Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, pastor of the Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, was honored by the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. on Friday, September 28 during the organization’s 27th Annual Hall of Fame Weekend Conference in Atlanta. Dr. Haynes is a member of the 2012 Class of Inductees and is being recognized for his “exceptional achievements” in the field of Faith/Theology and support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Under Dr. Haynes’s leadership, Friendship-West is one of the largest contributors within the faith community to the United Negro College Fund. He was nominated for the Hall of Fame by Paul Quinn College where he serves on the Board of Directors and has taught as an adjunct professor.
“I take seriously Jesus’s charge to create disciples within the faith community who change lives and revolutionize societies,” said Dr. Haynes. “I am humbled that representatives of Paul Quinn College, an institution founded with the purpose of addressing educational inequalities for freed slaves, recommended me for this great honor.”
Dr. Haynes will celebrate his 30-year anniversary as pastor of Friendship-West in April 2013. The ministry had 500 members at the start of his tenure and has grown to more than 12,000 as a result of his charismatic and innovative leadership style. One goal of Dr. Haynes’s ministry is to empower individuals to make positive contributions toward addressing the civil, human and social justice challenges of the 20th and 21st centuries. The impact of this work has spread abroad with a focus on helping to remedy the poverty, healthcare and educational concerns faced by the citizens of Harare, Zimbabwe. Friendship-West has committed to assisting in the construction of a daycare, school and worship center in the city whose citizens are in the midst of their own evolution toward gender, economic and political parity.
“I have watched Dr. Haynes live scripture for more than 25 years as a trustee and part of the executive team at Friendship-West Baptist Church,” said Veta Holt who serves as chief operating officer. “Dr. Haynes has a passion for empowering the community. He has dedicated his life to using his gifts in not only creating opportunities for our community but equipping individuals to take advantage of those opportunities through education. He has dedicated his life to using his gifts and influence to develop and help others.”
Dr. Haynes is oftentimes compared to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because of their similar oratory styles and use of theology to drive social change. Dr. Haynes believes that Jesus’s ministry dealt with issues of race, politics, class and gender and that the faith-based and social justice communities must have the same focal points. To that end, Dr. Haynes boldly addresses such matters as inequitable funding of education; an eroding middle class and expanding lower class; a criminal justice system that breeds recidivism rather than reform; and voter empowerment.
“Theology takes a special interest in those on the lowest end of the social spectrum,” said Dr. Haynes. “Our responsibility is not to segregate or isolate the concept of justice or members of disenfranchised communities, but to realize that reforms must be interconnected and holistic.”
Some of Dr. Haynes’s human rights work is performed through leadership positions with social justice advocates including the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference; National Action Network; and Conference of National Black Churches and memberships with the National Urban League, NAACP and Rainbow Push Coalition. He also provides an inspirational message daily, “Praise Break with Pastor Haynes,” on the top-rated radio program, “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”
Dr. Haynes is a native of San Francisco and comes from a family of preachers who leveraged theology to advance social change. He graduated from Bishop College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and English. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation.