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State Senate recognizes 2 Bartow pastors

Over the past three weeks, a pair of Bartow pastors were highlighted by the Georgia Senate.

While Dr. Jacob King of The Church at Liberty Square served as Chaplain of the Day Jan. 22, the Rev. Dr. Edward Rhodes of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church was recognized with a Senate Resolution Jan. 30.

“The invitation to be the Chaplain of the Day at the Georgia Senate came at the request of [state] Sen. Bruce Thompson,” said King, a Cartersville resident. “I was humbled by the invitation but very thankful that Sen. Thompson would ask me to represent his district as the Chaplain of the Day.

“Bruce Thompson is a great friend but also a wonderful example of the life of a civil servant who really has the good of the people at heart. He represents and serves our community with excellence at the state capitol.”

Serving as the senior pastor of The Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville since 2016, King joined the place of worship in 2006 as its executive pastor.

“The duties of the Chaplain of the Day include meeting the members of the state Senate and delivering a devotional message and prayer at the beginning of the session,” King said. “The most memorable moment was the privilege of praying for men and women that live their lives serving the people.

“My message to the state Senate came from Matthew 20, as two disciples argued over who would sit on Jesus’ right hand and his left. They misunderstood authority and Jesus reminded them that the one who is great is servant of all, as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. I encouraged the Senate to serve God, to serve people and serve one another. We have enough division in government and society. We must work together and become servant leaders.”

He continued, “My prayer for the Senate and all in governing authority is for a revival of humility, service and decency in our nation. I pray for a recovery of common sense, a Biblical worldview, and a genuine concern and love for our neighbor. I pray that they would have the faith to believe what is possible, the courage to do what is right and the humility to serve our common man.”

Calling it an “honor” to be able to recognize both pastors, Thompson underscored King’s ability to “deliver down-to-earth messages” and Rhodes’ “selfless nature to serve God.”

According to a news release from Thompson, “It is such an honor to have brought Dr. King here to the Georgia Senate. Dr. King is such a passionate and effective communicator of God’s word. His ability to deliver down-to-earth messages leaves such a remarkable impact on the lives he encounters.”

In recognition of Rhodes’ “selfless and tireless work as the pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church,” SR 612 highlighted many of his accomplishments, such as serving as an Alaska state trooper — where he became the state’s first African-American trooper — for two decades and the Anchorage police chief for six years. Leading Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church since 1995, the Cartersville resident plans to retire in April.

“I was certainly shocked and amazed, but I was happy that the recognition not just recognized me, but also recognized the founding pastor of Mt. Zion — pastor Jeffrey Milner,” Rhodes said. “He meant so much to Cartersville and to the church and to my personal testimony and growth.

“Just to know the history and to be able to follow such a man — to pastor years after he’s gone and his work is still alive — is just impressive. It was a humbling experience to be able to stand in the well of the Georgia state Senate and share my feelings and my emotions that day.”

Welcomed by Thompson, Rhodes was joined by numerous members of Bartow’s faith community.

“I was more than honored to present my friend, Rev. Dr. Ed Rhodes in the Senate chamber today,” stated Thompson in a separate release. “The more than 50 representatives from churches in Bartow County that showed up to support Rev. Dr. Rhodes today truly speaks to the man that he is.

“Rev. Dr. Rhodes holds some of the highest accomplishments, but his selfless nature to serve God and all those he encounters ranks as one of his highest accomplishments. This man serves the Lord with integrity and honor and teaches, trains and encourages people of all ages and backgrounds, and I am so thankful to have Rev. Dr. Rhodes here as my neighbor and friend.”