Rev. Lawrence W. Rodgers of Baltimore, Maryland is Second Baptist Church's 24th Senior Pastor. Pastor Rodgers comes to Detroit having led the Westside Church of Christ of Baltimore through immense and impactful growth during his pastorate. Pastor Rodgers is a social justice advocate, leading the fight for justice, freedom, and equality. He is an Honor graduate of Harding University, where he studied Bible and ministry and was rewarded as the Most Outstanding Bible and Ministry Major. In 2017, Pastor Rodgers earned a master's degree in Divinity from Howard University's School of Divinity. He graduated at the top of his class and with the following honors: the Biblical Scholarship Award for excelling in biblical and theological studies; the Donald Barton Prize for most likely to succeed in pastoral leadership; the Delores Carpenter Award for "exemplifying the highest levels of academic achievement and embodying the commitment to do justice, love mercy, and walking humbly with God." Reverend Rodgers has been a prolific lecturer, author, panelist, and an Adjunct Professor at Abilene Christian University. He serves as a consultant for the Carl Spain Center for Race Studies and Spiritual Action. He is a certified trainer with Healing Communities, an advocacy group for re-entry citizens. Pastor Rodgers also is an ambassador for the Black Church Food Security Network.
Pastor Rodgers' international work has focus on the continent of Africa. He has taught courses on theology and decolonization in eSwatini and Ghana. He also was a member of the Howard University delegation to Ethiopia in 2016 which returned the ancient manuscript Twee MS100 to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Pastor Rodgers is an activist prominent in several social justice efforts. He has worked with the homeless community, survivors of human trafficking, as a youth mentor, and in adult literacy. His passion for Re-entry citizens led him to become a Certified Trainer for Healing Communities USA. Furthermore, Pastor Rodgers’ commitment to food security fuels his interest in gardening and in the establishment of church and community gardens.
Pastor Rodgers plans to continue to fulfill the ministerial vision that has been laid upon his heart. He intends to continue to encourage the church locally and at large to realize its potential and heavenly call to be a refuge for the afflicted, broken, and the lost. He is an advocate both in word and in deed. Ultimately, Pastor Rodgers believes the church on earth is a glimpse of the church in Heaven: a beloved community.
Devoted to his wife Bettae and their three children, Pastor Rodgers and his family are happy to move to metro Detroit on this new journey.