I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1
Reverend Martha R. Holmes is a lifelong resident of the Evanston community and member of Bethany Baptist Church of Christ for over fifty years, where she has served on the Deaconess, Nurses, and Choir ministries, as well as a Marriage Retreat Workshop Leader with Women Spiritually Empowered (WSE). She continues to proclaim Gods word through her teaching of the adult Sunday school class, as well as in her service as an Associate Minister and as Director of evening Vacation Bible School for the past twenty-two years. Rev. Holmes also serves in the position of Sunday School Superintendent for twenty-eight years and continues in this capacity today.
As the eldest daughter of William, Sr. (deceased) and Mennie Smith, Rev. Holmes praises God for the special bond that she shares with her mother and is grateful that she ushered her into the presence of God at a young age. Rev. Holmes accepted Christ as her personal Savior and was baptized by water at the age of eight under the leadership of the Reverend Dr. Wm L Bransford and was baptized of the Holy Spirit at the age of twelve, under the teaching of the late Reverend Peyton B. Harrison, Sr. and the Evanston Prayer Band.
Rev. Holmes and her family are lifelong members of Bethany Baptist Church of Christ where she acknowledged God’s call and selection for her to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Rev. Holmes was licensed by the late Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little on January 30, 2005, her fiftieth birthday. She was ordained on April 27, 2014 and installed as our fifth pastor on January 11, 2015.
Rev. Holmes has been married to Deacon Rufus Holmes for forty years and together they are Godly proud of their children Rufus Jr. (Celeste), Tiffini Nicole, and their first grandchild, Jessica Troi. Rev. and Deacon Holmes have always displayed a love for children and helping others, which is evidenced in the number of surrogate children and godchildren totaling twenty, to date. Rev. Holmes attributes the longevity of her marriage to the fact that a three-fold cord (God, husband & wife) is not easily broken.
Rev. Holmes is a graduate of Evanston Township High School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, from National Louis University and in May 2014 she graduated with her Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In her professional vocation, Rev. Holmes is the Manager of Diverse Business Development for Cardinal Health as well as a member of the City of Evanston Board of Commission on Aging. Rev. Holmes thanks God for the grace gifts that he has entrusted to her, declares that it is now her life’s work and souls desire to simply be used by God, and she proclaims that In all things God has been faithful and that His plan for her life is yet unfolding.