NAACP Mourns the Passing of Bishop Roy A. Holmes

(BALTIMORE) — The NAACP mourns the loss of Bishop Roy A. Holmes, member of the NAACP Board of Directors and its Religious Affairs Committee. Bishop Holmes is survived by his wife, two daughters and two grandchildren.

The NAACP released the following statements:

Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors:

“Bishop Holmes was a true man of service,” stated 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.”

Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP:

“Bishop Holmes was an inspired steward of the long-standing bond between the AME Zion denomination and the NAACP,” stated Jealous. “I valued and relied upon his wise counsel and will sorely miss him.”

Bishop Holmes was a lifetime member of the NAACP and a member of the NAACP Board of Directors. His ministry began at the age of 13, and he received his first pastorate at the age of 15. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Georgia; his Master of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, North Carolina; and his Doctor of Ministry in 2002 from the Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois.

His first pastorate was St. Matthew A. M. E. Zion Church in Whitmire, South Carolina (1975-78), followed by Mt. Lebanon A. M. E. Zion Church in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (1978-82), Wesley Center A. M. E. Zion Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1982-88), and the Greater Walters A. M. E. Zion Church in Chicago, Illinois (1988 - 2004).

Bishop Holmes was consecrated the 92nd Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church on August 3, 2004 during the 47th General Conference. He was assigned to the Western Episcopal District, which includes the Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon-Washington and the South West Rocky Mountain Conferences. Upon the untimely death of Bishop Milton A. Williams, he was assigned the Michigan Annual Conference and Central Africa (Malawi and Mozambique). In 2008, he was assigned to the Mid-West Episcopal District which includes; Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana and Central Africa (Malawi and Mozambique).

In July of 2012, Bishop Holmes was assigned to serve the North Eastern Episcopal District which includes: New York, New England, Western New York, Bahamas Islands and London-Midland. In December 2012 he was appointed presiding prelate of the Cape Fear Conference upon the death of the late Bishop James E. McCoy.

Bishop Holmes has served the A. M. E. Zion Church as a member of the Connectional Budget Board; Department of Ministerial Relief; delegate to the General Conference; delegate to the World Methodist Conference; former assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees of Hood Theological Seminary; former President and Secretary of the Hood Alumni Association. At the time of his death he served as the secretary of the Board of Trustees for Livingstone College and Vice Chairman Board of Trustees, Hood Theological Seminary; Visiting Member at Chicago Theological Seminary, Life Member and member of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP serving as first Vice Chair of the Religious Affairs Committee and member of the Image Awards Committee; and member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

He was the recipient of several awards including: UNCF Alumni of the Year Award Morris Brown College; Hood Theological Seminary Recognition Award; Personalities of the South the Eleventh Edition; Former President of the Pasquotank County NAACP (Elizabeth City, NC); Member of the Pittsburgh Branch NAACP Executive Committee; Champion of Justice Award – Redistricting of Pittsburgh, PA; City of Chicago Honorary Street sign, June 2000 (Rev. Roy A. Holmes Blvd.) at corner of 84th and Damen, Chicago, IL; and Who’s Who in Executive and Businesses 2001-2002, and the 2003 Monarch Award in the category of Religion from the Xi Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Chicago, IL, and the Outstanding Leadership Award from MAADD (Ministerial Alliance Against the Digital Divide), Chicago, IL.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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