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Benjamin F. Holme

bf holme

29 September 1894 - 8 December 1989
Conference Cane: 1984
Age at death: 95 years, 2 months

Benjamin F. Holme

Dr. Benjamin F. Holme, 95, died December 8, 1989, and his memorial service was at the Boulevard Temple conducted by Dr. Robert Ward.

He was born September 22, 1894,1 at Camden, New Jersey, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Anna Reeves Holme. His father was a shipwright. His ancestor, Benjamin Holme, was a colonel in the Revolutionary War. He had a patriotic background; his and his father's names honored a great revolutionary leader. In old age, on his daily morning walks, Ben saluted the flag. Young Ben graduated from Wesleyan University. He served in World War I in the Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and for over a year in France.

On December 27, 1920, he married Verna Mae Dall at Pitman, New Jersey. Verna shared his student days at Garrett Biblical Institute and Northwestern University, where he received his B.D. and M.A. degrees. Admitted on trial into the Rock River Conference in October 1921, he was ordained Deacon, then Elder in 1923. He served a student charge at Elburn, then at Wilmington, Illinois, 1923-25. He was given an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Albion College.

In 1925, he transferred to the Detroit Conference and served five years as associate pastor at Detroit Central Church. His subsequent appointments were Monroe, 1931-36 (which were depression years, and he was fondly remembered for the courage he imparted); Detroit Westlawn, 1936-51 (a 16 year pastorate!); superintendent of the Detroit District, 1952-58; executive secretary of the Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, 1958-65. He was an able preacher and executive, a prominent leader in the conference. When a superintendent, he preached in every church at least once. His ministry always seemed to be outstanding.

On retirement, the Holmes settled in Northville. In October of 1976, they moved into the Boulevard Temple. This was appropriate as Ben had been a leader in the first plans for the home. Here he assumed voluntarily the duties appropriate to a chaplain. His beloved Verna passed away on April 11, 1984. At the 1984 session of Annual Conference, Ben was presented with the Annual Conference Cane. Those present have long remembered the eloquent speech that he made, following the presentation, on the problems of the aged.

Dr. Ben was an outspoken, vigorous man -- a born leader. He was mentally alert in old age, keenly interested in current affairs and many fields of knowledge. He was concerned for justice and distressed over the decline of morality and modern attacks on the family. Ben was a Mason. He was a poet. A favorite hobby was woodcarving. When one church was remodeled and needed a section or reredos placed in a gap, he filled the need.

When Dr. Holme retired, he gave credit to those who helped him along "the way." He looked upon retirement as the beginning of another aspect of experience, saying, "There is excitement ahead in things to do, places to go, and, I hope, opportunities still to be helpful and of service." On December 8, 1989, Dr. Ben left this earthly life for a new Adventure!

- Detroit Annual Conference minutes of 1990, pp. 1624-1625


1. Archivist's note: The journal lists Rev. Holme's birthday as September 22nd, but all other sources list it as September 29th.