The visitation for Bishop Nathaniel Holcomb, the Christian House of Prayer founder and longtime pastor who died last week, was held Wednesday night at the Killeen church.
“There are people from all over the world in attendance this evening,” said Reginald Williams, CHOP usher who had known the pastor for 17 years. “There is a time for sorrow now, but we will rejoice in all things.
Cars packed the parking lot of the church Wednesday as more than 1,000 people paid respects to the beloved pastor.
Holcomb's wife, Valerie Holcomb, who is now the head pastor of the church, told the congregation on Sunday his doctors had only recently diagnosed him with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which led to his death.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Christian House of Prayer, 3300 E. Stan Schlueter Loop. Chisolm’s Family Funeral Home in Killeen is in charge of Holcomb’s funeral arrangements. The family will be having a private burial on another date.
“Bishop Holcomb had such a big heart – he was a special man,” said Karen Harris, who attends and works at CHOP. “You don’t see men like him every day. He loves every person.”
Harris said when Holcomb talked with people, he had a way of making them feel like they were the most important people in the room.
“He helped a lot of people and he didn’t advertise he was helping them,” Harris said.
Harris said she appreciated the support of the community during this time.
“We have been so blessed to see how many people Bishop has touched,” Harris said. “He was a people person. We are grateful for the people coming out this evening.”
Holcomb started the church in 1981 with an original membership of 13 people. The church is now one of the largest ministries in the Central Texas area.
The congregation was initially housed in a small storefront space in Copperas Cove but broke ground for the current church, with a 2,100-seat sanctuary, on Stan Schlueter Loop in Killeen in late 1999. The new church opened in October 2001.