TYLER–On Sunday, Feb. 28, Dr. David Orlo Dykes, Senior Pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church, announced to the congregation his plans to retire on August 31, 2021. Dr. Dykes has been pastor of Green Acres since March of 1991. In the 66-year history of Green Acres, Dr. Dykes is the longest-serving pastor and the first to retire.
Dykes started preaching in 1970 and served three churches in Alabama before coming to serve at Green Acres. Green Acres has over 17,000 members and is known for its mission involvement locally and around the world. This reflects Dyke’s own heart for missions. He has personally led missions teams to over 30 countries.
“Dr. David Dykes has provided exemplary leadership for Green Acres Baptist Church throughout his many years of service,” David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists said. “He is a blessing to me and so many others. The Lord has used him to make a significant Kingdom impact, and for that we are truly grateful.”
Dykes graduated from Samford University, and received Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. In 2005, Dr. Dykes was involved in post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University in England in the field of Biblical Art from the Renaissance Period. In 2017 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from East Texas Baptist University.
He is the author of nineteen nonfiction books, including books on personal growth, church health, biblical wisdom and the spiritual realm.
In addition to his pastorship, Dykes is a volunteer chaplain with the Smith County Sheriff’s Department. He served ten years as a member of the Executive Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dykes has also served locally on the Boards of the American Red Cross, People Attempting To Help (P.A.T.H.), the Greater Tyler Chamber of Commerce, the Mother Frances Foundation, and Baptist Child and Family Services (Breckenridge Village). He has also served on the Board of Trustees for East Texas Baptist University and currently serves as a Trustee for LeTourneau University in Longview.
Dykes has had strong ties with Texas Baptists, and he was a keynote speaker at the 2018 Texas Baptists Family Gathering. He drew from 1 Corinthians 10:10 and spoke on the importance of unity. He reminded those in attendance that unity does not mean uniformity, but instead it is a bond from God that Texas Baptists must strive to maintain.
David and his wife, Cindy, plan to continue living in Tyler and being involved with Green Acres after he retires. He is working with the leadership of the church to recommend his replacement.
“I love Tyler and Green Acres,” Dykes said. “I’m praying that the church will find my replacement before I retire so there will be a seamless transition to the next pastor. I am looking forward to handing the baton to the next generation of younger leadership.”