A life long Detroiter, Barry Randolph was born and raised on the lower-eastside of Detroit. He is a graduate of Martin Luther King High School and attended Wayne State University. With a background in business he was the co-owner of a distribution company, health food store, and a fine dinning restaurant in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Feeling something missing in his life in the early 1990’s he started attending Church of the Messiah. Here he found his true niche. Hs started off as a volunteer tutor in the after-school program. Then he became the Sunday school teacher, then youth director, then worship leader, and in 2002 became the priest and pastor of Church of the Messiah. Under his leadership the congregation has grown from 41 members in 2002 to nearly 200 member today. Most of these new members are African-American males between the ages of 16 to 30.
Rev. Randolph is also the executive director of the B.L.V.D. Harambee. BLVD Harambee stands for building Leaders for village development. Blvd Harambee is the social services arm of Church of the Messiah. Programs under Harambee include the senior food pantry where 150 seniors are fed every week. Fitness and nutrition provides nutrition and aerobic classes three times a week. Bound Together Detroit is an after-school program for elementary school age children. Ray of Hope is a tutor and computer based program for middle and high school children. All programs are free to the public.
Rev. Barry Randolph is also a board member of Church of the Messiah Housing Corporation. Messiah Housing provides decent and affordable housing to the city of Detroit. Messiah currently has 203 units of housing, which provides housing to nearly 400 residents. Messiah Housing is one of the oldest community development corporations in the country. Over the past 32 years, Church of the Messiah Housing Corporation has invested over fifty million dollars in the Islandview Village neighborhoods and the city of Detroit.
After the theft of a six foot tall green tinted Jesus off the side of Church of the Messiah, Rev. Randolph co-founded Citizens United For Safety (C.U.F.S).Citizens United For Safety is a grassroots organization that brings together local government, law enforcement, business leaders, religious organizations, and the average citizen to combat crime and foster pride in the neighborhoods. CUFS has become a major force recognized in the city and suburbs for crime prevention. Last year CUFS launched “Fallen Angels”. Fallen Angels honors individuals who have died of a violent crime, or people who have been a victim of a violent crime. Fallen Angels is the kick off of Angels Night.
For the past three years Rev. Randolph has spear headed “ Grow Town”, Church of the Messiah’s urban garden’s. Grow town teaches farming in the city. The program is inner-generational, with the focus on youth unemployment. Participants learn about planting crops, marketing, selling, and the management of farming.
Currently Rev. Barry Randolph is not only pastor of Church of the Messiah, Executive Director of BLVD Harambee, housing board member, founder of Citizens United For Safety, and grow town, he is a community activist in the city of Detroit. Thanks to all of the hard work of Rev. Barry Randolph and Church of the Messiah, Church of the Messiah will be featured in the forth coming documentary “Lemonade Detroit”. This documentary features positive stories about the re-invention of the city of Detroit.