Speaking before a standing room only crowd at the National Press Club, the Rev. Dr. R.B. Holmes announced the formation of a 40 member National Pastor’s Task Force to have “Stand Your Ground” laws repealed across the country. He also announced his candidacy for President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, and spelled out his 12 Point Action Vision Plan for the Church.
Proclaiming that “now is a time for renewed action,” Rev. Holmes said he’s focused on expanding the service mission of the Baptist church, providing pastoral support to senior clergy, ensuring the financial solvency of the Black Baptist Church, creating opportunities for multimedia evangelism, and strengthening the Black family and communities nationwide. Specifically, he spoke about exploring ways to ensure renewable energy policies do not have unintended consequences for minority, low and fixed-income consumers, and becoming informed about solar energy policies and production, as well as identifying opportunities to enhance educational and career prospects for Black youth in the industry.
Joined by attorney Ben Crump, the Honorable Judge Glenda Hatchett, Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant, and the parents of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Jiles, Robert Champion, and pastors and community leaders from across the country, Holmes is on a stated mission to rebuild the moral, cultural, social, and economic fabric of Black America.
Judge Hatchet, widely known as an Emmy nominated television Judge, motivational speaker, and best-selling author said, “I stand because I support the visionary leadership of Rev. Dr. Holmes.” During her remarks, Judge Hatchett noted that “we are living at a time when people are not living to their fullest potential because of economic challenges,” and “we have got to be very diligent around issues that affect our families and children.” Among those issues is an unemployment rate of 12%, a wealth gap of 20:1 compared to Whites, consistent underperformance on fourth and eighth grade math and reading tests, and a disproportionate amount of monthly income being spent on critical utilities like electricity and telecommunications services.
Mindful of the challenges faced by the Black community at large, Rev. Bryant, who Co-Chairs the National Pastor’s Stand Your Ground Task Force, noted the historic importance of the Black church as being the “voice of the voiceless.” He explained his support of Rev. Holmes by saying, “If you want to be great, all you’ve got to do is serve,” which is exactly what Rev. Holmes promised he would do if elected President of the National Baptist Convention, USA this fall at the convening’s September 4th meeting in New Orleans.
Seeing this as both a declaration of candidacy and a time to set in motion a series of critical agenda items facing the Black church and communities at large, Rev. Holmes said “we’ll use this sleeping giant [of stand your ground] to wake up black America.”
Through what he proclaims is a holistic and diverse leadership style to move forward all black Americans, not just Baptists, Rev. Holmes is positioning himself to be a new leader in the modern movement toward achieving greater civil rights and socio-economic parity for the nation’s growing minority populations.