January 18, 2014 10:56:02 PM
The keynote speaker Monday at the NAACP-Dream 365 MLK Breakfast is Dr. Frederick Haynes III, the senior pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.
Haynes, who is also an author and radio host, has led that church's 15,000-plus congregation for three decades. His approach to preaching is one that combines "theology with a call to impact our sociological issues," according to a biography the church sent to The Dispatch.
Rev. Tony Montgomery, a co-founder of Dream 365, has known Haynes for roughly 15 years and helped coordinate getting him to Columbus for Monday's event. Montgomery called him "the greatest motivationalist I know of."
"He reaches the grandma generation all the way to the generation you wouldn't think would be stepping foot in a church," he said.
Montgomery added that "there is not a social justice issue in this country that Dr. Haynes is not involved in."
Haynes could not be reached for comment.
During a 2013 radio interview, though, he talked about how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspires him.
"[I]f we're going to have a relevant ministry that deals with where people are, we're going to have to have a consciousness that reflects not only telling people who they are, informing them who they are and unbrainwashing us, but we also have to have a ministry that is aware of the times in which we live," he said.
Asked what the biggest challenge the black community faces is, Haynes said, "Number one for me is the lack of economic equality."
One of the initiatives Haynes has led in the Dallas area is an effort, through zoning laws, to restrict where payday loan operations can operate. Haynes said those businesses target disadvantaged communities.
Haynes has also spoken out in support of President Barack Obama's position on same-sex marriage. Obama, in 2012, publicly endorsed same-sex marriage. Haynes' position was that Obama was upholding the Constitution.
"Notice it does not say that all straight me are created," Haynes said of the document. "It does not say that all men unless you are gay or lesbian are created equal...For the first time in the history of this nation, we have a president who has dared to use his position to make the Democratic promise available not just for a select few who are up and in, but for everybody, regardless of their race, their creed, their color or their sexual orientation."
Montgomery said he is excited to see his friend's message Monday. Haynes, he said, has a way of inspiring people to not only change their own lives for the better, but the lives of other people, as well.
"He is the best preacher I've heard in a long time," Montgomery said. "Anyone who sees him speak will feel like they've heard something special."
The breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. at Trotter Convention Center. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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