DALLAS -- A long time pastor, teacher, and author prepares to speak out on politics and Black America.

Reverend Doctor Zan Holmes, Jr. will have that controversial discussion during an event called “In Conversation – An Evening with Dr. Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr and Roland S. Martin.” The program is a fundraiser to benefit The Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr. Community Outreach Center.

Dr. Holmes met News 8's Southern Dallas reporter, Demond Fernandez off Spring Avenue to visit the original St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, on Thursday, to chat about his life and work in southern Dallas.

When asked about some of the challenged he has worked to address as a pastor and politician, Holmes was very candid.

“We were aware of the poverty,” Holmes explained, “issues in education, and health care. We were aware of all of those issues. That’s why we put the word “Community” in our church, and we attracted people, activist types.”

Dr. Holmes has been a local and leading voice as a preacher, politician, and activist for nearly four decades. The clergyman served two terms in the Texas Legislature as a voice for the people. He said balancing priorities in the pulpit and politics was challenging.

Dr. Holmes recognizes the concerns of young activists in changing political climates locally and nationally.

He said, “I want to affirm them, and the need for them to be involved as they are involved, but I also want them to be connected to their roots.”

Whether it is activism or advocacy, Dr. Holmes’ legacy continues through St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church.

Reverend Dr. Michael Bowie is the Senior Pastor.

Bowie explained, “One thing I believe, Demond, is the church has to be more than meeting on Sundays. But, how can we make a difference the other 6 days of the week? So I envision that we empower families.”

The church and Zan Wesley Holmes Community Outreach Center is working to do that through a partnership with Dallas ISD and other agencies. They are transforming the old Frazier Elementary School building into what is to become Frazier House. The center will provide wrap-around services for families and adults in the community.

Dr. Bowie said, ”It’ll be a one-stop shop. You can get empowered mentally, emotionally, financially.”

For now, Dr. Holmes says addressing issues like poverty, housing, and racism remains important issues.

”The need is as great today as it ever was,” Holmes said.

Focusing on building coalitions could be key as communities continue trying to move forward, according to the author and retired clergyman.

The lecture series ‘In Conversation – An Evening with Dr. Zn Wesley Holmes, Jr. and Roland S. Martin’ will be held 7 p.m., Friday, February 17, at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church. Tickets are $35.