Wednesday, January 9, 2019

PUBLIC DOLLARS FOOTING THE BILL FOR PROSELYTIZING? After Student Count Skids To 900 In Fall 2018 From 1,055 In Spring 2018, Grand Traverse Academy Brings Volleyball Playing “Evangelist” Bob Holmes To The Traverse City Charter School; Will Holmes Preach His Christian Faith To His “Captive” Audiences?

“The Lord gave me the burden to see if I could use the concept of being a ‘one man team’ to enter into the public school arena with the gospel.” 

Bob Holmes bills himself as a “one man volleyball team” and motivational speaker, when pitching his services to public schools, and he is scheduled to speak twice this morning at the Grand Traverse Academy.

But Holmes has gotten into hot water by failing to confine his public school presentations to contractually agreed upon topics of drug abuse, alcohol abuse and suicide prevention. 

An appearance in 2018 at a Missouri public school drew the attention of parents after one parent raised questions after the school district hired Holmes to speak to students. 

Holmes was paid $800 to talk to students about substance abuse, bullying and suicide prevention during a February 20, 2018 assembly at Bolivar High School in Stockton, MO. 

Holmes, flanked by representatives from the Agape Baptist Church of Stockton, reportedly veered from the topic, talking about his faith and inviting students to hear "part two" of his message at a Christian revival held in a Stockton school building
Colin McNamara, an attorney with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, recounted the parent's concerns in a March 23, 2018 letter to Bolivar Superintendent Tony Berry. 

"We are aware that many Christian missionaries insinuate themselves into public schools by camouflaging their purpose. However, in the case of Bob Holmes, it would only require a cursory Google search to verify his proselytizing agenda," McNamara wrote. "His own website refers to his work as a 'ministry' and his official Facebook page is replete with references to evangelism." 

Holmes is referred to as a "one man volleyball team" because he single-handedly takes on teams and wins. He has been featured on Ripley's Believe It Or Not and by many news outlets. 

McNamara said during the Stockton event, Holmes "preached a sermon that recounted the crucifixion of Jesus in explicit, gruesome detail. He also aggressively proselytized the students, telling them that they 'have a soul that's going to go on forever, and ever and ever, either in heaven or hell. And, I see you hanging over a lake of fire ready to fall unless you find forgiveness.'"

Will the Grand Traverse Academy find itself at the center of headlines and public debate over religious speech in public schools following two assembly programs presented by a self-described evangelist?

Probably not, except on this blog.


  1. So this man comes into the school, does an entertaining sports presentation and then invites people to come see him at a different venue, such as a church, during non-school hours where he shares his faith?
    Who cares? If you don't want to hear him again, don't go.

  2. You've obviously missed the point(stated very clearly in this story): there's a legal separation between church and state.

    1. Why are you so angry? Is it legal for you to share your opinions and beliefs? Of course. Mr. Holmes did not accept a dollar from Grand Traverse Academy or Kingsley public schools (which he was at after GTA) I am glad some of the schools actually care for their students and want to help in any way they can. You are more than welcome to contact the local NBC affiliate and ask them for their footage of the event and see for yourself if the invisible line of separation that you talk about was crossed. In the mean time I will use this public forum to invite you to service at Heritage Baptist Church.

    2. As an agnostic Jew, I'll pass.

  3. People from up there remind me of Scientology