MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 7, 2013

No stopping him yet

Former preacher, businessman finds ways to stay busy

— At 3:00 in the morning, C.M. Rhodes is up and ready to start the day.

It’s a habit he started as a Church of Christ preacher in Alabama.

“I could not do all my work in eight hours,” he said.

So early, early every morning, he takes a walk with his dog for about a half-mile to three-fourths of a mile.

“Then I come back, and my wife would scrape my toast,” he said.

After breakfast, he heads to his home office and works, mostly on biblical research. He spends the afternoons working outside.

“I was born in Yale, Oklahoma, in 1920,” Rhodes said with pride. “Ninety-two years, and I’m still green and growing. That’s better than ripe and rotting. I stay busy.”

That doesn’t mean Rhodes is just starting out with life, however. He taught pilots how to fly gliders during World War II, preached for 28 years, then sold oil, gas and tires in Muskogee.

Cluster Monroe Rhodes grew up in several rural Oklahoma towns with a twin brother, Clovis Woodrow Rhodes.

“I graduated high school near Seminole County in a school called Pleasant Grove,” he said. “We had a baseball team. At one time we had a football team, but we didn’t have enough people to make it last.”

He started college at Murray State College in Tishomingo while working on a farm.

“We milked eight cows a day until we got a milking machine,” he said.

He later attended Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., and from there began his preaching career.

He moved about 47 years ago to Muskogee, where he sold gas.

“We also had a tire store and service stations, about three or four of them, maybe more than that,” Rhodes said. “We had the Conoco stations. We had them up north of the river, Fort Gibson, to the south.”

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