Rev. Manuel Sykes announces retirement from St. Petersburg church - 2016-09-12
ST. PETERSBURG —The Rev. Manuel Sykes, pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church, former president of the local chapter of the NAACP and would-be politician, announced his retirement to his congregation on Sunday.
Sykes, 59, has spent two decades leading Bethel Community, one of the city's most prominent African-American congregations. February would mark his 24th year there.
On Monday, he said that he had long planned to leave the church at 2901 54th Ave. S when he turned 55.