Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr.


Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr. is Pastor Emeritus of the 6,000 member St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, where he served for 28 years. He was Adjunct Professor of Preaching at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University for 24 years. Known as much for his community activism as his preaching and teaching, Dr. Holmes was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from 1968-1972, while he also served as United Methodist District Superintendent. He is the author of Reaching for Renewal (1991), Encountering Jesus (1992), and When Trouble Comes (1996). Dr. Holmes has also written chapters in Our Time Under God Is Now (1993) and Power in the Pulpit: How America’s Most Effective Black Preachers Prepare Their Sermons (2002).

He is widely known for his role as narrator and host of the well known Disciple I Bible Study video series produced by Abingdon Press.

In 1991, Governor Ann Richards appointed him to be the first African American to serve on the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, a position he held from 1991 to 1997.  In 1971, Judge William Taylor of the United States Court for the Northern District of Texas appointed him to serve as chairperson of the Tri-Ethnic Committee, which oversaw the implementation of public school desegregation in the Dallas Independent School District.  In 2001, the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama recognized him as one one of the civil rights movement’s “Invisible Giants.”

In 2012, the Dallas Independent School District honored him at The dedication ceremonies for the new ZAN WESLEY HOLMES, JR. MIDDLE SCHOOL.

Holmes is the founding president of the Dallas African American Pastors Coalition.  Under his leadership the Coalition was the Primary developer of Unity Estates, which is a community of 300 affordable homes, and is a national model for a major inter-denominational economic initiative. 

He is a graduate of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas and has two graduate degrees from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  He has honorary degrees from Huston-Tillotson University, Dillard University, and Rust College.  In November, 2014,  Southern Methodist University honored him as a Centennial History Maker during its Distinguished Alumni Award dinner.

Zan and his wife Carrie and their great granddaughter, Savannah, reside in Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California.