Reverend Sykes is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is the youngest of four children born to Mrs. Jean Sykes in Salon, France. At the age of 19, after relocating to the Richmond area, he was employed in several management positions which helped to further develop his leadership skills. With his interest in Marketing and Business, he enrolled and attended Virginia State University. After about two years on this academic track, God intervened and redirected his path. Acknowledging God’s call to the ministry, Reverend Sykes returned to Virginia Beach and under the leadership of his Pastor, the late Bishop William D. Scott, Sr. of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was licensed to preach the gospel in June 1990.
In 2009, Reverend Sykes was acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Virginia and served as Magistrate for the 13th District of the Sixth Magisterial Region. He is affiliated with the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Richmond and Vicinity, Henrico Ministers’ Conference, Area Ministers’ Fellowship (Varina), and Virginia Union University’s Chapel Advisory Board. He has also served on the Board of “Home Again” an organization which provides emergency shelter and transitional housing for Richmond’s men, women, children and veterans who have no place to live. In October 2015, he was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to serve on the State Board of Corrections, and with the new administration of Governor Ralph Northam, has been reappointed to serve an additional four years.
Reverend Sykes currently serves as the Senior Pastor of the St. James Baptist Church (Varina) and faithfully served as the former pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church (Supply, Virginia) for seven years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy of Religion from Virginia Union University, holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and was privileged to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the Virginia Triumphant College and Seminary located in Richmond, Virginia in March of 2007. While pursuing his Masters, he was also employed in the corporate arena with SunTrust Bank as an Officer and Operations Manager for the Investigations and Fraud Unit for eight years. Today, as he continues his educational studies, he is enrolled as a Doctoral Candidate at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, pursuing his professional Doctor of Ministry degree.
Reverend Sykes is deeply committed to his calling with a passion and love for people and ministry and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Under his leadership at St. James, through the divine leading of the Holy Spirit, he has introduced and revitalized several ministries of the church. One of the most remarkable accomplishments occurred in 2012 when the church became a debt free congregation after $650,000 in capital debt was completely eliminated. As he leads the people to a higher dimension in ministry, God has favored him and his ministry to also continue growing the church with committed and devoted leaders and disciples. With goals of working on other Boards and Committees that assist the community, his vision is to greatly expand the ministry to include the further development of disciples for ministry and to embrace the community.
A dedicated family man, Pastor Sykes is grateful for the support and encouragement of his lovely wife and helpmate, Gwanetta Flanagan-Sykes, along with their twin daughters, Korryn Jolié and Kaelyn Jombré, who are the joy of their lives. “Let Go and Let God” is one of his prevalent expressions. He believes that you must step out on faith and you must believe that God is true to His word, that He will never leave you nor forsake you!