The Mighty Third District History and Archives (H & A) 2-12-24:
Let’s Dig Deeper!
As we celebrate the only true and real history of this nation, the history of those who labored not only physically but to celebrate a nation of people who had and still have the resolve to “see it through”, the H & A committee thought it would only be suitable to research deeper into the life of who we believe is one of the unsung heroes of the Mighty Third District that may not necessarily be a household name in the fight for civil rights in this country.
If you recall on last week’s submission, “Honoring Greatness” we shined Omega’s spotlight Light on Brother Edward Hailes Jr. Alpha 74’ as he brilliantly addressed an overflow gathering of more than 200 attendees in the city of Petersburg, Va. at it’s “A Day to Celebrate Martin Luther King” program. In that submission, we made note that Brother Hailes Jr. father, Brother Reverend Doctor Edward Hailes Sr. Zeta 48’, was indeed, one of the “close connections” that many of the speakers at various MLK events across the country had an opportunity to share firsthand accounts of the pioneers for the civil rights movement.
Upon further research, your H & A committee was in awe of the many, many works and accomplishments of our Black history hero featured for this submission. Therefore, The History & Archives committee of the Mighty Third District has provided a summary of an Omega hero who was one of the many bridge builders of which we stand tall on today. We hope you will not only find the synopsis enlightening, but you will “dig deeper” and discover some of the many works and contributions that this mighty Man of Omega offered to this nation and to mankind.
Yours in Service
The Mighty Third District History and Archives Committee
The Rev. Dr. Edward Alexander Hailes Sr. Zeta 48’ grew up in a Christian home with five brothers and five sisters. He was a graduate of Virginia State College and Virginia Union University. Prior to his matriculation into these institutions of higher learning, Brother Hailes Sr. enlisted in the United States Army, served in World War II and received an honorable discharge.
Brother Hailes Sr. preached his initial sermon in 1948 at Zion Baptist Church in Petersburg, VA and in 1950, he became an Assistant to the Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in New Brunswick, N.J. He was later called to become the Pastor at the Union Baptist Church in New Bedford Massachusetts, where he served for 10 years. He also served on the State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights under President John F. Kennedy.
Brother Hailes Sr. left Massachusetts in 1961, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, to serve in Washington, D.C. at the state-level post of Executive Director of the D. C. Branch of the NAACP. He played a prominent role on behalf of the national NAACP, in coordination with representatives of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), the Urban League, and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), in many historic civil rights events, including the 1963 March on Washington. He was also involved with organizing rallies against racism in cities such as Boston, MA and Birmingham, AL.
In the late sixties, Brother Hailes Sr. left his NAACP post to become the full-time Executive Director of the DC Opportunities Industrialization Center of America (OIC), a program conceived by the late Dr. Leon Sullivan. While working at OIC, Brother Hailes Sr. continued to share his leadership talents by devoting time to serve as President of the D.C. Chapter of the NAACP for over 15 years, serving as Vice Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP, and also continued to grow in his ministry as Associate Pastor to Rev. Dr Carlton Veazey at Zion Baptist Church, and then with Dr. Jerry Moore at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, Washington, DC.
In 1987, God in His infinite wisdom, called on Brother Hailes to shepherd another flock and honor a friend, the late Reverend R.G. Williams, by serving as Interim Pastor for Mount Moriah Baptist Church upon the sudden passing of Rev. Williams, then pastor of Mount Moriah. After a short time, Brother Hailes was unanimously accepted as Mount Moriah’s next pastor, and was installed in 1988.
Brother Pastor Hailes continued the “Together We Build Project” begun under Rev. Williams and began new initiatives such as the “Venture In Faith” and the Edward A. Hailes, Sr. Scholarship Fund, which supports the youth of Mt. Moriah in college. He served as a tireless and devoted servant of the Lord and continued to serve as Pastor until he was struck by illness and retired in 1997. Under Pastor Lucius M. Dalton, Rev. Dr. Edward A. Hailes, Sr. was named Pastor Emeritus of Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
Throughout his lifetime, Rev. Hailes enjoyed many activities with his family, his fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and his Masonic brothers of the United Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Prince Hall Affiliation, Southern Jurisdiction.
Brother Reverend Dr. Edward A. Hailes Sr-Zeta 48’
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Brother Edward A. Hailes Sr- Zeta 48’
The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a bi-weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous “Pearls” can be found at https://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we shar, we’d very much like to hear from you.