NAACP President Finalists includes Dallas’ Frederick D. Haynes III

If the NAACP is interested in turning to a high-energy, intelligent, spellbinding orator in the mold of Benjamin L. Hooks…Rev. Haynes easily fits the bill.– George Curry

George Curry was the first to write about something that was brought to my attention over a week ago. My pastor, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, is one of three men in line to be the next president of the NAACP.  Dr. Haynes currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church here in Dallas.

In a Philadelphia Inquirer article titled Looking for the NAACP’s next leader, Curry has a number of interesting takes. Here are some of the highlights:

  • According to search committee sources, the finalists for NAACP president and CEO are: Benjamin Todd Jealous, 35, president of the Rosenberg Foundation; the Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III, 47, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas; and Alvin Brown, 37, a former White House official now working on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
  • Of the three finalists, Benjamin Jealous is said to be the favorite of board chairman Julian Bond. There is some confusion over whether the full board will get an opportunity to vote on all three candidates…some members (are) threatening to vote against (a) candidate if only one name is presented.
  • Though Jealous is smart, very organized, and on the right side of most social-justice issues, I never pictured him as head of a major civil rights organization – and still don’t. Jealous is uninspiring, an unimpressive orator, and he would easily be overshadowed by other figures already on the civil rights stage.
  • If the NAACP is interested in turning to a high-energy, intelligent, spellbinding orator in the mold of Benjamin L. Hooks, one of the association’s most popular leaders, Rev. Haynes easily fits the bill….At a conference in Dallas two years ago, he said: “A megachurch should not just be known for the traffic jam it creates on Sunday, but for doing something more in the community.”

pastor_frederick_haynes_150.jpgThere is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes, III should be the next President of the NAACP. But only if the orgainization is interesting in shifting into a social justice paradigm circa 2009, not 1909 or 1959.

Much of what is written at Dallas South is directly or indirectly inspired by Dr. Haynes. Either from the pulpit, in leadership meetings, or in our conversations on Sundays. Dr. Haynes helped me take my activism and advocacy to levels I didn’t even know existed.

I will do everything I can with my forum and my circle, to help insure that the process is as fair and open as possible. The assertion that all three finalists may not receive consideration by the full board is simultaneously troubling and unwise.

With all due respect, anyone who is the favorite of Julian Bond should receive extra scrutiny before they are handed the keys to the corner office. I’ve seen nothing yet that makes me believe that Bruce Gordon was doing a bad job during his 19 month stint as head of the NAACP. Most blame interference of the group’s cumbersome 64-member board lead by Bond for Gordon’s departure.

Dr. Haynes, who earned his Doctorate of Ministry from the University of Oxford in England, believes that the ministry of Jesus is a ministry of social justice. So his theology and his sociology are on one accord. I wish that were the case for all Christians, especially our leaders.

Check back with Dallas South as I gather more information on this exciting news. I plan to speak with current leaders of the organization as well as others who will have an interest in the next selection.


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