Rev. Lawrence W. Rodgers

Loving Mercy, Doing Justice, Walking Humbly with God


Stacks Image 6
Reverend Lawrence W. Rodgers is a Spirit and grace-filled clergy person who appreciates the Spirit of God working in his life and the lives of God's people. He believes that the church must always walk in the footsteps of Christ, following his guidance and example. As a church leader, he tirelessly works on behalf of the mission and will of Christ. 

Rodgers pastors the historic Second Baptist Church of Detroit congregation in Detroit Michigan. Second Baptist is a congregation established in 1836 by a group of self-determined formerly enslaved and free African-Americans. He is happily married to his wife Bettae. Bettae, a doctoral candidate in health sciences at the University of Bridgeport, holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a master's degree in pharmaceutical science. Their three children are a source of blissful joy. 

Rodgers is a graduate of Harding University where he studied Bible and ministry He graduated with honors, including the Most Outstanding Bible and Ministry Major. Rodgers is a 2017 graduate of Howard University School of Divinity where he earned the master’s degree in 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; and 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 currently serves as the Chair of Public Relations as a member of the executive board of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity.  He also serves as a board member for the Detroit Urban League. 

Rodgers regularly preaches, lectures, and teaches college and congregational classes. He has served as an adjunct instructor for Abilene Christian University.  Rodgers is a consultant for the Carl Spain Center for Race Studies and Spiritual Action directed by Dr. Jerry Taylor. He has more than ten years of experience in congregational leadership in the areas of mentoring, preaching, advising, church growth, administration, and strategic planning.

He also is a researcher and lecturer with teaching experience and a record of publication in The Christian Century, Patheos, KineticsLive blog, Christian Chronicle, and Race, Rhetoric, and Religion (R3) blog. Rodgers' work has also been featured in The Afro newspaper and the Baltimore Sun

Rodgers has published chapters and articles in several academic and popular books. His work has also appeared in Reconciliation Reconsidered, edited by Dr. Tanya Brice. Most recently he was featured in Wisdom Commentary Proverbs by Dr. Alice O. Bellis (Liturgical Press).

Reverend Rodgers’s international work has a 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 Tweed MS100 to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. 

Reverend Rodgers is an activist prominent in several social justice efforts. Rodgers is a talented program manager who has fundraised, created, and led projects to serve the homeless community, survivors of human trafficking, adult literacy, and STEM programs for children in areas such as financial literacy, robotics, and coding. His passion for Re-entry citizens led him to become a Certified Trainer for Healing Communities USA under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Harold Dean Trulear. Furthermore, Rodgers’ commitment to food security fuels his interest in gardening and in the establishment of church and community gardens. This passion is sustained and informed by his partnership with the Black Church Food Security Network pioneered by Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III.

Reverend 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, Rodgers believes the church on earth is a glimpse of the church in Heaven: a beloved community.