5 Things to Know About the New Head Of The Rainbow Push Coalition, Rev. Frederick Haynes III

Haynes is the pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas and is a mentee of Jackson.

After more than 50 years of activism and public service, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., has retired as leader of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, but he has named a successor to carry on the legacy:  Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III.

Established in 1971 with the merger of Operation Breadbasket and the Rainbow Coalition, People United to Save Humanity (later changed from “Save” to “Serve”)–PUSH, was created as an “organization dedicated to improving the economic conditions of Black communities across the United States”.

Haynes, the pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Tex.,  plans to continue Jackson’s work of advocating for vulnerable African Americans and counts the renowned civil rights activist as a mentor.

"Jesse Jackson has been for us, and continues to be for us, a North Star for freedom and justice," Haynes said at a press conference on Tuesday (July 18).

One of the key components of Haynes’ agenda as the new president of the organization is to mobilize Black voters in response to the recent Supreme Court rulings.

"The ground game will be to pick up where the reverend left off: a massive voter registration campaign," Haynes explained.

So here’s what you need to know about the new leader of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

1. He’s a Third Generation Baptist Minister

Haynes comes from a long line of progressive Baptist ministers. His grandfather, Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes, Sr., was the pastor of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco which was founded in August 1852 as the first African American Baptist congregation west of the Rocky Mountains. When he first arrived at the church in 1932, it had 150 members.

By 1971, the congregation had grown to more than 3,000 members becoming the largest Black church in Northern California. After his death in 1971, his son Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes, Jr., succeeded him as pastor.  He would serve the church for the next 3 years until his sudden death on September 3, 1975, on Haynes Jr’s first day of high school.

Rev. Jesse Jackson - The former President was roundly criticized for minimizing Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s primary win in South Carolina by saying "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here." Clinton never apologized for the remark.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. Steps Down As Head Of Rainbow PUSH

2. He’s the Pastor of a Mega Church in Texas

After graduating from Bishop College in 1982, Haynes became pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church the following year. Under his leadership, the congregation has grown from 100 members to more than 13,000 during his 40 years as pastor. Through the church’s local, national, and international efforts, they seek to live out the mission of the ministry which is, “Creatively making disciples, while on the cutting edge, making a difference spiritually and socially.” The church has adopted Emmanuel Baptist Church in Harare, Zimbabwe and is currently assisting to fund the construction of a worship edifice, school, and daycare.

In 2003, Friendship-West launched Emmanuel Care, a hunger relief program to help provide food to at least 150 families in Harare, Zimbabwe. Friendship-West continues to partner with Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the UNCF, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the National Urban League, and several other organizations.

3. He’s An Advocate For Education

One of the hallmarks of Haynes’ ministry is his advocacy for education. He helped to launch  THR!VE Intern and Leadership Program at Friendship-West, a leadership program for Black teenagers ages 16 to 19 that provides mentoring and professional development opportunities for students. Additionally, Friendship-West has donated more than a million dollars to HBCUs and has given more than $2 million in scholarship money to students in Dallas. Haynes is also a board member of Paul Quinn College where he was a former adjunct professor.

4. He’s a Co-Founder of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

In 2003, Haynes along with Dr. Iva E. Carruthers and Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. founded the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. The mission of the organizations is “to nurture, sustain, and mobilize the African American faith community in collaboration with civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders to address critical needs of human rights and social justice within local, national, and global communities.” Annually, the conference gathers faith leaders across the globe to address issues such as structural racism, poverty, LGBTQI+ concerns, police brutality, and more. Currently, Haynes serves as co-chair of the organization.

5. He Was Awarded the Nation’s Highest Honor For Community Service.

For Haynes’ unwavering commitment to Black liberation and equality for all, he was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Leadership Award in Community Service by President Joe Biden in 2023. Dedicated to fighting for equality, Haynes has worked with the Center for Responsible Lenders to fight against predatory lending practices in Texas and across the country. Under the Obama presidential administration, Haynes was invited to the White House on several occasions to address issues such as voting rights, civil rights, and the affordable care act.

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