Trinidad Baptist Church

About Our Church

Our Church History

On a wintry day in 1891, a few God fearing people–the late Brother William Brown and the late Sister Jennie Brown–gathered for worship in the home of the late Sister Charity Wright. This was the beginning of the Trinidad Baptist Church. The church was named for the section of the city in which it was located–Trinidad.

The late Rev. William L. Jackson was called to serve as the first pastor. The members met for worship in several homes and in a tent before taking residence at 1619 Levis Street N.E. From Levis Street, the church moved and purchased the building located at 1100 Bladensburg Road, N.E.

Throughout our 114-year history, several pastors have served our church and each made viable contributions to our progress. They were: Rev. E. T. Lewis, Rev. James Carter, Rev. Browser, Rev. Hall, Rev. Ashland, Rev. Robert Hawkins, Rev. Benjamin Jackson, Rev. Spencer D. Franklin, and Rev. Shellie L. Gardner.

On March 2, 1959, the late Rev. Daniel L. Jackson was elected Pastor. As a man of vision, he inspired us to share his vision, and we, through the help of God, were blessed to build our present edifice. The cornerstone was laid on October 15, 1966, and the church building was dedicated on January 29, 1967. Our church continued its progression both spiritually and financially under the leadership of Pastor Jackson.

Several deacons and one trustee were called to be preachers of the gospel; deacons and trustees were added to the ministry; and numerous auxiliaries were organized. Many came to Christ under Rev. Jackson’s leadership and our church membership grew tremendously. In 1989, we lost our beloved Pastor, Dr. Daniel L. Jackson.

On January 27, 1991, Rev. Ernest Powell, Sr., was installed as Pastor. The church continued to move forward. Three ministries were organized: Youth Ministry, Men’s Ministry, and Security Team. Each fifth Sunday was designated as Youth Day. In addition, the property adjacent to the church was acquired for future expansion needs. In 1997, Pastor Powell retired and was given the status of Pastor-Emeritus. In August 1999, our Pastor and humble friend, Rev. Ernest Powell Sr., after a brief illness, was called from labor to reward.

On May 25, 1999, Rev. John T. Rhodes, Sr.–a God-sent teacher, preacher, counselor, community leader, and supporter of home and foreign missions–accepted God’s call to be our leader.

Trinidad has been abundantly blessed with Pastor Rhodes. He has established a Budget Committee, Children’s Church, Culinary Ministry, Decision Ministry, Drama Ministry, Investment Committee, Special Activities Ministry, Tape Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Youth Bible Study, Nomination Committee and Personnel Committee during his tenure.

In 2003, Trinidad purchased the building at 1625 Benning Road, and with this acquisition, we are now moving forward with plans for the expansion of our current facilities. The year 2004 blessed us with the addition of four men of God to our Deacons’ Ministry.Trinidad Today…

Under the leadership of Pastor Rhodes, Trinidad continues to thrive and grow spiritually, numerically, and financially as we work together in ” Fulfilling our Purpose, by leading believers from membership to maturity, ministry and mission. “

Church Staff

Meet the Ministerial Staff

Rev. Justin T. Rhodes

Senior Pastor

Born and raised in the Washington metropolitan area, Rev. Justin T. Rhodes is the youngest of three children born to Pastor and Mrs. John T. Rhodes. He is a graduate of Washington Bible College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies in May 2011, as well as the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, where he earned the Master of Divinity degree in May 2015. He is currently pursing the Doctor of Ministry degree in Church Leadership Excellence at Wesley Theological Seminary. He is also a 2014 Fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary. Rev. Rhodes answered God’s call to the Gospel ministry in the summer of 2003. He was licensed on October 30, 2005, and ordained on June 1, 2013, by the Trinidad Baptist Church, under the leadership of his pastor and father, Rev. Dr. John T. Rhodes. On December 6, 2019, Rev. Rhodes was elected to succeed his father as the new Senior Pastor of the Trinidad Baptist Church, affectionately known as “The Beacon,” where their ministry aim is encapsulated in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” In addition to his scholastic and ecclesiastical undertakings, Rev. Rhodes is also active in denominational and civic organizations. He is a former Dean of the Baptist Educational Congress of the District of Columbia and Vicinity, and is a member of The Missionary Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Washington, D.C. and Vicinity, the Executive Board of the Baptist Convention of the District of Columbia and Vicinity, and the Lott Carey Global Christian Missional Community. Rev. Rhodes enjoys preaching and teaching the Word whenever God allows.

Rev. Dr. John T. Rhodes Sr.

Pastor of Missions

Rev. John T. Rhodes was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He received his public school education in the Shelby County School system and after graduation attended Lane College. In 1976 Rev. Rhodes graduated from Luther Rice College where he earned the Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy. He earned the Master of Divinity degree in 1991 and the Doctor of Ministry Degree in 2008 from the Richmond Virginia Seminary. Dr. Rhodes’ pastoral career covered forty plus years and climaxed upon his retirement on December 31, 2019 after serving twenty years as Senior Pastor of the Trinidad Baptist Church of Washington, DC where he remains part of the ministerial staff and serves as the Pastor of Missions. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Ministers' Conference of DC and Vicinity and a former president of the same. A strong advocate for Christian Education he has also served as the president of the Baptist Educational Congress of DC and Vicinity. He delights to preach and teach the Word of God in venues across the U.S. and Africa and is a member of the Board of Directors for Lott Carey. Dr. Rhodes is ably assisted in his work by his devoted wife, Elizabeth, and they are the parents of three children.

Rev. Paul K. James

Pastor of Congregational Care