Rev. H. Gene Sykes of Friendship Baptist Church in Bayonne dies from COVID-19

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Rev. H. Gene Sykes (Friendship Baptist Church photo)
Urban News Staff Reports

The Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Bayonne, the Rev. H. Gene Sykes, has died. Sykes was the leader of the church for over 25 years and died on April 7. He was 78.

Sykes also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Bayonne Housing Authority and was Vice President of the Bayonne branch of the NAACP.

A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Skyes attended Florida A&M University majoring in Industrial Education. He also received a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering and Technology from the Cleveland Institute of Technology. Skyes later attended the Eastman School of Marketing and North Eastern Bible College.

He also completed the Local Housing Authority and Municipal Redevelopment Agency Training Program through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and Rutgers University.

In 1977, Sykes began his work in the ministry in 1977 serving as Associate Minister at the Shiloh Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ, later moving on to serve as assistant to the Pastor of the Concord Baptist Church, of Perth Amboy, NJ, and later the St. Luke Baptist Church of Patterson, NJ.

In 1992,  Sykes retired from the business world to devote himself to ministry full time and has for the past twenty two years served as Pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church of Bayonne, N.J.

He was well-known in the community for his spiritual and civic accomplishments, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said in a statement. "Rev. Sykes will be remembered for moving his congregation to a new location, where he renovated and expanded a former synagogue.  Friendship Baptist Church established a soup kitchen and other services that have reached out to the entire community."

Skyes leaves behind his wife, Fannie Steen Sykes, and three children, Lynne Sykes-HoraceTonya P. Sykes and John C. Sykes. 

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