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The Rev. Roosevelt "Rudy" Rhodes, founder and pastor of Christ African American Lutheran Evangelical Church, died Thursday (Sept. 16, 1999) after a long illness. He was 56.

Mr. Rhodes attended School 31, graduated from Burgard Vocational High School, served in the U.S. Air Force and obtained a bachelor's degree and completed course work toward a doctorate at the University at Buffalo.

He was the founder and director of the first Office of Minority Student Affairs at UB and worked as a counselor and instructor at the Educational Opportunity Center.

Mr. Rhodes also was a community activist and ran for Ellicott District Council member in 1989, losing to incumbent James W. Pitts.

Mr. Rhodes participated in several community and spiritual organizations, including the Buffalo Urban League, Operation PUSH, the Buffalo Baptist Ministers Association and Deep Silence Ministry.

As a member of Christ Lutheran Church, he received the call to ministry and was ordained a minister in the Lutheran faith. He founded and was pastor of Christ African American Lutheran Evangelical Church.

Survivors include his wife, the former Faith Moore; five daughters, Elise Roxann, Sonja Sidell, Vonetta Tashika, Ashley Imani and Briana Rochelle; and four sisters Adrian Hill and Ardrella Lenard, both of Chicago, Geraldine Butler of Atlanta and Juliette Cummings of Rochester.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delavan Ave. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.


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