"He loves the Lord with all his heart." 95-year-old Rev. James Holman delivers final sermon

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - The First United Methodist Church in Clyde had a special sermon on Sunday as Rev. James Holman celebrated ninety five years, seventy nine of those spent preaching, in front of a congregation.

Pastor Monty Barnett says that this has been months in the making. They began to pray about this final sermon in July. Slowly, he says, "the service started taking shape, and he really redesigned it. A lot of the elements in worship today were different because of James' fingerprints there."

James' daughter, Peggy Holman Simank says, "He's a very determined person." She pauses, and adds, "He's just very amazing."

A nearly packed house showed up for the final sermon. They all agree it was a special day.

Jim Paylor smiles, saying, "Everybody loves James. We hope it wasn't his last sermon. He says this is his last one, but we don't think so."

Jay Connell agrees, saying, "You know, if it was his last one, I'm glad I was here to see it. But if there is another one, I'll be here to see that one, too."

The day was one to remember, and it also served as a reminder itself.

Sue Bell is one churchgoer who was taken back to "the times when we would hear preachers just stand up and say their hearts... He spoke from his heart. he touched the hearts of many people here."

Melba Miller says that James is the "epitome of a true, true Christian", because, "God speaks to him, and he speaks it to you, even if it hurts your feelings a little bit, because it's what he thinks you need to hear."

Pete Fisher agrees, saying simply that James "is truly a God driven man and loves the Lord with all his heart."


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