A Brief History On Church Of The Messiah


A Brief History On Church Of  The Messiah

By the early 1850’s the Episcopalians needed a new and larger church, so they asked Calvin Otis to design a larger church to be located at the corner ofCongress and Shelby. He built an early English Gothic study building with lancet windows. He added a steeple to make the church highly visible in Detroit and made that steeple with a smaller turret. The interior of the church wascompleted in a very simple manner reminiscent of a New England meetinghouse. The church became St. Paul protestant Episcopal Cathedral.

At the end of the Nineteenth Century, People’s State Bank desired to build a large and inpressive building. This is the extremely impressive building designed by McKim, Mead, and White located at Fort and Shelby and completed in 1901. Calvin Otis’ beautiful church was moved, stone by stone, to the corner of E. Grand Boulevard and E. Lafayette where it has stood for more than a century. Shortly thereafter, the Episcopalians began constructing their cathedral at the intersection of Woodward and East Warren. The relocated church became Church of the Messiah.


Date of Constriction: 1850

Artitect: Calvin N. Otis

Arthitectural Style: English Gothic with a New England meeting house interior.


The Rev. Barry Randolph

The Rev. Barry Randolph

A life long Detroiter, Barry Randolph was born and raised on the lower-eastside of Detroit. He is agraduate 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.

The Rev. Peter Klein


The Rev. Peter Klein    John (Peter) Klein was born on July 6 , 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, Walter Klein, was an Episcopal priest and his mother, Helene, a Latin and English teacher. Walter eventually became Professor of Old Testament and Sematic languages at Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanstion, Illnois. He then became the Dean of Nashotah House Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin, and finally Bishop of Northtern Indiana. All of this religious influence did not keep young John from questioning his faith and leaving the church at the age of 18. At age 28, after experiencing avocational and financial crisis (he was jobless and broke), he went to St. Gregory’s Abby, an Episcopal Benedictine monastery in Three Rivers, Michigan, for counseling. There he had a strong encounter with God, was baptized in the Holy Spirit, joined the monestary and became Brother Peter. After four years, it became evident that the celibate, monastic life was not for him.

In 1975, keeping the name Peter, he left the monastary and joined the Christian community at Church of the Messiah in Detroit. He lived in several households and taught kindergarten and first grade at the Messiah Learning Center for ten years until the school and the formal community dissolved in 1986. In 1978, he persuaded Jean Springer who also taught at the school to marry him. They had three daughters, Rebecca, Laura, and Melissa.

In 1986, Peter became the adminstrator and sexton at Church of the Messiah. When the church could no longer afford to pay him, he became office manager at WARM Training Center, a non-profit that at one time created work-owned cooperative businesses, but is now primarily an energy education for low income people, energy audits, weatherization, workforce development and various green building projects. Peter remained a member of Church of the Messiah, joined the Vestry and eventually became secretary and senior warden. When Messiah decided to embrace total ministry, Peter was selected to train for the priesthood. He was ordained in 2002 and continues to work at WARMTraining Center. He continues to serve the church mainly as celebrant at the first service on Sundays. His chief joy is spending time with his grand-daughter Rene, who is only three years old and can tell you exactly what she wants, and can usually get it from her grandfather.

Bound Together Detroit


Bound Together DetroitBound Together Detroit is a youth enrichment program operated from Church of the Messiah Detroit in partnership with Christ Church Grosse Pointe. The program assists economically disadvantaged children in the southeastern Detroit area.

Bound Together Detroit (BTD) is under the same corporate entity as the Bound Together program in Pontiac. Our parent organization, Bound Together Pontiac, serves the community surrounding All Saints Pontiac. We are a Michigan non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation.

Our mission is to create a safe, stable, diverse environment for personal and academic excellence. We nuture the development of young people to be creative, self-directed, collaborative leaders. We embody the values of a just society. We offer a caring community with a shared moral purpose, respecting the dignity of those we serve.

The Bound Together Detroit programs are offered at no charge and could not be successful without the continuous support from Church of the Messiah, Christ Church Grosse Pointe, volunteers, various grants such as private donations and fundraisers. Financial contributions and volunteer support are always gratefully received! Our wish list includes things such as phonics / academic series books, bookshelves, computer programs and basic classroom materials that students can keep.

Programs for Bound Together Detroit

1) The after-school tutoring program runs Tuesdays and Thursdays 4-6 P.M. This program provides students in first through sixth grade with healthy snacks, one-on-one mentoring/tutoring, homework help, and additional academic support in reading, writing, and math. The student waiting list is ever growing due to financial restrictions and tutor shortages.

2) Summer Day Camp runs 11AM-4PM for four-weeks during the summer. We maintain our mission to develop and nuture our students with healthy meals and enriching educational activities. Breakfast and lunch have been donated in the past by the Detroit Institute of Arts, educational activities include, but are not limited to: Arts and crafts, Science experiments, Geography projects, Drama, and Nutrition. We also arrange field trips to Museums, Belle Isle, Detroit Zoo, and the Detroit Science Center. We foster pride in all that the City of Detroit has to offer while continuing to educate our children about health, safety, life skills and academics.