A local evangelist with a global following, Patricia Elaine Hollmer, 70, died early Monday morning.
“There’s not a doubt in a million people’s minds that she’s a Christian,” said her husband of 43 years, Pastor Ken Hollmer, of their nondenominational church, the Fort Payne Christian Center. “The best compliment I’d hear all the time was that she lived what she preached. She was sweet and wonderful. That’s why she had so many followers. And she was an honest-to-God servant and an amazing speaker.”
On her website, Elainehollmer.com, she claimed that while in her mother’s womb, a prophet of God told her mother that the baby would sing and minister to thousands. Her biography states that she began singing at age three in her father’s church and recorded her first album at age 13. Throughout her teenage years, she traveled with various ministries, becoming their featured singer in conferences, conventions, tent meetings and church revivals.
In 1981, she founded Elaine Hollmer Ministries, Inc. and traveled across America and 15 other countries as a featured speaker at such events. Her husband said she preached or participated in mission trips on several continents.
Hollmer also wrote two books “My Eyes Have Seen the Glory” and “Signed, Sealed and Delivered: By His Stripes.” Her website also features several recorded songs and sermons. Her husband said she had seven CDs of music to her credit.
The church’s Facebook page contains many of her “love notes” of encouragement to the congregation and reminders to contribute to the church’s food pantry to help others in need.
Her husband said she tested positive for COVID-19 on August 2 and was Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome, Ga. at the time of her death. The church has taken efforts to adapt its ministry during the pandemic, holding drive-in services where members could sit in a chair in front of their cars, practicing social distancing, or congregating in the church’s open-air Greater Glory Pavilion. The family now requests the wearing of a mask during funeral services.
“We encouraged wearing masks [during church services] but didn’t mandate it,” her husband said. “We held outdoor services for several months when COVID first hit. We had two or three church members to get COVID while at their jobs. When things settled down, we moved services inside, sanitizing the church and setting chairs apart for families to socially distance together. Throughout this, and even before with the regular flu, we told people that if they had any symptoms, they should call us and we’d pray for them, but we didn’t want them bringing sickness because we have to take care of our whole flock.”
Her family is deciding how to handle the numerous bookings Hollmer had for events throughout the autumn.
Wilson Funeral Home and Cremation in Fort Payne is in charge of arrangements. Funeral services will be Thursday, August 19, at 11 a.m. at the Greater Glory Pavilion of Fort Payne Christian Center, weather permitting, with Pastor Ronnie Pittman officiating. Burial will follow in Glenwood Cemetery. Further details are available in her obituary. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the church.