, in 2002, Barry Randolph became the reluctant priest and pastor of Church of the Messiah.
Under his leadership the congregation has grown from the 41 members he inherited to more than 200 members today. Most of these new members are African- American males between the ages of 16 to 30. They have become part of a small community of worshippers who accomplish great things. The lists of sponsored programs and services provided by Church of the Messiah includes 213 units of housing in the Island View neighborhood, an employment office partnered with Michigan Works, the F.I.R.E. Marching Band and Cheer Leading Team, a full line bike repair shop, the Aim High Mentorship Program and Citizens United for Safety (C.U.F.S._–Community Eyes and Ears.
Through C.U.F.S., Church of the Messiah has, for eleven years, sponsored an event every June called the Silence the Violence March. Crime Stoppers of Michigan has supported and participated in this March nearly every year since its inception. The March brings together individuals, organizations, law enforcement partners and others who want to make a difference for our children and stamp out gun violence. The March meanders through the vibrant, vigilant, ever-changing community Church of the Messiah serves. It has grown every year and has attracted nationwide attention. So much attention in fact that this year, there will be marches in cities across the United States including New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and others who are joining the cause.
Pastor Barry fully expects there to be a change in the moral and spiritual atmosphere as a result of these concerted efforts. As he is frequently know to state, “When good people stand up, stupid sits down.” If you’d like to join Crime Stoppers of Michigan as we support the March to Silence the Violence, meet us Saturday, June 30th at 10:00 a.m. at Church of the Messiah, which is located at 231 E. Grand Boulevard near Belle Isle. For further information contact Pastor Barry Randolph at (313) 633-5331.
-Bishop James Williams