Friday, October 30, 2020by Reverend Dan on October 30, 2020
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.”
In 1966 Brother Homer graciously stepped aside to allow his former running mate, Bishop Bill Rogers, of Fulton, Missouri, to be candidate for president on the Theocratic ticket in the 1968 elections. Early in 1968 Rogers withdrew, and Homer announced that “President Johnson has led America halfway to the kingdom,” and nominated Lyndon Johnson as Theocratic candidate for president. When Johnson announced he would not seek re-election, Brother Homer quickly threw his own hat back into the ring, again giving his country a chance to choose a righteous candidate on November 5.
This campaign was his last. Brother Homer died a month later, on December 4, at the age of 77, and Bishop Voy M. Bullen succeeded him as general overseer of the Church of God. Thus, America lost its peripatetic King of the World, its perennial candidate for president, and its most outspoken advocate of a united church and state.
Brother Homer never saw a contradiction between the first plank in his platform, the church-state tie, and the second plank, guaranteeing personal freedom for all. But though he hoped to join church and government in a theocracy, he was no inquisitor, no bigot. The soul of affability, he had a heart as big as his grin and his girth. From every pore he oozed goodwill toward all men, even forgiving those who had tossed him out of his own church. Though he grew up in the rural South, he preached and practiced racial equality. A Christian, he regarded all Hebrews as his brothers, inviting prominent New York Jews to attend an Easter sunrise service. (They politely refused.) A Pentecostal, he selected prominent Catholics, Protestants from various denominations, and Jews as his cabinet officers should he become president.
The good bishop, for all his eccentricities and theatrics, apparently was genuinely concerned for the world’s poor, hungry, and naked. He was a living refutation of the charge that those who preach a coming millennium lack social concern.
His call for national righteousness was praiseworthy, even if his methods of achieving it seem impractical and naive. To his followers Brother Homer was a prophet, leader, and hero—Moses, Luther, and Joan of Arc rolled into one. How fortunate that he lived in a country without a church-state monolith, a country with room enough and tolerance enough for men the likes of Homer A. Tomlinson, King of the World.
“Father, Thank you for stories of faith and history, and the people who make them. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”