Reverend Dr. R B Holmes, Jr., 74

The Reverend Dr. RB Holmes, Jr., pastor of the historic Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee’s Frenchtown community, lives every day with the knowledge that it is “the best day.”

The reverend was born in Americus, Georgia and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He was brought up in a spiritual home with parents who led by example and were role models to their eight children. His mother was an educator who returned to school to get her degree after raising her children and his father taught him to “never give up.” His parents strongly encouraged their children to get an education and all of them have college degrees.

Reverend Holmes always had a calling to be a preacher. As a small child he was discovered preaching to the chickens in his grandparents’ yard. He received a baseball scholarship to college and majored in Sociology. He received his doctorate in Christian Education from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.

“Life” gets Reverend Holmes excited every day. He states that he has been “abundantly blessed and highly favored by God.” His philosophy is that the “best days are always ahead of you and not to live a life of regrets.” He is thankful that God has brought him “joy, health, peace, and prosperity. “

He embraces positive aging by staying physically, mentally, and spiritually active. He reads daily and jogs 3.5 miles every other day. Sports are another of his interests and he especially enjoys FAMU and FSU basketball. He is the chaplain for the FAMU basketball team.

Pastor Holmes has been the leader of Bethel Missionary Baptist for 38 years and has numerous accomplishments through the many ministries of his church. He helped bring homes to first time homeowners in Frenchtown. He believes in taking the stigma out of mental health and partnered with the Apalachee Center to bring Bethel Mental Health Clinic to Frenchtown and has also recently brought an Urgent Care Center to the neighborhood.

His greatest ministry has been to work the with seniors in his community and the church has established Bethel Towers which provides housing for seniors in our community. He is concerned about ageism and strives to push seniors to “live their lives with passion.” His advice to seniors is to “keep dreaming, living, giving, and hoping.” He believes that age is a blessing, not a curse. He also enjoys working with the youth in his community and encouraging intergenerational engagement. He has seen progress in his lifetime, but the reality of racial tension in our country still keeps him up at night.

Reverend Dr. Holmes has been married to Dr. Gloria Price Holmes for 41 years and they have three children and seven grandchildren. They enjoy traveling together, spending time with family, and attending the annual Holmes family reunion with his seven siblings and their families.