Rev. Howard Haywood is Pastor Emeritus of the historic Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton after serving as pastor for 24 years. Over these years Rev. Haywood has guided the church through continued years of growth in membership and outreach programs. Under his leadership an addition was built on the church and the parsonage was converted into two family units.
Myrtle has led the Newton community in raising funds to help rebuild a church in Arkansas that was destroyed in the southern church burnings and supplying food, clothing and Christmas gifts to the victims of hurricane Katrina. The church was also the originator of the annual Citywide Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration.
Rev. Haywood has been active throughout the years in many community organizations including the Council on Aging, The Foundation for Racial, Religious and Ethnic Harmony, Newton Community Development Foundation, Board of the YMCA, Newton Clergy Association, Board of the Newton Boys and Girls Club, and the Newton Human Rights Commission in 2005 he was awarded the City’s Human Rights Award. Myrtle has truly been a community church hosting the local Meals on Wheels program, the Newton Head Start program for a number of years, training programs for Evercare Hospice.
Rev. Haywood has worked in the construction industry for over 50 years starting out in the trades as a bricklayer and currently holds the position of principle Engineer at S E A Consultants, Inc. of Cambridge. He retired from the MBTA in 2001 after a 24-year career in the Design and Construction Department where he held the position of Assistant general Manager of Design and Construction where he oversaw the Authorities $500,000,000 capital improvement program.
Howard has been married for 47 years to Karen (Evans) Haywood, who he grew up with, in their beloved “village.” Karen’s family like Howard’s has a long and distinguished history in Newton in fact her ancestors were founding members of Myrtle Baptist Church. They were blessed with three children Georgianna (deceased) Kristen Smith and Howard Jr. both of Newton. They have three granddaughters Julia Haywood, Zoë Smith, Carmen Velez-Haywood and a great grandson Giovanni Morales.