Regent Alumni Tributes - Late Dr. Charles L. Holman (page 2)
Dr. Holman's legacy continues with me on two points: First, his gentle spirit in dealing with people and with the Word of God, and secondly, his outstanding training in sound principles of biblical interpretation. As a result, I've written four commentaries: Revelation, Romans, Ephesians, and Philippians, all for the lay person in A Heart After God Bible Study Series. So, both in my pulpit and writing ministries, Dr. Holman's influence lives on. We still remember getting together with you both for dinner as well. We offer our sincere condolences to you.
It feels like yesterday when Dr. Holman pulled me aside at the close of one of his lectures. To my surprise, he asked if I would consider being his graduate assistant during the following academic year. I was humbled by his request. After seeing the amazing work his previous GA did, I knew it would be a lot to fill her shoes. But after a few days, I met with Dr. Holman and told him it would be an honor to work under him. Being the scholar that he was, I knew this would be an experience I would never forget. But I was ready for the challenge. From grading his papers to teaching some of his course material, he encouraged me to give my very best to him and his students. He expected nothing less than excellence from me and, because the bar was high, I wanted to give him my very best. It came from just being around him.
Many who sat under Dr. Holman attest to how much they learned because of his unique teaching style. Rumor has it that many seminary students had reservations about taking his courses. Reason: If you sat in any of his lectures, you were going to work hard especially for your grades. He didn't believe in "spoon-feeding" his students. He wanted them to think for themselves, ask good questions, and assimilate new information against old assumptions. However, although getting a B in his class was considered good, this was only part of his teaching philosophy. For him, learning wasn't limited to grades or mirroring-back information. He was most concerned about how his students were developing as persons. From the head to the heart, he cared about you and what God was doing in your life.
Unfortunately, not everyone saw this side of him. As his assistant, I was privileged to see, if you will, a behind the scenes look at his genuine care for people. Every Tuesday morning, I would meet Dr. Holman at his office. We convened primarily to pray for each other and for each of his students, by name. Before we went down the list of names, he would share the needs of those requesting prayer. So, by name and request, we placed those needs before our Lord. Perhaps, the most revealing moment came at a time when we were praying. On this particular morning, we had several critical needs to lift up, some from his students and some from his family. Both of us felt a certain heaviness as we discussed these heartfelt concerns. After praying together, I looked up at this dear man and saw something I had never seen before from him - tears streaming down his face. It was here that I caught a greater glimpse into his heart. To be moved like this was such a powerful moment for me because as I saw his tears, I sensed, in some strange way, the same tears Christ mourns for us. From that time forward, his depth of love for people became more and more apparent to me.
I miss Dr. Holman very much. Already I miss speaking with him by phone or corresponding by e-mail. I even miss updating his website. His absence will always be felt in a large way. But I can say that the brilliance of this man is not found by his handwritten notes, the lectures he gave, or the books he left with us - which are quite significant. Only God knows the number of students he's impacted across the globe. I believe his legacy will be fully revealed the day we all meet up with him in heaven, where we will be seen as part of his treasure and where we can pause for a moment and say - thank you.
Dear Mrs. Holman & Family,
I only had one class with Dr. Holman, but I do remember that he was genuine and caring. I'm sorry at this time for all of you. Because I was in full-time ministry for a number of years, I know the sacrifices a man's wife and family must make for the promotion of the Gospel. Thank you for taking a stand for Christ.
I attended Regent from 1996–1998 and had Dr. Holman as a professor for several classes. I was also privileged to be his graduate assistant from 1997-1998 and served with him on the Curriculum Committee. I have a tremendous respect for him because of his love for God, God’s Word, and his students that was so plainly evident. I took one class over a summer semester via independent study. Dr. Holman prepared for that class and taught me as if he were teaching a full classroom. I so appreciated the time he took with me. His classes were a challenge but that is how one learns. He was serious about his work but had a smile that lit up his face. He radiated inner peace and joy. He is a great part of the fond memories I have of my time at Regent (despite all the long hours of study and hard work). Dr. Holman will be missed greatly by so many people. Regent has lost not only a wonderful professor but also a man who was caring and an example that we would do well in following. It was an honor to have known him.
For me as a pastor and teacher of the "younger" generation there is a continual source of challenge and encouragement that helps me stay on track: the example of those who have gone before. Dr. Holman has been an example in one of the most outstanding character qualities a servant of Christ can possess: faithfulness. It was his humble, persistent and faithful manner in fulfilling the call the Lord had assigned to him which I will remember most. Thank God for examples like him.
As a student in the M.Div. program (1991), I had the privilege of benefiting from Dr. Holman's wisdom and heart. I still remember having dinner in his home with his wife and the other students. They were most hospitable, and I could tell they both truly cared about the formation of the students. In the classroom, he was diligent! And of course that yields wonderful fruit. I learned how to "dig" in the Word of God and uncover precious treasures of Truth. A few years ago, I visited the Regent campus again. There were many changes, but I was glad to see some constants, such as Dr. Holman's classes. He invited me to speak briefly in one class, and I shared with his students the long term benefits of the work they were currently doing. I said that, as a Parish Priest, I used the skills I learned in Dr. Holman's classes every week. They are some of the most important and most practical lessons I learned while at Regent.
The last time I saw Dr. Holman was at the Society of Biblical Literature Conference in TX in Nov. 2004. I am currently writing a PhD Dissertation, and I was able to tell Dr. Holman that his investments in my learning were continuing to reap benefits in my current studies.
Dr. Holman had a genuine heart, a pure spirit, a sincere soul, and a keen mind. While we will miss him greatly, his work on this earth will continue to go on through his students, and I am sure he is enjoying an incalculable reward in heaven!
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank God for all that Dr. Holman had done for me over the years. Since the first time I stepped into his Principles of Bible Study class in 1993, he had been my professor, mentor, encourager and colleague. Without his efforts on my behalf I would never have gone to Durham for my Ph.D.
Lori and I both have fond memories of Dr. & Mrs. Holman. I remember that Dr. Holman once came to our home in Suffolk for dinner. We all went to a local used bookstore, and he helped me to choose some quality resources. We so enjoyed the times when he had a class over to his home for dinner and a time of fellowship. I also appreciated his trust in me when he hired me to install a new fence and railings at his house.
His Principles of Bible Study course had been accepted by my colleagues here at Ashland Seminary, and we hope to begin teaching it in 2007. The instruction manual that Dr. Holman developed will begin to see life in yet another institution. We have had so much respect for Dr. Holman and pray that God will minister to Mrs. Holman during this difficult time.
It is always bittersweet to learn of Christians going home because we miss them, but it is the heart’s desire and destination we all long for in this world. Cheryl was Dr. Holman’s G.A. in 1990 while we were both completing our masters degrees in the School of Divinity. She really enjoyed the opportunity and challenge of working with Dr. Holman who was always such an exacting scholar, academic and teacher. He was also one of my supervisors for my thesis and his scholarly insights were most appreciated. We remember fondly visiting him in hospital when the doctors found a lump in his stomach which turned out to be appendicitis! When we arrived at his bedside, we were greeted with that wry, welcoming smile of his and joined with him as he did his devotions from the Greek New Testament… what a thrill and example that was for us both, and a treasured memory we will never, ever forget. Please pass on our condolences to Mrs. Holman and their family. We know he will be dearly missed by not only his own family and friends, but the Regent community scattered around the world. One thing is for certain, he now knows all the answers to those vexing questions of Christ’s return which consumed most of his scholarly pursuits during his long and esteemed career.
I was very sorry to hear about the passing of Dr. Holman. My prayers are with you and your family. I will always remember the hospitality both of you showed to us during the gatherings at your home. I will always remember Dr. Holman's soft spoken voice. Because of him, I learned how to dissect the scriptures. I am still using the Bible study skills he taught and the references that were used in his class "Principles of Bible Study." He will be missed!
Dr. Holman’s influence on me was foundational for my life and ministry. He taught me how to study the Bible. As I learned under him, and witnessed him living his life, it was clear that the Bible study he modeled was through relationship with God. His legacy touches the high school students that I teach in Bible class every day. I am very grateful to God for the gift that Dr. Holman has been to me.
I cannot just send you a card without sharing my deepest sympathies to you as well as sharing my warmest memories of you and Dr. Holman. How my heart aches today and has all week as I give thanks to God for the life of this marvelous servant. He will be missed by many. I just received an e-mail from Dr. Horner [former dean of the School of Divinity] telling me about the two-hour memorial service and all the honor that you all received for a life of service to God. I so wish I could have been there!
How well I remember meeting Dr. Holman (and the rest of the "Gang of Four") on my first visit to CBN University in 1982. I mostly remember seeing Dr. Holman working very hard at his desk preparing lessons. If memory serves me correctly he had just graduated from Nottingham and this was his first real job teaching theology on the master’s level and therefore did not have notes on the classes he was asked to teach. I think that first year he must have averaged at least 60 hours per week. I ached for him.
I remember the first evening you hosted us students in your apartment with Emily and Susan. I remember the beauty and heaviness of your silver tea set. I remember your Jamaican accent and that of your daughters. We were so fired up in those days and so was Dr. Holman. His dream of equipping students was coming true. And equip he did! Even today I am studying for my Thai English Bible study, and I will be applying the "Principals" to the stories of Jacob and Joseph. He was an outstanding teacher for an outstanding class. I remember being at the Regent 25th anniversary dinner and sitting with him when two times in one night his class received remarks from the speakers (one was Pat Robertson) at the relaxed country dinner under the tent. Were you there? I think we were sitting with Dr. Horner. I put my hand on Dr. Holman’s shoulder and squeezed saying, “Dr. Holman take a bow! You deserve it!” His class above all others was a "bell ringer" which I assume was acclaimed at his memorial.
Mostly I remember Dr. Holman's gentle warmth. I think in our last discussion he beamed saying, "You know Kevin I pray for you every Thursday". What a compliment. And now we [my family and I] are back on the [mission] field. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Dr. Holman, for having a very significant part in my life.
You will be missed.
Dr. Charles Holman was not only an esteemed professor, but also a wonderful man, mentor and friend. It was a privilege and honor to study under Dr. Holman and serve him as a graduate assistant. I will always remember and continue to use the principles of Bible study and biblical truths he taught me.
I first met Dr. Holman in 1995 when I moved to Virginia Beach as a new Divinity student. Beginning my first semester, I found myself constantly challenged by his strong sense of excellence in work, thought and faith. In 1997, I began working in his suite as a graduate assistant and then as a full-time staff member whose office was next to his. Dr. Holman's quiet strength of character was evident throughout my 7 years working there. He set the standard high for his students and co-workers. His expectations were always grounded in his desire to serve God. I will remember him as a strong, determined, faithful man who loved God, his family, his work, and his students. He will be missed more than could be said. May he now rejoice in the presence of God and be rewarded accordingly.
Dr. Holman was a living picture of a Christian gentleman scholar. However, despite his rather formal personality, he was also approachable as a brother in Christ. In our Principles of Bible Study 2 class, we were discussing a text which led to several of us as students to reflect upon our spiritual journeys through various understandings of the roles of Holy Spirit. I will never forget after speaking my piece, how Dr. Holman identified with my story and compared it to his own, sharing from his own personal experiences as a young man to that day, by then an elder brother in Christ. It was a moving and spiritually enriching moment. I was deeply touched and I thank God for Charles Holman’s life and work. Please express my condolences to Mrs. Holman and the family.
Dear Dr. Holman, I cannot forget your kind spirit, scholarly mind, your diligence, quietness and your dedication to your vocation. It is a loss to all of us, students and alumni. But He who is just will reward you in your peaceful abode. May God console your family and colleagues.
I have very fond memories of Dr. Holman. His demand for excellence lovingly wrapped in his gentle spirit was always an inspiration to me. I believe I was in one of the first classes he taught at "CBN University" in the modular building behind administration. I have an especially fond memory of Dr. Holman at our Biblical Studies class commissioning dinner where he was one of the professors who prayed for me. He was a kind and gentle soul.
I appreciated Dr. Holman’s impartiality in evaluating students and his ability to solve some critical situations. He was a well-educated teacher who treated with great responsibility his noble mission. I learned from him the first principles of bible study. He lived with dignity and with deep respect for his beloved Savior.
Dear Mrs. Holman,
I want to express my sincerest gratitude to God and you for your husband, Dr. Holman. There are three distinct memories that I would like to share with you regarding my relationship with your husband. One would be how I felt as a freshman at Regent (when it was still CBN University). I remember feeling so very inadequate in his class, "Principles of Bible Study." This was one of my first classes, and Dr Holman did not make the class easy (in fact, it was a struggle). I was challenged more in that class than in any other class at Regent. I unofficially vowed not to take any more classes with your husband since it was so difficult; yet as I continued through my M.Div. program, I soon realized how important hermeneutics is. I decided to take an elective hermeneutics course under Dr. Holman. This is the second memory that I want to mention...this course, too, was challenging, but I was able to meet the challenge, since he was a great teacher! The third memory that I would like to share is that your husband was the first professor from Regent that I met before entering the Seminary. I was participating in a mission’s conference at Kempsville Presbyterian Church in 1986. Charles sat at a table near me during one of the meetings. My wife enjoyed meeting him too, and we both began to pray about studying at Regent after that meeting. In my work, I am so thankful for the skills that I learned from your husband and the other professors at Regent. It has helped me to be able to plant two fellowships in Kazakhstan, as well as helping me to teach several hundred students in Central Asia. I pray that God will bless you with his sweet comfort at this time.