Our Pastor

Dr. Kevin L. Sykes

Reverend Dr. Kevin Sykes, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is the youngest of four children born to Mrs. Jean Sykes in Salon, France. After relocating to the Richmond area, at the age of 19, he was employed in several management positions which helped to further develop his lead-ership 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 December 2003, Dr. Sykes accepted the call to become the Senior Pastor and 15th Administra-tion of the St. James Baptist Church (Varina). As Pastor, he is known to be a passionate leader, engaging in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the past 17 years, he has served as the visionary and innovative under-shepherd. Previously, he served as the former Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church (Supply, Virginia) for seven years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts de-gree in Philosophy of Religion from Virginia Union University, a Master of Divinity Degree from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. While pursuing his Mas-ters, he was also employed in the corporate arena with SunTrust Bank as an Officer and Opera-tions Manager for the Investigations and Fraud Unit for eight years. In May 2021, he received an earned Doctor of Ministry Degree, focusing on Preaching and Leadership in the Black Church, from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

In 2009, Dr. 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' Con-ference of Richmond and Vicinity, Henrico Ministers' Conference, Area Ministers' Fellowship (Va-rina), 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 Terry McAuliffe to serve on the State Board of Corrections, and in 2018 with the new administration of Governor Ralph Northam, he was reappointed to serve until June 2021.

A true and dedicated servant of the Word, Dr. Sykes is deeply committed to his calling with a pas-sion 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 introduced and revital-ized 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 elimi-nated. 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. In 2018, as part of Pastor's vision, a multi-million-dollar administrative wing and sanctuary renova-tion expansion plan was presented and approved by the congregation with hopes of completion by 2022.

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 em-brace the community.

A dedicated family man, Dr. Sykes is grateful for the support and encouragement of his lovely wife and helpmate, Gwanetta V. Flanagan-Sykes, along with their twin daughters, Korryn Jolié and Kaelyn Jombré, who are the joy of their lives. One of his prevalent scriptures that he lives by is 1 Corinthians 2:9 which reminds us that, ". . . Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have en-tered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

Always trusting that God is faithful to his Word . . .
Eager to see what the Lord has in store for His people.