By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Less than three months after his formal installation as President and CEO of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III has announced his resignation. Roland Martin first reported the news.

In a dramatic public resignation letter, Haynes stated, “After continual prayer and deliberation, I have decided to step down from the position of Chief Executive Officer and President of Rainbow PUSH Coalition, effective immediately.” Despite his sudden departure, Haynes emphasized his commitment to honoring the organization’s rich history and the legacy of its esteemed former leader, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.

Shelly Davis, a Jackson spokesman, and officials at Rainbow PUSH have not yet responded to requests for comments regarding Haynes’ resignation.

Jackson, a monumental figure in American politics and the Civil Rights Movement, has faced health challenges in recent years, including a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Although Jackson, who uses a wheelchair, did not speak at Haynes’ installation ceremony in January, he was present.

Before his resignation, Haynes, 63, had expressed gratitude for Jackson’s mentorship and the preparation he received for leading Rainbow PUSH. “I’m appreciative of what he’s poured into me, which makes me feel like I’ve been prepared for this experience and this moment,” Haynes said.

Haynes envisioned building on Jackson’s legacy, aiming to institutionalize the dynamism and charisma that Jackson brought to the organization. “Whereas he did the work of 50 people, we need 50 people to do the kind of work that Rev. Jackson did,” Haynes remarked.

Remaining in his role as the senior pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, a position he has held for over 40 years, Haynes had expressed plans to continue leading the Rainbow PUSH Coalition remotely from Dallas. He said he envisioned his work at the justice-oriented church complementary to the organization’s mission.

Jackson, a protégé of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., founded Operation PUSH in 1971, which later evolved into the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The organization has been instrumental in promoting minority hiring and voter registration drives in communities of color and has played a significant role in American politics.

Reflecting on his long-standing relationship with Jackson, Haynes recalled their first meeting in 1981 as a college student. “He comes to campus as this larger-than-life, charismatic, dynamic figure, and immediately I was awestruck,” Haynes shared earlier this year.

Despite stepping down from his leadership role, Haynes concluded his resignation letter with a commitment to continue his fight for liberation and freedom. “Rest assured that my work in the fight for liberation and freedom continues,” Haynes wrote.

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition, headquartered in Chicago, will now begin the search for a new leader to guide the organization forward.