The Man Who Would Be King

Freddy Haynes seemed a shoo-in to lead the NAACP. Then Obama's ex-pastor came to town.

But now standing at his pulpit, at what was supposed to be a triumphant return, he said he had no regrets. He had put the NAACP in the rearview mirror, and he suggested his congregants do the same. After the sermon, a long line of parishioners snaked around the stage, waiting to embrace their beloved preacher. He picked up a small girl and let her hug him. He looked intently at a middle-aged woman as she told him some personal problem.

Courtesy of Friendship West Baptist Church
Freddy Haynes is part Martin Luther King Jr. and part Malcolm X: He can fill the streets with protesters at a moment's notice.
Courtesy of Friendship West Baptist Church
Freddy Haynes is part Martin Luther King Jr. and part Malcolm X: He can fill the streets with protesters at a moment's notice.

He had been denied, his mentor disgraced, but his work would continue. The groundbreaking for the second phase of his urban village was around the corner, he was about to announce an ambitious new plan to help the people living in a dilapidated apartment complex down the street, and before long he intended to transform his Oak Cliff school into an academic powerhouse for black children. God was not done with him yet.

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