Bishop E.L. Holmes served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Venice for forty-four years until his passing on 11-12-99. A fixture in the Oakwood community of Venice, Bishop Holmes bought and built his home on Brooks Ave in Oakwood so he could share the daily experience of his parishioners and minister first-hand. In addition to being the spiritual leader, Bishop Holmes was the guiding force in a fund-raising campaign to relocate the Church to its present site at 685 Westminster Ave.
In 1966, under his leadership, the Church collected $500,000 for a new edifice, consisting of a 600-seat sanctuary, seventeen classrooms, offices and a kitchen and community room. Within one year, the Church complex was completed and all debts were paid off within ten years. In 1989, Bishop Holmes led another capital improvement campaign for the Church, which was also completed within a year. A dedicated minister and pastor, Bishop Holmes was also a member of various local community organizations including the Venice Rotary Club, the Venice Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Club of Venice, the Board of Judges for Venice High School and the Police Expo of Los Angeles.