By Lena Foster

Civil rights activist and leader Rev. Jesse Jackson officially announced Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III, as the new President and CEO of Rainbow PUSH Coalition on Sunday, July 16, 2023. 

 During Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s national convention at the Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn, the transfer of leadership between Rev. Jackson and Dr. Haynes took place with Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance, according to a statement from Friendship-West Church & Conference Center. 

Harris spoke during the event and honored Rev. Jackson for his leadership. She also expressed her confidence in Dr. Haynes as the new leader of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. 

“It is my joy to congratulate Reverend Dr. Freddy Haynes. I have known him and worked with him for over 20 years, including when we worked together years and years ago in the early days of the criminal justice reform movement.  And I am so confident in his leadership and his ability to carry on the greatest traditions of this organization and to meet the challenges of this moment. Congratulations, Reverend Haynes,” Vice President Harris said during her remarks at the event.

President Joe Biden issued a written statement praising and recognizing Rev. Jackson for his many decades of leadership as he passes the torch to the next generation of leadership.

Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, serves as the senior pastor of more than 13,000 members at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas in addition to his new role with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Although Dr. Haynes recently announced Pastor David McGruder as the executive pastor of Friendship-West, Dr. Haynes will remain the senior pastor.

Dr. Haynes expressed how honored and humbled he was to be “tapped” by Rev. Jackson, and he also described how he is inspired by Rev. Jackson’s impact and mentorship. 

“Rev. Jesse Jackson has made the world a better place, breaking down barriers, opening previously locked doors of opportunity, fighting for justice and refusing to take “no” for an answer on behalf of those who have no voice,” Dr. Haynes said in the Friendship-West statement.

“Rainbow PUSH has been the organizational vehicle that he has driven in the movement for justice. Rev. Jackson has been a mentor and I have been greatly influenced and inspired by this game-changing social justice general, international ambassador for human rights, and prophetic genius. Sadly, justice and human rights are under attack in the nation and around the world. The work of Rainbow PUSH is as necessary as ever and I am committed to standing on the shoulders of Rev. Jackson and continuing the fight for freedom, peace, equity, justice and human rights,” Dr. Haynes continued in the statement.

Dr. Haynes has already started thinking of positive ways of pushing change in his new position with focus on a national agenda to address issues with courts, the end of affirmative action, economic justice, educational equity and justice, and the effects of climate change on communities of color.

The Friendship-West statement also addresses Dr. Haynes as a social justice pastor and advocate for marginalized communities.

Known nationally as “the drum major for justice,” he has modeled his ministry like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., intertwining faith and justice. Dr. Haynes works diligently to stand up for justice and to create positive change nationally, according to the statement from Friendship-West. 

From leading protests and demonstrations, to registering thousands of voters, to providing food and other needed resources, to decreasing crime, to serving as a voting super center, Dr. Haynes and Friendship-West Baptist Church have always been in the forefront of creating positive and lasting social change, the statement detailed further. 

Dr. Haynes has a bachelor of arts degree in religion and english, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as a doctorate in ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation where he was afforded the opportunity to study at Christ Church, Oxford University in England.

Currently, Dr. Haynes is a doctor of philosophy (PhD) candidate at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana where he is studying African American preaching and sacred rhetoric. He also serves the community academically, teaching college courses and workshops at Paul Quinn College, Texas Christian University, McCormick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick Theological Seminary and other places of higher education.  

Dr. Haynes is also on the Board of Trustees for Paul Quinn College as well as various other boards, particularly those in underserved and minority communities, according to the statement. Dr. Haynes is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc as well. 

Dr. Haynes is devoted to education and has led Friendship-West to donate over $1 million dollars to historically Black colleges and universities. In addition, Friendship-West has donated over $2 million in scholarship aid to students who are members of the church and the greater Dallas community, according to the statement. 

With also being the namesake of Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III Global Preparatory School, located on the campus of Paul Quinn College, which serves students grades 6-12 who seek to enter the International Baccalaureate program, Dr. Haynes has received a plethora of awards and honors for his work in ministry and his avid activism.

In 2011, Dr. Haynes had the prestigious honor of being the featured speaker at The Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Prayer Breakfast, according to the statement. 

In 2012, Ebony Magazine included Dr. Haynes on the Power 100 list of most influential African Americans, and he was also inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. 

In 2013, Dr. Haynes also had the honor of expressing his remarks and admiration of one of the most respected world leaders of the 20th and 21st centuries, President Nelson Mandela, at the memorial service.

According to the statement, in 2016, Dr. Haynes was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, and in 2020, Dr. Haynes was a featured speaker during the Democratic National Convention’s faith event, “Our Values, Our Voices, Our Votes.” 

The prestigious April 4th Foundation awarded Dr. Haynes the I am a Man Award in 2020, which is an award given to those who are consistently keeping Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream ongoing and using it as a catalyst for change. Some of the previous honorees included Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Diane Nash, Congressman John Lewis and Harry Belafonté. 

In 2022, Dr. Haynes was awarded by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Presidential Lifetime Achievement Leadership Award in community involvement. 

Dr. Haynes serves in various leadership roles in organizations that advocate social change and evokes community improvement and action, which aligns with Dr. Haynes’ motives. 

In 2003, he founded the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference along with Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. and Dr. Iva E. Carruthers and currently serves as co-chairman of the board. Dr. Haynes is on the board of the Conference of National Black Churches, the National Action Network and the IC3 Church Growth and Development Conference.