JOHN WALDER DUNLOP HOLDER
Bishop of Barbados
John Walder Dunlop Holder was elected the thirteenth Bishop of Barbados in March 2000. He is married to Betty Lucas-Holder and they are the parents of one son, Stuart.
After leaving School he worked as a teacher and a civil servant before entering Codrington College in 1971 to be trained for the priesthood for the Diocese of the Windward Islands. He graduated from Codrington College in 1975, having obtained a B.A in Theology from the University of the West Indies and a Diploma in Theological Studies of Codrington College.
He was ordained deacon in December 1974 and nine months later, in September 1975, was ordained to the priesthood in St. George’s Cathedral, St. Vincent. Bishop Holder then spent 2 years as a curate at St George’s Cathedral. He returned to Barbados in 1977 to be a tutor in Biblical Studies at Codrington College.
He continued his academic studies as a part time student at the School of Theology, the University of the South, graduating in 1981 with a Masters in Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) and a major in Old Testament Studies.
He next travelled to England in 1981 to pursue studies in Old Testament Studies at King’s College, University of London, gaining a Ph.D in Old Testament Studies in 1985. At the same time, from 1981-1984, he was Honorary Chaplain at the University Church of Christ the King, Gordon Square, London.
On his return from London in 1984, he rejoined the staff of Codrington College as Lecturer in Old Testament Studies. Along with his work at Codrington, he performed duties in parishes in the Diocese of Barbados as an Assistant Priest. He first served as an Assistant Priest at St Michael’s Cathedral and then at St Augustine’s Church in 1986. He was appointed Priest-in-Charge of this parish from 1989-1990. Between 1990 and 2000 he continued to serve as Priest-in-Charge in various churches. He was Priest-in-Charge of St John’s Parish Church (1990-1992), St Mark and St Catherine (1992-1993), St Mark (1993-1994), Holy Trinity (1994-1995) and finally Holy Cross (1995-2000).
In 1996 he was made an Honorary Canon of the Diocese of Barbados. In 1999 he received an award for his work at Codrington College. For his contribution to Theology, he earned the Errol Barrow Award in 2005.
He was a member of the Advisory group to Anglican Observer at the United Nations from 2003 to 2006.
He is Chairman of:
v The Faith based group of the HIV/AIDS Commission of Barbados,
v The Aubrey Collymore Scholarship Fund that assists young men pursuing degrees in science
v The Joe Forte Trust that assists with the work at Codrington College.
v Chairman of the Religious Advisory Committee on National Affairs (this was at the request of the Prime Minister of Barbados)
v The Provincial Commission on Social Responsibility and Human Rights
v Deputy Chairman of the Codrington Trust.
Bishop Holder is the author of many publications. Among these are a number of articles in scholarly journals which include:
‘The Presuppositions, Accusations and Threats of I Kings 14:1-18’ JBL107 (1988) 27-38
‘Religion and Theology: A Journey into the Experiential’ JTR 47 (1990) 5-17
‘The Issue of Race: A Search for a Biblical Perspective’ JRT 49 No.2 (1992-93) 44-59
‘Some Deuteronomic Themes in a Caribbean Perspective’ CJRS 14(1994)4-26
Articles in books which include:
‘The Challenge of Orthodoxy: The Charismatics’ Enterprise of the Indies III Caribbean
Endeavour and Expression Vol.15 No.10-11 (1994)
‘Is This the Word of the Lord: In search of Biblical Theology and Hermeneutics’
Religion, Culture and Tradition in the Caribbean H.Gossai and N. Murrell (eds)
(New York: St. Martin Press - 2000)
and the following three books on the Bible:
The Layman’s Guide to the Bible Part 1 Some background information to the writing of the Bible (Barbados: Jubilee Research Centre – 1988)
The Layman’s Guide to the Bible Part 11 A survey of the contents of the books of the Bible (Barbados: Jubilee Research Centre -1988)
The Intertestamental Period (London: SPCK – 1994)