Bishop Doyle Marley, President of the Holmes Board of Trustees, made a special presentation to Dr. and Mrs. Leggett. Here, reprinted with permission, is the story as reported by Bishop Marley.
"Friday, March 3, was a very special day at Holmes Bible College as friends and alumni gathered for the annual Holmes Alumni Banquet. In light of his decision to retire as president at the end of this current school year, the Holmes Board of Trustees and Alumni Board used the occasion to honor Dr. and Mrs. James D. Leggett for their service to Holmes for the past eight years. Anticipation filled the air as invited guests, General Church officials, alumni and family members gathered for the surprise event.
"Dr. Leggett was officially installed as the fifth president of Holmes on October 1, 2009. He entered the office with outstanding credentials. Leggett holds a Bachelor of Theology from Holmes Bible College and a bachelor's from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from Holmes Bible College in 1988.
"For 24 years, he served as a pastor in the North Carolina Conference and was elected to serve as the superintendent of that conference in 1986. He was elected assistant General Superintendent of the denomination in 1989, and from 1989 to 1997 his portfolio included executive director of Evangelism USA and president of the Extension Loan Fund.
"Bishop Leggett was elected General Superintendent in August 1997 and again in 2001 by acclamation to another four-year term. In 2005, he was re-elected for a third term as Presiding Bishop. He served in this leadership role until July 2009.
"Bishop Leggett has also served in various positions in the Evangelical-Pentecostal Church: co-chair of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), chairman of the World Pentecostal Conference,the first president of the Evangelical-Pentecostals in Christian Churches Together, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the International Charismatic Executive Committee and Religious Alliance Against Pornography.
"It was against the backdrop of these outstanding accomplishments that Brother Leggett assumed leadership of Holmes during a critical time. The future of the College was tenuous at best, but Bishop Leggett's vision for the future was used by God to bring the school to its current standing
"His leadership and administrative skills have been manifested over the past eight years in so many ways. When he assumed his leadership role as president, the only building on the campus was the Administration
Building. All of the other structures, including the Holmes Memorial Church building, are a testimony to his ability and skill as a true leader, teacher and administrator. Growth and expansion continue as another building is currently under construction, and an additional student housing building should be complete in time for the fall semester. It is safe to say that Brother Leggett's tenure has been the most productive of any president since that of Dr. Paul F. Beacham.
"Thanks to a recent estate gift to Holmes, Brother Leggett was able to make the formal announcement at the Alumni Banquet that the college is debt free. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
"Bishop Leggett's greatest legacy may turn out to be the service he has rendered as president of Holmes Bible College. Hundreds of young men and women have already been influenced by his example and many more will reap the benefits of his labor as they are trained and go out to serve in the Master's vineyards.
"We can never truly repay Bishop and Mrs. Leggett for all they have done and the sacrifices they have made, but we want them to know that we love and appreciate them more than they can ever know."
I met Faye at Holmes Bible College as well. God has blessed this couple with a beautiful family and their children are all involved in the ministry of the church.
I have written extensively about James D. Leggett and his presidency in previous Hugh's News newsletters. I know of no other leader in the Pentecostal Holiness Church who could have accomplished what he has done in bringing the church and God's people back to love, honor, and support Holmes Bible College.
It is apparent that God called and ordained James D. Leggett to become the sixth president of the college, following the interim presidency of the Rev. Dr. G. Earl Beatty who served a year and 4 months as the president. Let us never forget G. Earl Beatty and the significant role he played in the history of Holmes Bible College. I understand he is finally retiring this May. It is my prayer that God continue to bless Earl and Nancy Beatty.
Here is my historical record of those who have served as president of Holmes Bible College:
1. N. J. Holmes, founder and first president
2. Paul F. Beacham
3. Kenneth Benson
4. Richard Waters
5. G. Earl Beatty
6. James D. Leggett
Let us never forget these men who have served this great Bible College.
The church needs Holmes Bible College to produce preachers, pastors, military chaplains, missionaries, teachers, scientists, and businessmen.
God has raised up Holmes Bible College to serve the church in these closing years prior to the return of Jesus to make a lasting impact on the world. We celebrate a glorious history, but it is my opinion that the future is brighter will surpass all that has been achieved in the past. May God's hand continue to rest upon Holmes Bible College.
It is significant that Bishop D. Chris Thompson will succeed Bishop James D. Leggett at the close of the 28th General Conference. He will be the 7th president. He is the right man at the right time to continue the great ministry of Holmes Bible College. Bishop Thompson is an excellent preacher, teacher and administrator. Chris and Betty Thompson are a good fit for Holmes Bible College.
Each of our colleges has a mission to fulfill. They will be successful if they will continue to produce preachers. May God continue to bless Holmes Bible College, Emmanuel College, Southwestern Christian University and Advantage College.]