Written by Kimberly Smith, Contributing Editor
When you hear the word victory, what comes to mind? Do you think of a relentless fighter? Or, the thought of winning an exhausting race? Perhaps the very challenge of obtaining victory makes you nervous? Whatever the thought, victory tends to manifest itself in many different forms. It can be found amidst all types of backgrounds, experiences, and circumstances. And, certainly, PreachingWoman.com is privileged to present you with a living epistle of victory in the person of Pastor Michel White-Haynes. She graciously accepted our invitation to be featured on PreachingWoman.com and encourage you that in any and in every case, you too can be victorious!
Now you may be wondering, "Who is this beautiful woman of God?" Well, it is our privilege to introduce to some and present to others, Pastor Michel White Haynes. She is a highly sought-after speaker with an uncanny anointing to advance the
Much has been given to this stellar preaching woman, and much she freely gives. Sowing liberally of her personal substance, Pastor White-Haynes is a caring pastor who seeks to ensure that God is glorified and the people of God, whom she loves dearly, are edified. However, she will be the first to tell you that her life as a person and as a pastor has not been one lacking challenges.
Given as a gift of God to Godly parents, Pastor White-Haynes is the youngest of seven children. However, at her birth it was immediately evident that she was tailor made to be a conqueror, as Pastor White-Haynes was born without her right arm. But, her parents made a conscious decision not to treat her any differently as she encountered the same love and treatment as the rest of her PK (preacher's kids) siblings. Therefore, Pastor White-Haynes understood from an early age that although she looked different from the other children, she too would be expected to manage and conquer every adversity set before her.
Needless to say, Pastor White-Haynes rose to the occasion early on. She developed the perspective that she could not miss what she never had-a right arm. And, it is with this context, that it becomes quite easy to comprehend Pastor White-Haynes's choice not to wear a prosthesis to school as a child. Although she endured taunting from others, it was readily evident that what some may consider an unfortunate circumstance at birth, would prove and confirm that Pastor White-Haynes was a born "fighter." One anointed to fight the right kind of fight: that of endurance and perseverance.
Accordingly, Pastor White-Haynes overcame the pains of her formative educational years. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts from
The "born fighter" had to continue fighting when Pastor White-Haynes found herself dealing with a bout of cancer. But, this would prove to be one of the most pivotal moments of her life. While bed-ridden, Pastor White-Haynes's mother told her, "God said He wants to hear from you." Although Pastor White-Haynes knew she was called to pastor, the pains and hurt she witnessed as a Bishop's daughter, made her feel as though she really did not want to fulfill the call. Pastor White-Haynes decided that she was quite comfortable as the minister of music at a church where her brother served as the senior pastor. But, the fact yet remained that God still wanted to hear from her.
Upon inquiring of the Lord, Pastor White-Haynes knew that she must obey the will of God and accept the call to pastor. In 1987, Pastor White-Haynes took a leap of faith and launched
Over the years, the ministry has grown tremendously in fruit, works, and spirit. Today, the now known as Greater
Pastor White-Haynes along with the Greater Faith Temple's ministry stretch throughout the expanse of the community beyond church walls. PreachingWoman.com asked Pastor White-Haynes what was the strategy behind offering so many different programs and ministries and she offered this response:
"While we indeed want to bring Jesus to everyone, we realize that it's very difficult to get them to grasp the concept when they're physically hungry, naked or otherwise," said Pastor White-Haynes. "We close our church doors to take ministry to the streets by way of concerts, church services, and programs. We attempt to be a deterrent," she said firmly.
Pastor White-Haynes walks the walk. A few summers ago, God allowed her to close the church doors every Sunday to hold service in the middle of the projects. Young people were given a significant and healthy alternative to street life by rendering their gifts, skills and talents through an authentic worship, music and arts ministry. Accordingly, Pastor White-Haynes and Greater Faith Temple successfully won a large youth population to Christ in a tough
PreachingWoman.com asked Pastor White-Haynes to offer a few nuggets of wisdom to others who are faced with pastoring in urban communities, and here is what she contributed:
- "We can have a good time inside the church walls, but must go beyond the traditional walls", Pastor White-Haynes said positively.
- "Leaders must stay relevant to the issues of urban cities: Know trends and demographics, research, study, and be aware," offered Pastor White-Haynes
- "Keep your ears to the pipe: Observe, listen and hear what your people tell you, and what they do..."
Accomplishing over twenty-five years of gospel preaching, and twenty-two years as a successful pastor, Pastor White-Haynes is quite candid and encourages others in ministry to use their personal challenges to birth purposeful victory. Pastor White-Haynes reflects earnestly on the many challenges she has personally faced during her early years and likens her own pursuit for victory with the same approach and tenacity she has had to engage while finding a way to do things with only a left arm. Pastor White-Haynes realized that she was born with everything she needed and would find a way, and still finds a means to accomplish all that God has called her to.
"Challenge made me who I am. I don't have a give up in me," said Pastor White-Haynes affirmatively.
PreachingWoman.com asked Pastor White-Haynes to share with us some critical truths for ministers in the midst of challenges and she proposed the following:
- Walk in Knowing: "Know that [for] what God has ordained, He will go before you and make your path easy and successful," she said.
- Be about our Father's business. "Don't get caught up in fighting and drama. Get caught up in the function. You can function without a title," said Pastor White-Haynes assuredly.
- Be true to yourself. "If I've had any success at all, it's because I've been me," said Pastor White-Haynes pointedly.
- Take time to REST. "Put the car in park and pull over." Maintain the importance of your relationship with God. "Rest your mind; it is the only way to stay fresh." Don't be so caught up with vision or mandates that you neglect proper care for yourself. "God values rest. Certainly He didn't need it, [but] on the seventh day He did it," said Pastor White-Haynes tenderly.
In addition to being a pastor, Pastor White-Haynes is also an Overseer that uses a mountain of experience and integrity to encourage and develop other ministries. She acknowledges and fulfills her call to "perfect the saints, edify the body of Christ and equip them for the work of the ministry".
Ministry comes full circle and brings personal rewards to Pastor White-Haynes at home. She serves as the primary caretaker of her mother, a woman who taught her how to sacrifice, preach and be a lady. Most notably, she adores her loving and supportive husband, James Haynes. When asked about balancing marriage and ministry, Pastor White-Haynes suggests a few key factors that women in ministry should consider:
- "Wait on God for your spouse. What He has called you to, He will work through," said Pastor White-Haynes.
- "Marry someone who is secure in who he is," she said fervently.
- "Make room for your husband…Understand that ministry has one order, but at home, your husband is the priest…Don't forget your husband is the head of your household."
- "Don't get so caught up in ministry that your family suffers. We work very hard at keeping other families together and God wants us to work just as hard at keeping our families together," Pastor White Haynes said wisely.
With the measure of ministry and personal responsibility that Pastor White-Haynes endures from day to day, she realizes that the message of purpose is one of the greatest GIFTS of all that has been given by Jesus. For He is the reason for the season, the reason for living and the reason for all that we do.
Pastor White-Haynes is convinced that there is a release in the body of Christ to come together. "We are a mighty army. If we could just hook up," she said confidently.
Surely, Pastor White-Haynes is a living testimony of what a life in Christ brings forth. "I was born without my right hand, said Pastor White-Haynes, but God gave me "Left-Handed Victory!" (hence the title of her latest book release). Everybody is missing something. Don't fret. Whatever you have left is just enough to bring you victory.