There was standing room only at the Christian House of Prayer chapel in Killeen on Sunday morning as more than 3,000 church and community members attended a service honoring and remembering the late Bishop Nathaniel Holcomb.
“The bishop was the kind of man who only comes along every now and then,” Nathaniel’s wife, Pastor Valerie Holcomb, said. “On one track I’m happy, because he has longed to be with the Lord for so long, but on the other I don’t even know what to do with my life because I don’t even remember life before him.”
Nathaniel Holcomb, the Christian House of Prayer founder and longtime pastor, died Tuesday at the age of 66.
Valerie Holcomb said his doctors had only recently diagnosed him with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“Two weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving, his doctor called because they wanted to run more tests,” she said during the service Sunday. “They weren’t able to find anything, but they said he likely had ALS based of his symptoms and its progression.”
As she spoke, more than one set of eyes had tears in them, but Valerie Holcomb was able to evoke many smiles and laughs as she shared jokes Nathaniel Holcomb made while he was in the hospital and after he had been sent home.
“The service was just wonderful,” church member Renate Knox said after Valerie Holcomb finished speaking.
Knox has been a member of the church for 25 years, and remembered Nathaniel Holcomb as a humble man. “He was extremely humble and loving. His motto was, “It’s all about Him, because it was all about the Lord for him.”
Knox said she was shocked and saddened when she heard Nathaniel had died.
“I was speechless when I first heard,” she said. “I had just texted him on Nov. 5; I sent him several pictures I had of him and his wife, and I hope they put a smile on his face.”
Elders of the church also spoke about Nathaniel impacted their lives.
“I have known him since he first arrived in the area in 1980,” Elder Joseph Solomon said. “He was my spiritual father in the faith; he was my mentor. His heart was always for the people. He never tooted his own horn. He is going to be missed by everyone.”
Visitation for Nathaniel Holcomb will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of the Central Texas Christian House of Prayer, 3300 E. Stan Schlueter Loop.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the church. Chisolm’s Family Funeral Home in Killeen is in charge of Holcomb’s funeral arrangements. The family is planning a private burial.