He is described as “a gift from the heart of God to the people of God” and Rev. Dr. Darryl T. Canady, walking in faith as Pittsburgh’s newest religious leader, is taking his job very seriously.

HANDS OF SUPPORT—Ministers and their wives lay hands of support on Rev. and Mrs. Canady at his installation service.

The senior pastor of Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church is quite comfortable in his new surroundings, making inroads to move the East Liberty church in a positive and inclusive direction. Vowing to “make an impact through contact” within “The Community of Hope,” the dynamic minister is touching the hearts and souls of the people who enter or pass by the red doors at the corner of Rodman and Collins streets.

“It is a time of new beginnings,” declared Rev. Delano R. Paige, beloved former leader of the East Liberty church. The active, retired clergyman, known for his caring nature and accessibility, extended a sincere welcome to Rev. Can­ady, encouraging the parish­ioners of the historic church to move forward under the new leadership with a spirit of acceptance and support.

Beginning on July 7, excitement was in the air of the sanctuary, bringing the people together in an atmosphere of faith, hope and promise. The community-at-large laid out a plush red carpet of welcome, with heartfelt messages from the Christian, political and business communities. Proclamations and declarations were issued from the state of Pennsylvania, Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh. State Rep. Joseph Preston Jr. and District 9 Councilman Rev. Ricky V. Burgess were on hand to extend support and encouragement to their new friend.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl proclaimed a celebration week in honor of the man who desires to move beyond the walls of the Baptist church and walk boldly within the community of East Liberty. Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, calling the Rodman church “a block of hope in the community,” declared July 11 as Rev. Dr. Darryl T. Canady Day.

FIRST FAMILY—Rev. Dr. Darryl T. Canady and wife, Taleeta LaTreena Canady, listen to the reading of the Proclamations.

Wednesday’s services began with Mt. Ararat’s Rev. Dr. William H. Curtis reviewing challenges set before the innovative pastor, encouraging the need for ministers to remain “reachable, touchable and accountable.” Thursday’s powerful message reviewed the “human side of ministry” by Rev. Jason A. Barr Jr. of Macedonia Baptist Church in the Hill. The Friday celebration brought together current and former sons and daughters of Rodman’s ministry. Reverends Carol Milligan, Joseph L. Ross and John and DeNiece Welch delivered encouraging messages of hope and optimism.

The Marriott City Center in Downtown played host to an elegant banquet held on Saturday evening. The July 10 event honored Rev. Canady and his wife, Rev. Taleeta L. Canady, and their children, Major and Essence. Distinguished clergy, old and new friends, and members of the Rodman family entered the doors of the Grand Ballroom to hear an inspirational message from Rev. Jeffrey A. Simms of Sims, N.C.

The warm reception also welcomed extended members of Rev. Canady’s family, including his brother, Rev. Keith Canady of Jacksonville, Fla., who delivered a message Sunday morning that touched on the personal side of his brother.

“There is something unique and special in my brother. He is an awesome person,” stated the young man with the slow, southern drawl. His “only regret,” he continued, “is that our grandmother, who was our biggest critic and best supporter, did not live to witness this accomplishment.” However, he said he is assured that his grandmother is smiling at the brothers who stand together in God’s pulpit.

At the 10 a.m. service, Rev. Charles E. Nesbitt, Jr. of the Providence Baptist Church in College Park, Ga. delivered an inspiring message full of the love, respect and admiration for his close friend.

“I Will Trust In You,” the opening song that began the official installation service at 3 p.m., provided a foundation of hope for the challenging new journey on which Rev. Canady has agreed to walk. The exiting of the compassionate wisdom of Rev. Paige and the entrance of the dynamic energy of Rev. Canady was an emotional moment for the seventh and eighth pastors of the 125-year-old Baptist establishment.

Hailed as a pastor of pastors, Rev. Dr. Clifford A. Jones, confidant of Rev. Canady and senior pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Charlotte, N.C., served as guest speaker for the historical service. Reverend Jones reminded his “son in the ministry” that “God’s got your back.” Accompanied by members of his church, the Friendship Music Ministry and Usher Board graciously served throughout the day. Other ministers, friends and family hailed from Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina and Florida to celebrate the installation of the new leader of the church he has affectionately nicknamed “The Street.”

Among the list of elite members of Pittsburgh’s ecclesiastical community were Rev. Hubert D. Hutcherson of Shiloh Community Missionary Baptist Church, who served as the master of Ceremonies; Rev. Dr. James E. Simms of St. Paul Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. William J. Carl III, president of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Rev. Clifford Carter of the Pennsylvania State Baptist Convention. The esteemed clergy came together in unification, supporting and embracing the emergence of a new friendship within Pittsburgh’s spiritual organization.

The enthusiasm of the congregation and committees, under the direction of co-chairs Annie M. Grice and DeCarlo Gilliard, reached the community at large. The Market District, touched by the optimism of the new spiritual leader, rose to the occasion, generously provided and served breakfast to out-of-town guests on that busy Sunday morning. Brett Merrill, senior vice president, of the Giant Eagle Market District, expressed his support of Rev. Canady’s desire to make the community a better place to live and work. “As a unique, neighborhood store, Market District is honored to welcome the Rev. Dr. Darryl Canady. We extend our heartfelt welcome and wish him great success as he begins to lead the next generation of the Rodman congregation.”

A new era is taking place at Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church, and the new leader is making himself known within the church, the community and the city of Pittsburgh. Engaging, energetic, creative and confident, Rev. Dr. Darry

l T. Canady has arrived at his new church with a new vision and purpose for God’s people.

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