By Jackie Perry
From a seven-person congregation, which began in the basement of her home on Roanoke Boulevard, to a sprawling ministry, which now flanks a 81-acre thoroughfare between Trout River and Kings Road, Apostle, Dr. Jeannette C. Holmes-Vann continues to make an indelible mark on her community and the City of Jacksonville.
Preceding a week-long celebration marking its 46th year, the ministry held an official ceremony to unveil the new honorary roadway memorial markers for Dr. Jeannette C. Holmes Parkway. The ceremony was held on Wagner Road in Jacksonville. Along with hundreds of members, friends and guests. Dignitaries included City Council members Samuel Newby and Ju’Coby Pittman who were instrumental in pushing the ordinance through to approval, and recent incumbent Katrina Brown who initially proposed the ordinance.
With the concurrence of several other city officials, The City of Jacksonville established the honorary street designation, extending from Trout River Boulevard to New Kings Road, to commemorate Dr. Holmes’ trailblazing legacy of Christian leadership, work and significant contributions to the spiritual growth of local residents.
Among her contributions was the oversight for the building of a debt-free, multi-million-dollar campus that includes a sanctuary, an administrative suite, a fellowship hall, a non-chartered school—Esprit de Corps Center for Learning, the Gladys Hunt Auditorium, a sports complex with more planned.
From March 17th-March 24th, the ministry held weeklong celebrations with the theme: Celebrating 46 Years of Contending for the Faith. In addition to opening and closing ceremonies, special nights were designated to celebrate the history of the ministry, enjoy the arts, and enjoy private luncheons and receptions as well as our Founder’s Banquet.
The inaugural Hard Hats and Heels celebration provided an opportunity to honor Apostle Holmes-Vann and other female community leaders for their role in building strong legacies that have impacted the Jacksonville community. Honorees included: Apostle Holmes-Vann were: Dr. Brenda Simmons-Hutchins, Marsha Phelts, The Honorable Ju’Coby Pittman, Wanda Butler, Deborah Thompson and Dr. Helen Johnson.