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Sat, 10.21.1876

D. A. Holmes, Minister, and Activist born

Rev. D. A. Holmes

*The birth of Rev. D.A. Holmes is celebrated on this date in 1876. He was a Black minister and community leader.

Daniel Arthur Holmes, the son of former slaves, was born in Randolph County, Missouri. His family moved to Macon, Missouri, after being freed at the end of the American Civil War. At age 17, a third-generation preacher, Holmes answered the call to preach and was ordained in 1901. He earned degrees from Western College in Macon, Des Moines College, and the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

Holmes began as pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1914. He later took over leadership at Vine Street Baptist Church. By 1927 a new church was built and was renamed Paseo Baptist Church. Holmes served as its pastor for 46 years until 1967. He made a name for himself outside the pulpit due to his relentless battle for racial equality. He was an outspoken critic of police brutality and the Kansas City politics of the Jim Crow 1930s.

He also spearheaded an effort to integrate the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1939 and sought better homes and more jobs for Blacks. No stranger to Jim Crow segregation, Holmes waged a long and bitter battle against the Kansas City School Board, resulting in a new Lincoln High School, one of the few high schools blacks could attend at the time. He held offices in the National Baptist Convention Inc., the Kansas City Interracial Broadcasting Commission, the Missouri Council of Churches, and the Interdenominational Alliance.

He was an instructor at the Baptist Minister's Union and founded the Carver Neighborhood Center. A public elementary school (originally named Benton School) was renamed in his honor in 1963. D. A. Holmes died in 1972 at age 96 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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