Silence on Friday morning in the Central Texas State Veterans Ceremony was cracked by a single, gentle rumble of thunder, family and close friends of Bishop Nathaniel Holcomb gathered for his burial.
Holcomb, founder of the Christian House of Prayer in Killeen, died last week at the age of 66.
A Home Going service, in which an estimated 2,560 mourned and celebrated the bishop’s life, was held Thursday at the church.
At the cemetery for the private burial Friday, Holcomb’s wife, Pastor Valerie Holcomb, was presented an American flag that had been over her husband’s casket, after military honors and the playing of taps completed.
Nathaniel Holcomb, originally from Philadelphia, arrived at Fort Hood after joining the Army in 1980. He then joined Clear Creek Baptist Church and his time in that congregation would lead to the rise of the Christian House of Prayer on April 27, 1981.
Tyrone Holcomb, a son of Nathaniel Holcomb, repeatedly said the experience inside the sanctuary on Thursday had been wonderful.
“It was awesome in terms of saluting our father, but more importantly, saluting our God,” Tyrone Holcomb said. “That’s what my father stood for. His desire was never to bring us closer to him, but to always bring us closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“Celebrating his life and accomplishments, it was just like celebrating our God.”
Over the past several days, masses of people have gathered from near and far, according to church officials.
The CHOP ministry is said to have given rise to dozens of churches across the nation and beyond into other countries.
“It was awesome to see the community and the world at large come together. We had people come out from different countries yesterday,” Tyrone Holcomb said. “Everyone being unified and in harmony. That’s what we appreciated most about yesterday. That’s what my father was all about. He was all about love. No matter creed, color or culture.”
As he did during Thursday’s funeral service, Bishop Roderick Mitchell offered words of comfort to the dozens who attended the burial service Friday.
“This is the will of God,” Mitchell said to those gathered. “We ask you to remove the pain. We ask you to remove the hurt.”
Mitchell declared earth to earth, ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
“We therefore thank our Father in heaven … as He gave us His presence through our most honorable Bishop and Apostle Nathaniel Holcomb,” Mitchell said.
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