Bishop Holmes served as pastor at the Greater Walters AME Zion Church on the South Side for 16 years before going on to lead the AME Zion Northeastern Episcopal District, which covered New York, New England and the Bahamas.
People from across the nation, and as far away as England, gathered to pay their respects to Bishop Holmes Monday at his funeral.
"He was just very personable, very accessible, just a wonderful, wonderful man of God," George Cooper, church member, said.
"He was a humanitarian, he was a preacher's preacher," Wallace Noble, church elder from Montgomery, Alabama, said.
"I just remember by coming here to listen to him preach and going back home and feeling better," Mary McLaurin, church member, said.
But to the AME Zion Church, Roy Holmes was a giant, growing the Chicago church, leading other churches across the country, and as a board member of the NCAAP.
"A person that just kind of commanded by his presence and his personality, just kindness and generosity," the Rev. Kathy McFadden, of Montgomery, Ala., said.
"He sought to always make sure that we all understood that stewardship was a way of life," the Rev. Joel D. Miles, pastor at Greater Walters AME Zion.
As his wife, Lovetta Jean is embraced, and there are tears at his homegoing celebration, there's also the sense that the impact of Bishop Holmes' life will continue to touch others.
"He was such a dreamer, he was a visionary man, a might man of God. And, I am so honored to be his daughter. He left a powerful legacy behind," Kimberly Holmes, daughter, said.