Funeral for A.M.E. prelate Roy A. Holmes to be held in Chicago

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The faith community nationwide is mourning the loss of Bishop Roy Anderson Holmes, the prelate of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

The native Greenwood, Miss. bishop died Saturday in Farmington, Conn. He was 62.

Though he moved to the East Coast where he served as pastor of churches in South Carolina, North Carolina and Pittsburgh, Holmes is also a former pastor of Chicago’s Greater Walters A.M.E. Church, 84th Street and Damen Avenue, from 1988 to 2004.

“Bishop Holmes was a dynamic leader having led many of our denominational churches. He led the Greater Walters A.M.E. Zion Church for 16-years in a tremendous fashion including leading his members and building additions to the current locations. He continued the progressive leadership after he became a bishop in 2004,” said Rev. Joel D. Miles, current pastor of Greater Walters.

“Bishop Holmes led us in a direction to understand that stewardship is a way of life. It was embraced by all those who followed his leadership and it has made a dramatic change in the way that many approach living now.”

His service extended into the civic community, including membership in the NAACP where he was national board member and sat on the civil rights organization’s Religious Affairs Committee.

“Bishop Holmes was an inspired steward of the long-standing bond between the AME Zion denomination and the NAACP,” said NAACP CEO Benjamin Jealous.  

NAACP Board Chairman Roslyn M. Brock remembered Holmes.

“Bishop Holmes was a true man of service,” said NAACP Brock. “He was always ready to answer the call to duty, whether in the NAACP or in the A.M.E. Zion Church, where his leadership extended over two continents. He was devoted to his family and to educating the next generation of leaders. His passing is a terrible loss for the NAACP and the faith community.” 

Holmes was born April 13, 1951 to the late Tommy and Ruby Holmes. He was consecrated the 92nd Bishop of the A.M.E. Zion Church on August 3, 2004 and has served in several Episcopal Districts. In 2012, he was assigned to serve the Northeastern Episcopal District which includes: New York, New England, Western New York, Bahamas Islands and London-Midland.

A memorial service was held Wednesday at Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church in Hartford, Conn. for the bishop, and his funeral will be held in Chicago Monday at Greater Walters. The service begins at 11 a.m. and will stream live on ShineproductionsLLC.com, according to Londa McDaniel, chairman of the A.M.E. board of trustees.

The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will hold a tribute at 9 a.m. Monday before the wake and funeral.

He is survived by his wife, Lovetta; two daughters, Krista M. Holmes (St. Louis) and Kimberly M. Holmes (Grand Rapids, Mich.); and two granddaughters.

Bishop Holmes will be interred at Mt. Hope Cemetery on Chicago’s South Side.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Bishop Holmes’ memory may be made to The Hood Theological Seminary, 1810 Lutheran Synod Dr., Salisbury, NC 28144. For online condolences please click here.

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