A dye-decolorizing bacterium was isolated from a soil sample and identified as Bacillus thuringiensis using 16S rRNA sequencing. The bacterium was able to decolorize three different textile dyes, namely, Reactive blue 13, Reactive red 58, and Reactive yellow 42, and a real dyehouse effluent up to 80-95% within 6 h. Some non-textile industrially important dyes were also decolorized to different extents. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of the ethyl acetate extract of Congo red dye and its metabolites showed that the bacterium could degrade it by the asymmetric cleavage of the azo bonds to yield sodium (4- amino-3-diazenylnaphthalene-1-sulfonate) and phenylbenzene. Sodium (4-amino-3-diazenylnaphthalene-1-sulfonate) was further oxidized by the ortho-cleavage pathway to yield 2- (1-amino-2-diazenyl-2-formylvinyl) benzoic acid. There was induction of the activities of laccase and azoreductase during the decolorization of Congo red, which suggests their probable role in the biodegradation. B. thuringiensis was found to be versatile and could be used for industrial effluent biodegradation.