The D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation is a 501.c.3 religious charitable operating foundation that works with churches and religious organizations in offering seminars featuring scholars, authors and theologians. Presenter's lectures from these events are recorded and made available to the public in CD and DVD format for future viewing by churches, institutions and individuals. While our work is primarily with a variety of Christian and Jewish organizations, it operates independently of any congregation, denomination or ecclesiastical authority.
D. L. Dykes, Jr., a Methodist minister for more than 50 years was a courageous and pioneering figure in the deep South during the turbulent 60s well into the 80s. The D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation was given its name by his lifelong friend, the late R. Z. Biedenharn who was its founder. Biedenharn said that he created the foundation to preserve the contribution of D. L. Dykes, Jr. and like-minded individuals to follow.
D.L. Dykes, Jr. (1917 - 1997) was the senior pastor from 1955-1984 of the First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. He is remembered for his pioneering work in the use of television as a tool to advance a more liberal, humanizing interpretation of religious tradition and ethic as well as his public role as a spokesperson for economic and political justice during the tense years of the civil rights movement. He was also a public critic of the U.S. involvement in Viet Nam.
He was an individual of great moral and spiritual force as well as a visionary teacher and inspiring preacher. A more detailed biographical sketch is available upon request.
The Mission of The D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation is two-fold: (1) To promote critical thinking about historical and traditional Christianity and its origins within first century Judaism and (2) To encourage and inspire individuals to recognize the injustices in society and to work for social and economic change.
The Dykes Foundation works in cooperation with churches and other organizations in offering seminars and seminar products under the trademark brand, FaithandReason®.
FaithandReason® seminars feature innovative and progressive scholars, authors and lecturers who explore historical Christian tradition and belief as well as contemporary issues of faith in provocative and engaging ways.
FaithandReason® seminar CDs and DVDs make use of the work of acclaimed theologians, scholars, authors and lecturers to create informative and engaging programs for churches and individuals. Our seminar CDs and DVDs can be found on our FaithandReason® website.
Through our FaithandReason® seminars, the D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation invites people to explore new ways to understand Christianity and to make it a source for addressing social and economic injustice.
The D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation works with churches, synagogues, and other organizations offering seminars to stimulate critical thinking about religion and its role in society by featuring provocative and progressive scholars, authors and teachers who bring cutting edge thought and work to audiences. Typically, such audiences are made up of people who know they want to move beyond narrow, dogmatic religious belief and attitudes into new understandings that challenge the old, anti-intellectual, anti-science and "anti-world," religion they were once taught.
These are people who, because they are willing to think critically about themselves, their own religion, and their national allegiances, want to be inspired and challenged by a vision of a better world for all people everywhere.