Pastor Robert Lee Hamilton Sr. had been saying to his family and his parishioners for the last five years that if Jesus didn't come back first, he wanted to die while preaching at church on a Sunday morning.
According to witnesses, after preaching what was described as an "eerie" sermon about being prepared for life after death Sunday, Hamilton sat down in his chair next to the pulpit, looked to heaven, suffered a massive heart attack, slumped to the ground, and died next to his pulpit. The minister was transported by emergency crews to a local hospital and pronounced dead just after 1 p.m.
"He's been speaking this, and it's been his testimony for at least five, six years or more. He said, ‘If I don't get raptured in church … I want to die in the pulpit while I'm preaching the word,'" his son Norman Hamilton said in an interview. "That would be his way to die, and that's what God did."
The younger Hamilton said his dad was adamant that he didn't want to die in a hospital or even at home. The family said that his death was a shock.
"He was great strength all my life that I've known him. Never been to the hospital or anything, never been sick. He got into the church yesterday, feeling good, speaking, and he sat down at the pulpit in his chair around about 1 o'clock. [Then], he looked up to Heaven like he looked up to the sky, and he died; like he had a massive heart attack right then and there," Norman Hamilton recounted.
Even more coincidental, Golden Gate Cathedral Church of God in Christ, the place where Hamilton pastored for 45 years, had just held a community presentation about the perils of heart disease.
Hamilton was 84 years old.