Haynes resigns from presidency of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition

Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III

By Hazel Trice Edney

Less than a year after the fanfare announcement that he will succeed the Rev. Jesse Jackson as leader of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III announced his resignation amid what insiders described as a painful financial situation.

Few details were available at Trice Edney News Wire deadline. However, Haynes’ outlined his case in an April 16 statement titled.

He was named Jackson’s successor last July and formally installed him Feb. 1.  

“After continued prayer and deliberation, I have decided to step down from the position of Chief Executive Officer and President of Rainbow Push Coalition, effective immediately,” Hayes wrote in his resignation statement. “I remain committed to honoring the rich history of RPC and the legacy of its esteemed leader, the incomparable Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., and, most significantly, to the calling and pursuit of social justice.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all who have expressed their support since my appointment in July of last year. Rest assured that my work in the fight for liberation and freedom continues. Yours in the struggle, Frederick D. Haynes III”

Jackson, who has been ill with Parkinson’s disease, could not be reached for comment. Sources close to RPC said the organization has been stricken with insurmountable financial problems.

Haynes, a protégé of Jackson’s, still serves as the Senior Pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas.

On its website, RPC describes itself by saying, “We protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, and to promote peace and justice around the world.”

According to its written history, the Chicago-based organization that was founded in 1971 “is the product of a social justice movement that grew out of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) Operation Breadbasket. Founded by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Operation Breadbasket sought to combine theology and social justice and to affect progressive economic, educational, and social policy in America. In 1966, King appointed Jackson to serve as the first director of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago.”

According to a news release, Haynes’ sold-out installation event on Feb. 1 featured VIP lineup Participants included Roland Martin, Rev. Al Sharpton, Shavonne Arline-Bradley, Michael Sorrell, Amos Brown, and Ron Daniels.”

Sharpton was keynote speaker at the event.

“Look at the time we are in: everything that was gained in the ’60s is now under threat…They talk about affirmative action, women’s rights, diversity, inclusion, voting rights, like somebody woke up and gave us that,” Sharpton said. “Nobody donated anything to us. We fought for everything we got and we need to get back to fighting right now. And that’s why I’ve come to celebrate Freddy, because we need fighters in the pulpit… We need a fighter like Freddy Haynes.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, a long time associate of Haynes’ also attended the Rainbow/PUSH convention where Haynes was announced last July.

 “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,” Harris said.

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