Last week my friend, Tom Holland, went on to that heavenly land “which knows no parting.” Tom Holland was the most influential Bible teacher I ever had. He taught at Freed-Hardeman, one of the main reasons I went there. I had him for Life of Christ, Acts, and Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. I remember his zeal and enthusiasm in class. I looked forward to every one. In the preaching class he critiqued our efforts with love and concern. I remember his sense of humor. He loved to sing. He would usually begin the Prep & Del class by leading us in a rousing verse of “There is a Habitation!” When I stopped by his office in the Old Main Administration Building he had a cassette tape of a capella music playing. I remember him directing the giant Diana Singing every year, and bringing students from the school to attend.
I remember eating with him in a fast food restaurant somewhere in Tennessee, and asking him how he preferred to be addressed. He had a Ph.D., yet he smiled and said, “Brother would be fine.” Marvina and I ate with him in Pottstown, PA, where he was speaking on a lectureship. He wasn’t feeling well at first, but after eating a few bites he began to perk up, and soon was his old self again. We saw him on the campus of FHU years later during the Christian Training Series, and we reminisced about the old days. I remember he told me, “Those were some really good days, weren’t they Bob?” They certainly were.
I remember his clear, scriptural preaching, and his powerful illustrations. His delivery was dynamic. His hearers were enthralled. He was popular with the students, and he remembered them by name. He always seemed to say just the right thing for the occasion. He knew sorrow, and loss, even when some of his closest friends forsook him. Preaching was always the most important thing in his life, and he was always ready. He had an amazing command of the Scriptures, and presented them appropriately, and with respect. I will miss him greatly.
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.