Taking Rodman to ‘The Street’

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“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…(Luke 12:48)

These are the inspirational words that not only embody the ministry of Rev. Dr. Darryl T. Canady, the new pastor of Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church, but personify Pittsburgh’s newest religious leader. These words were the motivating factor that challenged a courageous young man entering the portals of the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta.

With the October 2008 retirement of Rev. Delano R. Paige, Rodman’s Pastoral Search Committee began the long task of seeking and interviewing candidates to fill the pulpit of their beloved pastor.

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REV. DR. DARRYL T. CANADY

When Rev. Canady arrived in the city of Pittsburgh in mid-December to accept the position of senior pastor at the East Liberty church, the weather in western Pennsylvania took a turn from tolerable wintry weather to days of extreme cold, snow covered roads, and ice that hung precariously from the gutters of local homes. Canady’s roots hail from sunny Florida, presenting a stark contrast to the carpet of snow that served as a welcome mat.

A visionary who has affectionately nicknamed Rodman, “The Street,” the contemplative minister stated he immediately felt the warmth of the Holy Spirit and truly believes “this is where God placed me.”

Armed with a bachelor of arts in Banking/Finance from Morehouse, Rev. Canady obtained his master of divinity from Atlanta’s Emory University Candler School of Theology and his doctor of ministry from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va.

Ordained in 1994 by the Mecklenburg General Baptist Association, the enthusiastic preacher served as youth minister at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. Also employed at The Pillsbury Company, he made a crucial decision to leave corporate America to focus on his ministry, serving the last 15 years in dedicated service as pastor of the Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church located in Wilson, N.C.

His illustrious dossier is reflective of his success as a preacher, teacher, and motivational speaker. The respected facilitator, whose gifts include leadership development, male empowerment, marriage & family enrichment, and youth enhancement, has also served internationally in South Africa, Jamaica and the West Indies.

Proud of the fact that his listening skills are a gift and an asset to his profession, his pride takes center stage when he talks about his wife, Rev. Taleeta Smith Canady, and his two children, 15 year old son Major and 10 year old daughter, Essence. The dedicated family man is assured the priorities in his life are set in God’s perfect order.

Currently in transition, the days and the miles are a challenge as Rev. Canady begins his transfer of duties, with plans to become a Pittsburgher by mid-February. Aware of the challenges facing him in a new church as well as a new city, the gifted leader is determined to keep Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church a viable, visible and integral part of the community, the city and the world.

To accomplish the large task ahead, he relies on lessons learned throughout his journey. “Listen, Love, Learn and Lead…listen to the stories, love the people, learn from the people and then lead,” he states with a confidence he definitely owns. He reiterates that “The church needs to dictate to the world and not the world dictating to the church.”

He relates the infamous quote “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain….” as the foundation for his ministry and his life. A “pastor about relationships,” he respectfully states he wants to “build on the foundation that is already in place…as we build an intergenerational ministry. There is a great nucleus of ministries and programs already in place. I would like to continue the revitalization of this community. “I want the Street’ to be a place where we will make an impact. You cannot make an impact without making contact,” he said.

Unafraid to take risks, Rev. Canady says that “the ministry has called me here for us to move forward. God is a fresh God, and we need to find fresh ways to meet the needs of our church and our community. When everything else around the church is changing and the church remains the same, the church becomes irrelevant. We are living in paradigm shifts with technology…competing with a myriad of opportunities and the church has to be on the cutting edge.”

His passion was evident as he walked the center aisle of his ‘Fabulous Friday’ service held on the evening of Jan. 22 to an upbeat congregation. Donning a Steelers’ jersey, the enthusiastic minister emphasized his desire to get Pittsburgh as excited about Jesus as they are about the Steelers. It was definitely praise time at “The Street” and God was in the house! The chill outside gave way to the warmth within the walls of the historic church, while providing an exciting portrait of things to come.

The fiery, innovative orator has already made plans for March Madness Mondays to be held March 8, 15 and 22 at 7 p.m. The Men Only Revival will feature dynamic men of God bringing powerful messages of hope, security and life! It is apparent that, at “The Street,” the best is yet to come!

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