The Reverend Daniel M. Hayes, Sr.
The Reverend Daniel M. Hayes, Sr. is the Senior Pastor/Teacher of John Wesley United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tenn., and is serving an eleventh term, since his return in 2012. During this time Rev. Hayes has launched Young Gentlemen’s Ministry, a mentoring ministry that focuses on the transformation of boys through ongoing engagement, fellowship opportunities, spiritual development, academic enhancement, service, and outreach. In addition, he was instrumental in the purchase of a 15-passenger bus, and a second bus, to support the growth of children, youth, and senior ministries. He expanded the worship experience with the introduction of a visual media ministry for regular and special services. Improvements in media capability have improved training, worship, and special event options in the fellowship hall. The youth choir continues to serve in worship and various services throughout the year. Under his leadership, John Wesley has remitted conference and general apportionments 100% in full, each year of his leadership.
His career began more than 40 years ago, throughout which time he has been referred to as the “Building Pastor". Spiritual, physical, and membership growth have been the characteristics of his ministry. He has been intentional in building ministries for children and youth, and especially ministry with senior members, for whom he has a passion. During his earlier term at John Wesley from 1990—1999, the church van was purchased, the music ministry was expanded, a centerpiece stained glass window, and additional stained glass windows throughout the sanctuary were installed. He had the vision and led the design, building, and fundraising plan of the new educational wing of the church including offices, classrooms, a library, and restrooms in the upper level of the new wing, and the Robert Sweat, Jr. Fellowship Hall on the lower level, which includes a performance stage, baptismal pool, restrooms, and public address and TV/DVD systems.
Rev. Hayes pastored several churches in the Clarkesville District and led them to accomplish growth in areas of ministry that had not been experienced, or achieved in many years. For example, under his leadership, the first and largest group of youth completed confirmation preparation in the district. From 1999—2010, Rev. Hayes was the Senior Pastor/Teacher of Gordon Memorial UMC. During his tenure, he led Gordon Memorial in two major building projects of $3 million, including a new 850-seat sanctuary and the renovation of the historical church. The two projects totaled more than 46,000 square feet of ministry, Christian education, and worship space. As a result of his commitment to visionary growth, Gordon Memorial became the largest African-American church in the Tennessee Annual Conference.
In 1989, while serving as the pastor of Brooks Memorial UMC, Rev. Hayes was honored by the Tennessee Annual Conference with the prestigious Harry Denman Evangelism Award, presented to United Methodist clergy and laypersons in each annual conference who exhibit unusual and outstanding efforts for the work of Christian Evangelism, and effectiveness in helping others experience the transforming love of God through Jesus Christ. He was the first African American to receive the honor. In addition to his tenacity for building, Rev. Hayes has a long-standing ministry of powerful worship, outreach ministry, and leadership development, including of mentoring and sending more pastors to serve churches than any other pastor in the Tennessee Annual Conference.
He is a visionary leader, powerful preacher, inspiring teacher, and author of a new book entitled, “Persecuted for Righteousness Sake”, available at Amazon.com. His new book, Permanent Glue Relationships, is expected in 2023. Rev. Hayes is dedicated to his family and is married to the former Janice Anderson. Together they have raised three beautiful, children—Dr. Danielle J. Watson (Chase), Dr. Daniel M. Hayes, Jr. (Miranda), and Danicia M. Wyly (Darin). He is Paw Paw to granddaughters Zuri Grace Hayes, Charli Grace Watson, and Darin David Wyly, Jr. Furry family members include Nash and Hersey.