Meet Rev. Frederick Haynes III: Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Successor

On Sunday, Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. is expected to officially transfer leadership of Rainbow PUSH to Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes III of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas.

Rev. Haynes III will serve as Rainbow PUSH’s new president, while Rev. Jackson transitions to an emeritus role over the organization he founded over 50 years ago.  

In Rev. Haynes III, Rainbow PUSH gets a pastor, social activist, educator, orator and author committed to social and economic justice. 

Here are five facts you should know about Rainbow PUSH’s newest president:

Frederick Haynes III was born in Dallas but grew up in San Francisco.

Rev. Haynes III’s father, Rev. Frederick D. Haynes, Jr., relocated their family to San Francisco, where his father, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes Sr., pastored at the historic Third Baptist Church, the first African-American Baptist congregation established west of the Rocky Mountains.

Rev. Haynes III’s grandfather led the largest African-American congregation in Northern California.

Under Dr. Haynes Sr.’s leadership, Third Baptist Church experienced unprecedented growth. When he arrived at the church in 1932, it had a 150-member congregation with a budget of $1,500. 

By the end of his tenure in 1971, the church had 3,000 members and a $150,000 budget. Haynes Sr. served as Third Baptist Church pastor until he died in 1971. Rev. Frederick D. Haynes, Jr. took over as TBC’s pastor a year after his father’s death and served until 1975. 

Dr. Haynes Sr. was intensely interested in the civil rights movement and social justice. He named himself after famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass. 

Haynes III lost his father at 14, on his first day of high school.

However, with support from his family, mentors and God, he would excel at San Francisco’s Abraham Lincoln High School. He was selected as one of three valedictory speakers at his graduation. 

After high school, Rev. Haynes III earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and English at Bishop College, a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation.

Presently, Rev. Haynes III is a Ph.D. candidate at the Christian Theological Seminary, studying African American preaching and sacred rhetoric. 

He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

President Joe Biden awarded him the nation’s highest honor for community service. 

In 2022, President Biden awarded him the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Presidential Lifetime Achievement Leadership Award in Community Service. 

Like his grandfather and father, Rev. Haynes III is committed to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and addressing racial and economic injustice. 

He has worked to form alliances with political leaders at every level, from local to federal, to take on other issues like social injustice, domestic violence, environmental racism and voting rights. 

Rev. Haynes III is also a fervent opponent of the predatory lending industry. In 2021, he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs against a plan allowing predatory lenders to ignore state interest rate caps.

During his testimony, Rev. Haynes III asserted that predatory payday, car title lender and installment lenders prey on the financially vulnerable, charging them billions in fees yearly. 

At the heart of his testimony was this account he gave about a congregation member victimized by the predatory lending industry: 

“One of my congregants, a recent college graduate, worked two jobs to make ends meet. When his mother became sick, he had to choose between paying his car loan and her medication and utilities,” said Dr. Haynes. “He took out a payday loan believing it would help him get through the crunch, but an interest rate of 450% set him up to bring him down financially, and he ended up losing the car he needed to get to work.”

Haynes III Has Served as the senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas for 40 years.

Like his grandfather, Rev. Haynes III oversaw unprecedented growth at his church. When he accepted the call to become Senior Pastor of Friendship-West in 1983, the church had 100 members. Currently, the megachurch has over 13,000 members.

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