Reverend Dr. Richard Haynes has been Senior Pastor at Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Lilburn for 31 years. He preached his first message as a candidate for the pastor on the first Sunday in October 1987. Since 1987, he has led that church to grow in amazing ways.
When Dr. Haynes first became the pastor of Salem Missionary, there were fewer than 100 members, and now in 2019, the church has approximately four thousand members on roll.
Salem Baptist is a big church with a small church atmosphere; visitors are welcomed and made to feel part of an enthusiastic congregation. The choir sings some old familiar songs as well as some newer ones, and the performance keeps the worship alive. The worship experience at Salem is a celebration of the unique strength of the body of believers found in the church and the ministry of Dr. Haynes. That membership recently celebrated Dr. Haynes’ 31st anniversary as their pastor.
Salem Baptist Church is one of the oldest churches in Gwinnett County; it was constituted in 1834 and before that time the first meetings were held in a small building provided by landowner Thomas Carroll for his farm workers to use as a house of worship. As time passed, the congregation grew and more land was acquired for more buildings on the Salem campus.
Dr. Haynes is the spiritual leader of the fellowship of Believers in Christ at Salem. Dr. Haynes credits the church history, the sacrifices, and stewardship of past leaders and members as testaments to the faithfulness of God and the success of Salem Church. Faithful Deacons, Cell Pastors and members who have become pastors all make this a vital church. The membership is composed of Christians who live the 13th Chapter of First Corinthians.
Richard Haynes was born in Gainesville where his father was a minister. He attended school in Gainesville and his mother insisted that her children use proper English in their speech, and that is reflected in Dr. Haynes speech and in his conversations. Richard Haynes felt a call to the ministry when he was a teenager; however, after finishing school, he worked with law enforcement in Athens where he married his wife, Beverly. Dr. Haynes entered the ministry when he was in his 30’s.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” The members at Salem Missionary Baptist Church live that motto.