Once again in less than a year, The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church gathered to mourn on one hand and celebrate a life on another, the passing of one of its leaders in the person of Bishop Roy A. Holmes, presiding prelate of the Northeastern Episcopal District.

From a packed historic Greater Walters A.M.E. Zion Church, Chicago, Illinois, the church from which Bishop Holmes ascended to the episcopacy in 2004, and with Bishop Mildred B. Hines,  prelate of the Southwestern Delta Episcopal District and President of the Board of Bishops, presiding, the more than four-hour long Service of Triumph immediately took on a celebratory atmosphere.

The Michigan Conference choir broke out into a stirring rendition of Holy, Holy, Holy that moved the congregation and the celebrants. 

From the reading in the Old and New Testament, the deep and passionate prayers from Bishop Richard K.Thompson, prelate of the Mid-Atlantic II Episcopal District and Bishop Seth Lartey, prelate of the Western West Africa Episcopal District and the additional musical selection from the choir, this service took on the character of Bishop Holmes.

Straightforward, deeply meaningful, very spiritual and comforting as it moved through a number of acknowledgements from the many organizations and groups with which Bishop Holmes was affiliated personally, professionally and as a representative of the A.M.E. Zion Church.

Bishops from the United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; the chairperson of the NAACP of which Bishop Holmes was a member of the National Board; the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and many others.

After additional musical selections, the service moved through the tributes from the many departments of the church.

Each echoed the same themes associated with this powerful man, excellence in his workmanship, confident and committed in the goals of his church, a strong advocate for education and the rights of all human beings to life, liberty and a pursuit of happiness, and a man who had a deep and resounding love of family.

But there’s nothing more powerful and encouraging to a bereaved family than familiar recollections of relationships from colleagues.

That’s what retired Bishop Nathaniel Jarrett and good friend Bishop Dennis Proctor, prelate of the Alabama-Florida Episcopal District provided.

Views of how a man of God operates in the privacy of his personal relationships. They noted his ability to bring joy and laughter to a boring and difficult meeting yet a sensitive and sincere man who took his service to the church very seriously.

Bishop Holmes’ daughters, Krista and Kimberly Holmes, provided intimate insights into their life with their father. A view of commitment and love through prayer, devotion and support at all times that as they said, help mold and shape their lives to who they are today.

After Senior Bishop George E. Battle, Jr., prelate of the Piedmont Episcopal District wove an introduction of the Eulogist, retired Senior Bishop George W.C. Walker, Sr., tying him to Bishop Holmes as being the Traditionalist and Bishop Holmes being the Contemporary, the choir sang the song, Father I Stretch My Hand To Thee.

From there, Bishop Walker preached a powerful message standing on Hebrews 11:10, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (NIV).

He paralleled Bishop Holmes’ journey top that of Abraham as he stepped out on faith and followed God’s call to leave his home. He noted eloquently that the bishop was a man among men, very serious about his journey. He pressed on us the view that when you are on an assignment, you may move to the beat of a different drummer.

He laid out that Bishop Holmes was looking for a city, and he was driven by three motives; one, a faith that is ready for adventure, two, a faith that has patience, and three, a faith based on God’s Promise. And that, he noted, is enough!

Bishop Walker was not through yet. He challenged and charged the AME Zion Church to “exercise patience” itself. The church is in a place it has never been before. The church has suffered two deaths of bishops within 9 months of coming out of the General Conference.

The church must wait on God to help us through this different place. We must exercise patience. We haven’t been in this place before, he said, but God has. Stand he said on God’s promises.

Before he was through, Bishop Walker laid out a powerful legacy for the young man who came up from Mississippi, got a degree from Morris Brown College, moved to Chicago and joined Greater Walters. Under the guidance of the Traditionalist, the Contemporary started his journey, Looking For A City and found it on May 4, 2013!

  • April 3, 2018
    A.C.T. NOW
    Awaken Confront Transform!
    Then and Now: An Ecumenical Gathering to End Racism immediately following the Orthodox Christian Bridegroom Service of Holy Tuesday. Service begins at 6:00 pm, Program begins approximately 8:00 pm. All are welcome to both.

AMEZ Featured Site

The People's AME Zion Church :: Syracuse, NY :: Reverend Daren C. Jaime, Pastor

CED Winter Meeting 2017



For Black History Month 2018, I am compelled to: