Dallas’ oldest black church continues a legacy of political influence

Some years back, when I agreed to visit Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship to worship with a friend, I had no idea President George W. Bush would also be visiting with his friend, Tony Evans, the minister.

Not long after that, another friend invited me to The Potter’s House to hear Bishop T. D. Jakes, and I was escorted to the VIP section. By mistake, I thought, since former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith was seated behind me. During the jumbo-screen announcements, Jakes introduced everyone on our row, including “the writer” next to U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

And then, there is Freddy Haynes, activist-pastor at Friendship West Baptist Church, who once referred to former Dallas mayor Laura Miller as “Laura Killer.” Haynes’ congregation — and 5,000 votes from the Amen Corner — is often credited with Craig Watkins’ slender victory in his first run for district attorney…