Reverend Joseph W. Lyles, Pastor
Born in the District of Columbia, Reverend Joseph W. Lyles was educated in Waldorf, Maryland. He is married to the former Sheila Marie Countiss.
Reverend Lyles received his Bachelor Arts degree from Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia and his Masters of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, DC. Presently, he is pursuing his Doctorate at Howard University School of Divinity.
He received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at the age of 16 while participating in a religious camp meeting in Damascus, Maryland. He has been a devout servant of the Lord since that time. In 1981, Reverend Lyles joined the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. and served as a Deacon for three and one-half years. The Lord continued to shower him with His blessings by allowing him to become a very faithful and committed servant to this office and gave him the opportunity to observe and participate in the total church program. During this time, he was under the spiritual care of the late Reverend Dr. David Durham, his pastor. Recognizing the potential and desire Reverend Lyles had to spread the Word of God, Reverend Durham willingly shared much of his spiritual insight and wisdom with him.
On February 7, 1988, Reverend Lyles was licensed to preach the Gospel at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, Reverend Lyles was selected to serve as interim Pastor of the Fort Foote Baptist Church in January 1990. On April 8, 1990, Reverend Lyles was installed as the seventh Pastor of Fort Foote Baptist Church.
His primary goal is to be a “Servant of God” forever. Since 1990, over 1,200 members have been added to the church membership roll. Sunday School attendance and Bible Study have increased significantly. The church has over forty committees, ministries and support groups plus a Child Development Center. With God’s continued blessings and guidance, Fort Foote Baptist Church continues to grow, climbing to the heights in meeting spiritual needs of the changing Fort Foote community. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 19, 2000 for the new edifice, additional classrooms for Sunday School, and Christian Education. The new edifice was completed in December 2001.
Reverend Lyles served as 1st Vice President of the African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention for one and one-half years. In March of 1998, Reverend Lyles took on the position of President of the African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention and served in that capacity for three years. In March 2009, he was honored at the WYCB 7th Annual Prayer Breakfast. He was invited to the White House to participate in the Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships meeting with government and faith leaders.
Reverend Lyles has a heart for missions. In 1995, he went on a missionary trip to Nairobi, Kenya. He completed other missionary trips to Uganda, Africa in 2000, 2003 and 2004. He was the keynote speaker for a mission trip in Nairobi, Kenya in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Additionally, Reverend Lyles and the First Lady Sheila Lyles completed a mission trip to Moscow, Russia in September 2002. Continuing God’s service from 2001 to 2009, Reverend Lyles led another contingent of Fort Foote Baptist Church missionaries to serve the disenfranchised in Kingston, Jamaica. From 2006 to 2010, he started with a team of 40 volunteers that eventually grew to 109 who traveled to New Orleans, LA to help rebuild churches and homes for the victims of hurricane Katrina. In October 2008, he led the first Missions Ministry to performed Community Outreach assistance (plumbing, painting, home repairs, lawn care, electrical repair, evangelism, etc.) for seniors and single parents in Prince George’s and Charles Counties. The Community Outreach continues to be an annual church-wide activity.
Favorite scripture: Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”