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James E. Dykes (1919-1990)


James E. Dykes was best known as a poet, author, and editor. His literary work began early in life when, at age two, he began reading, and at age nine wrote his first poem. James of Orangeburg, S.C., born in 1919 to Kate and James Dykes. Unfortunately, his father died while James was very young. The family relocated in New York in 1931. Winning a city-wide poetry contest, he was acclaimed “Junior Poet Laureate of New York City.” Following graduation from Oakwood he was called to pastor in the Lake Region Conference. Other positions of responsibilities included: dean of men and English instructor at Pine Forge Academy, editor of Message Magazine, and Oakwood College faculty member. Dykes did the pioneer work that resulted in Oakwood's approval by the FCC to operate a 25,000-watt FM station (WOCG) on campus. Dykes authored two major works: The Cosmos Electric & Variant Verses (1978) and Graffiti & Grace (1989). Reclining in the arms of his wife of 43 years, James passed quietly to rest on June 23, leaving her and their four children.

-Southern Tidings, October 1990, pg. 9