Meet Our Leadership
Barry Randolph, Pastor
A life long Detroiter, Barry Randolph was born and raised on the lower-east side 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 dining 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.
In 1994, the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan approached Barry about being ordained. He eventually accepted and began the process of becoming an Episcopal priest. Under his leadership, the congregation at the Church of the Messiah 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.
Wally Gilbert, Assistant Pastor
Rev. Wallace A. Gilbert Jr., Assistant Pastor “Church of the Messiah” is a dedicated, goal-focused leader offering blended experience and training in administration, team supervision, negotiations, and problem-solving in diverse environments. Wallace has exhibited the ability to apply high-caliber organizational skills and visionary planning to design cutting-edge ministry, coordinate multi-tasked projects, and manage resources for maximum value. Wallace is a strong communicator; capable of creating unity across diverse groups, building cohesive teams, strengthening relationships at all levels, and a commitment to excellence in every endeavor.
Wallace has a well-developed sense of urban ministry, clearly understanding the need to develop individuals truly committed to the cause of Christ.
Wallace has held several high-profile positions, one in particular Assistant Director of Enhanced 911 Operations (Ameritech) responsible for all PSAP’s (Public Safety Answering Positions) in the State of Michigan and Northern Ohio. In addition, Wallace has also held positions as Vice President of Operations (GlobalView Clover Technologies), President / CEO Gilbert Consulting Inc. (Information Technology Network Infrastructure Design).
- Mumford High School
- Lewis College of Business – Associates (Data Processing)
- ITT – Telephony and Electronics Engineering
- Urban Bible Institute – Biblical Studies (Old Testament)
- William Tyndale College – BA (Pastoral Studies)
- Villanova University – Essentials of Project Management
- Ashland Theological Seminary – MA (Practical Theology)
Wallace has held several positions and completed several technical training programs both in the spiritual and secular community.
Tamika Hamilton, Senior Warden
Tamika Hamilton became a member of Church of the Messiah in 2005 largely due to the outreach that Messiah was doing in the community, and wanted to play a role in the work that was being accomplished. Tamika was nominated to the Vestry board (Board of Directors) in 2008, and then to the position of Senior Warden (President of the Board of Directors) June 2009. In 2012, Tamika was nominated to be a trustee for the Episcopal Church of Michigan and served a term of 2 years as a trustee.
While serving 12 years of active duty in Navy as a medical technician, Tamika received her Bachelors in Health Administration in 2003, and her Masters of Business in 2006.
Tamika is the Owner and founder of Randolph & Hamilton Customer Service Consulting Firm, LLC, which provides a holistic approach to teaching individuals how to provide amazing customer by first helping the individual identify the greatness within themselves, and then spilling that greatness on to the customers that they serve and the organization that employs them.
Her military background and business acumen has served Messiah well in the reorganization process.
Veronica Randolph, Parish Administrator
Veronica Randolph is the Parish Administrator & Pastoral Care Director for Church of the Messiah. She was born and raised on the east-side of Detroit. She is both a community liaison and advocate for the poor. She graduated from Martin Luther King, Jr. high school, and from of Wayne State of University and has a degree in Social work. For Veronica, managing the day to day to operations of an Inner city Church is not easy, but it is very REWARDING.
This native Detroiter is no stranger to faith and perseverance, neither is she a stranger to harda work. As administrator, she is faced with many challenges and obstacles in order to fulfill her calling. As Pastoral Care Director, her role is to help spiritually guide and empower and people from all walks of life. Therefore, empowerment is one of the goals needed in order to teach people about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Veronica is an excellent problem-solver which is needed in order to serve in any capacity at Church of the Messiah. It is something that is “God Given”. As any leader in Inner-city ministry knows, “You never know what you are going to face on any given day”. Veronica believes that all things should be done with excellence when it comes to serving our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. So whether it is problem-solving, writing checks, keeping financial statements in order, screening calls, praying for people, negotiating service contracts or simply dealing with the challenges of the day, service is the main ingredient.
Veronica lives and work in the Island-view village community and has done so for over 25 years. She works hard to live up to the motto of Church of the Messiah. “If the Mission is right, the Odds don’t matter.”
Born and groomed in Detroit, MI, Myya Jones is a proud product of the Detroit Public School system and an alumna of Lewis Cass Technical High School and Michigan State University.
From a young age, Myya learned the value of community service, a good education, and financial responsibility. She was involved in many organizations including the Police Athletic League (Detroit PAL) and the 4-H Club, and completed numerous volunteer projects not limited to the Boys and Girls Club, Greening of Detroit, Gleaners Food Bank, and Life Remodeled.
Being on the receiving end of charitable organizations molded Myya into the servant leader she is today. Despite many challenges, she refused to allow the sting of poverty, and the dependence on government assistance to determine her life’s destiny. As a result, she was inspired to attend college and upon graduation, she’d return to her hometown to enact change, as a reflection of the unwavering love she has for her city.
Myya uses her many platforms to spark dialogue concerning marginalized groups, and how they can acquire resources to advance their communities. Doing so allows her to give people of color, women, and Millennials the inspiration to impact change. Currently, she is a community organizer in Detroit, championing issues including economic justice, equitable education, mass incarceration, human sex trafficking, immigration reform, and gun law reform.