The Rev. Michael E. Haynes, who rose from Depression-era Roxbury to become a towering figure in Boston’s black community and beyond as the longtime pastor of the historic Twelfth Baptist Church, died on Thursday. He was 92.
The Rev. Haynes was perhaps best known for his friendship with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the early 1950s, when the Rev. Haynes was a youth pastor at Twelfth Baptist and King preached there while pursuing his doctorate at Boston University. Over the years, he would drive King around Boston when he would return to the city, and he helped arrange for King to speak to a joint session of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1965.
But it was through his own work, as a youth counselor, preacher, state representative, and Parole Board member, that the Rev. Haynes made his deepest imprint, shaping and guiding generations of young people struggling to overcome poverty and racial discrimination.