Rev. Dr. J. Peter Holmes

The Rev. Dr. J. Peter Holmes has served on the ministry team of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in the heart of Toronto since 1995 and as the Minister of the Congregation since 2001.His family roots are deeply imbedded in the soil of Ontario where his ancestors from all sides of the family settled and farmed. As a child of the Baptist manse, however, Peter spent most of his formative years in Victoria, British Columbia, where he met his wife, Janet, and earned a B.A. from the University of Victoria. During the process of discerning his call he worked as a carpenter’s assistant and served as the Ombudsman of the University of Victoria. Peter then enrolled at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto from which he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1986. Upon ordination he served churches in both Toronto and Montreal before his call to Yorkminster Park. Dr. Holmes completed his doctoral studies in 2006 at Acadia Divinity College and Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. His thesis work was in the area of preaching at funerals. In his early years of ministry Peter was mentored by two of Canada’s greatest preachers, John N. Gladstone and Leonard Griffith, both of whom served as Chautauqua preachers. In more recent years he has been coached by Paul Scott Wilson of Emmanuel College. Apart from preaching each week and leading a ministry team of six and a large historic church, Peter co-conducts tours of sacred spaces in both Toronto and beyond. He also helps to organize and host the annual Lester Randall Preaching Fellowship held at Yorkminster Park each fall, which attracts clergy from far and wide. Rev. Holmes also offers leadership in ecumenical and inter-faith matters in Toronto, and recently represented the Christian perspective as part of an inter-faith panel examining warfare, violence, and religion. He has served as a guest preacher in many churches, including Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and Canonmills Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. He also offered the Simpson Lectures at Acadia Divinity College. Peter posts frequent blogs and has contributed to two recent series of commentaries, Feasting on the Word and Feasting on the Gospels. He has also been published in Joel C. Gregory’s, Baptist Preaching, A Global Anthology. He has been nominated an Honorary Fellow of Acadia Divinity College, serves on the Board of Wycliffe College, and chairs the Beatty Ryckman Trust, which promotes clergy wellness in Canada. His sermons are webcast each week at www.yorkminsterpark.com On the side, Peter grows dahlias and loves to walk, hike, and cycle, and he serves as the Co-President of the Lawrence Park Lawn Bowling and Croquet Club, where he loves to offer encouragement to those learning to play croquet at a more serious level. He and Janet live in the heart of Toronto and have three wonderful children who, like their parents, are grown up most of the time.