Rev. R.B. Holmes’ memoir book signing slated for Sunday
Special to the Outlook
Most people in Tallahassee know of the Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr. They have read about his community advocacy in the newspaper or viewed some of his press conferences on TV. But most do not know of his journey from a stuttering youth to pastor to national figure.
All of these details are chronicled in the newly published book, Dr. R.B. Holmes . . . A Visionary Leader: Memoirs, Ministries and Messages. A book signing is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. in the B.F. Holmes Room at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. All proceeds will benefit Bethel Ready4Work: Tallahassee Reentry Program.
Holmes has been the pastor of Bethel for 30 years, was the pastor of Timothy Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville for 10 years, was president of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education for 10 years and is national president of Save the Family Now. The book, edited by A. Lemelle Evans, had been in the works for several years.
“I guess it is time to put in writing the power of vision,” Holmes said. “When people buy into a vision, creative and positive change can happen.”
One church member featured in the book bought into this vision. Osiefield Anderson has been a member at Bethel since 1958, when Rev. C.K. Steele was the pastor. He was inspired by Holmes’ vision and imagination.
“Imagination is the preview of the coming attractions of our lives,” said the mathematics professor emeritus from Florida A&M University. “What you imagine will manifest itself into your life. Rev. Holmes has a very vivid imagination as to what is and to what it can be. In the book, he is a boy who had a stutter, and you can see that he had a vivid imagination. The boy portrays the evolving of a man.”
Anderson, who said he has read the book three times, sees Holmes’ presence in Tallahassee as part of a divine plan.
Holmes is donating all revenue from the book to the Bethel Ready4Work program, which assists drug free non-violent, non-sex offenders with re-entry into society.
“It is imperative that we reach up and help men and women who have served their time in prison and paid their debt to society. We need to help them get a job, rebuild their credit and restore their civil rights. The Bethel Reentry program is and can make a great difference in the lives of our returning citizens.”
Lucretia Collins, the program’s director, agreed. “Rev. Holmes is genuinely committed to the success of this program. He understands that we need to broaden our revenue stream so when we were told that he was going to donate proceeds from the sale of his memoir to the Ready4Work program, we were extremely grateful and appreciative.”
Holmes hopes that “the book will give pastors, church and community leaders an abiding faith in the risen Christ and a strong determination to never quit and give up on their dreams, hopes and aspirations.”
Pat Smith, a 20-year member of the church, agreed. “Readers will learn valuable life lessons that can help them become a better person, leader or parent. You can live a successful life if you use these life-changing principles,” said the community relations director for the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Other features in the book are Holmes’ seven principles for success, three of his sermons, testimonials, family photos and awards.
The books are $15 for a paperback and $20 for a hardback.