Haynes Carter McFadden, a pioneer for the Faith in Germany and Namibia, photographically chronicled a number of major Baha’i events and later focused on training and empowering Namibians through both his business and his Baha’i activity.
He passed away June 10, 2012, after having resided in Omaruru, Namibia, since 1998. He was 69.
In a letter of condolence to his wife, Naomi, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States wrote: “We note his many years of service, along with you, at the Baha’i World Center and as a long-term pioneer for the Cause in Namibia — distinguished contributions, made despite trials and tests, which are recalled by this National Assembly with gratitude and admiration.”
Born in 1942, Haynes attended school in Virginia and Georgia, graduating from Oglethorpe College in Atlanta. Soon after accepting the Baha’i Faith in his late 20s, he was elected to serve on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Atlanta, and was conducting weekend fireside meetings to share the teachings of Baha’u’llah.
His talents and experience extended from photography and commercial art to publication editing and printing technology. Fluent in German, he moved in 1971 to Bern, Switzerland, then to Lorsbach, Germany, near the European Baha’i House of Worship.
In a span of months Haynes was called on to photograph such major Baha’i events as the European Youth Conference in Switzerland, the North Atlantic Conference in Iceland, the Caribbean Conference in Jamaica, and summer schools in Europe.
He remained in Germany rendering various services to the Faith — including photographing International Baha’i Conventions — through 1978, when he returned to Georgia.
In 1985 he began several years’ service as photographer for the Holy Places at the Baha’i World Center in Haifa, Israel. In 1990 he married Naomi, whom he had known since before he accepted the Faith in Atlanta. He also was scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop. His service for the World Center culminated in 1992 when he was an official photographer at the Baha’i World Congress in New York City.
In 1993 the couple moved to Windhoek, Namibia, where Haynes established a computer training and consulting business. He made a point of employing and training Namibians. He was awarded the standing of official photographer for the Namibian Herero Tribe of the White Flag.
Alongside Naomi, he served on the newsletter board for the Namibian National Spiritual Assembly. In 1998 the couple moved as homefront pioneers to Omaruru, a small city northwest of the capital.
His work to develop the Baha’i community was complicated at one point by health problems. But after years of effort in a process that included study circles, devotional gatherings and children’s classes, Haynes wrote to the Office of International Pioneering in the mid-2000s to report the process was beginning to sustain itself on the energy of the local Baha’is and several localities had established new Local Spiritual Assemblies.
The couple also acted to ensure several local students each year were sponsored with fees and books so they could attend school, especially girls and orphans.
“Haynes was a wonderful man and always thinking of others,” Naomi McFadden said.
In addition to his wife and her children, Haynes McFadden’s survivors include a sister, Nancy Tilly of North Carolina. He was preceded in death by a brother, Brad McFadden of Georgia.
Information from the Office of International Pioneering and Naomi McFadden