Valerie D. Blanc
Once the announcement was made that the Bethel Christian Academy library would be named Dr. Gloria P. Holmes Media Center, praise and testimonials began to pour in.
The dedication will take place on Sunday August 8 at 406 N. Bronough St. School at 3:30 pm Attendance will be limited due to COVID-19 and the soaring Delta variant.
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Holmes, the First Lady of Bethel and wife of the Rev. Dr RB Holmes Jr., has been instrumental in inspiring and educating hundreds of college and Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Duval Counties and Leon during his career spanning nearly half a century.
The Bethel Christian Academy was established in 1992 under the auspices of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church to help the community. He served children from kindergarten to eighth grade. Holmes has been a school administrator since 1999.
Church graduates and officers alike demarcate its behavior and influence. Sources said its impact is far-reaching, its influence obvious.
âAs a graduate of Bethel Christian Academy and a member of its first class of students, it is an honor for the BCA Library to bear the name of Dr Holmes,â said Caila A. Coleman, lawyer and legal analyst. âShe has always championed the education of children and has played a vital role in shaping our young minds. His love and encouragement have allowed us to believe in our dreams and succeed in our respective careers.
âPerhaps the greatest gift Dr Gloria Holmes has given was her inspiration to so many men, women, boys and girls who were less inspired and needed a role model,â said James Matthews, president of the ministry of the deacon in the church. .
âShe has a unique ability to positively impact people from all walks of life in a gentle and caring way. The name and dedication of this library in his honor represents excellence, commitment, achievement, leadership and service. An honor like this is reserved for the grown-ups of our time, and it certainly is, âsaid Matthews.
Holmes is a graduate of Spelman College, received her Masters of Library Science from the University of Michigan, and her PhD in Library and Information Science from Florida State University. Beginning her career as an English teacher in Jacksonville, she served as Library Media Specialist, Director of Educational Media for Duval and Leon County Public Schools, as well as Assistant Dean of the College of Education at Florida A&M University. .
The director of BCA sees the need for the dedication ceremony. âThe media center has not been named, but due to Dr. Gloria P. Holmes’ phenomenal legacy at Bethel Christian Academy and Bethel Family Life Center, an honor is due,â said Marilyn Jackson. “This building and media center has been around for 29 years, and Dr Gloria P. Holmes has certainly placed her mark of excellence in this area.”
The former director also shared the same sentiment. “She is a leader, a motivator and the Bethel Christian Academy Library is now named in her honor,” said Cheryl Bouyer, a seasoned educator. “It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving and dedicated administrator.” Bouyer praised Holmes by quoting Proverbs 31:31: âGive him the first of his hands; and let her works praise her in the gates.
A former student who is now an educator also expressed his congratulations to Holmes. âDr. Gloria Holmes certainly deserves this distinguished honor,â said Eugene Moore, a graduate of Steele-Collins Charter Middle School, another church-sponsored educational institution.
âShe has dedicated her life and work to the educational and spiritual development of Bethel Christian Academy students from her humble beginnings. Hundreds of lives have been affected by his hard work in administration and program development.
Moore went on to express his impact on his life as he transitioned from administrative assistant in school to kindergarten teacher. âShe was an incredible example of excellence, kindness and constant encouragement to myself and others. She more than deserved this notable distinction from a library named in her honor.
Holmes is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an honorary education society; Beta Phi Mu, the international honorary society of librarianship; Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society of the “best and brightest of all academic disciplines”; and Phi Delta Kappa International, an organization committed to the development of education and student access.
âI thank Almighty God for the many wonderful blessings He has bestowed on me throughout my life,â said the honoree. “Certainly I am deeply grateful and humbled by this distinctive honor bestowed upon me.”
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