Tributes to 'generous' Wolverhampton bishop and community leader

Tributes have been paid to a well-known community leader who has died aged 94.

Bishop Plummer (centre) greets Prince Charles during a visit to Wolverhampton's Moathouse Lane Project
Bishop Plummer (centre) greets Prince Charles during a visit to Wolverhampton's Moathouse Lane Project

Bishop Homer Plummer was a leading figure in Wolverhampton's African-Caribbean community, and was a founder member of the Hibiscus housing association.

He was senior bishop at World of Spirit and Life Baptist Church in George Street, Ettingshall, and served as president of the Baptist Association of Europe.

Bishop Plummer was also head of a number of churches in London and Jamaica, and served as the first president for the Progressive National Baptist Convention UK.

His services to the community led to him being appointed an MBE in 1993.

Born in Jamaica, Mr Plummer moved to Wolverhampton during the 1960s and lived in Fir Grove, Graiseley, for more than 50 years.

Generosity

He initially worked at the Goodyear tyre plant in Stafford Road, but devoted his life to voluntary work after being made redundant in the 1980s.

He sat on Wolverhampton Council's race relation and equal opportunities committee, Wolverhampton Council for Community Relations and Bilston and Wednesfield police consultative committee.

He also served with Wolverhampton Citizen Advice Bureau, UK Council of Churches community and race relation unit and Wolverhampton Interfaith group.

Prof Mel Chevannes, a former councillor, remembers Bishop Plummer supporting her voluntary work in setting up a night school for children during the 1980s.

"He helped me a lot when I was trying to set up a night school for children who weren't doing so well at school," he said.

"He used to go around Graiseley knocking on doors, he knew a lot of the people anyway. I really appreciated his generosity."

Bishop Homer Plummer

Bishop Robert Bernard, who was ordained by Bishop Plummer, described his mentor as a dedicated man who did a lot for both the church and the community.

"He was a very hard-working for the church, he travelled a great deal, regularly going to other churches to give them his support," he said.

"He always wanted to do something for the community."

His son Pas Plummer, who worked with him on many of his schemes, said the Bishop would be much missed among Wolverhampton's black communities.

In 1981 Bishop Plummer founded the Moathouse Lane Project, which provided support for both young and elderly people within the African-Carribean community.

The project set up Wolverhampton's first day centre aimed at older people in the African and Caribbean communities, and also provided care for people in their own homes.

The project also operated a printing company which provided training for young people, while raising funds for its services.

Visionary

A proud moment came in 1988 when he met Prince Charles during a visit to the Moathouse Lane Project, which was then based in Raglan Street, Wolverhampton.

He also set up project under the then-government's Youth Training Scheme, which helped young people gain office skills.

Pas Plummer said his work helped many people from Wolverhampton's black community to secure gainful employment and experience.

"From the Moathouse Lane Project, many people from the local African–Caribbean Community successfully went on to make careers in social work, in education and other professions," he said.

"He was a visionary person and a committed community member."

"He will be sadly missed by the African -Caribbean Community of Wolverhampton."

His wife Icylin died in 2010. He leaves nine children, 18 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Bishop Plummer died at his home on September 20, but his funeral was held this month at Bushbury Crematorium.

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