OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Thousands are mourning the death of Bishop Robert Tyler who died Wednesday from COVID-19. Bishop Tyler was the pastor of Church of the Living God and was recognized by two presidents for his role in creating the group MAD DADS.
Bishop Robert Tyler carried a lot of titles in his life: spiritual leader, pastor, organization co-founder and community activist. But the titles that perhaps define him best are man of God and father.
“I’m very sorrowful right now, but I’m grateful also to have had a father of that magnitude and had the realness of our relationship, even though the community and other people see him as something different," said Terence Tyler, the bishop's son.
Having grown up on the rougher side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bishop Tyler had a passion for reaching the young people in Omaha he saw going down the path of gang violence and drugs.
The pastor wanted to expand his ministry to the streets, and he and a few other fathers founded MAD DADS, an organization that aims to find men in the community who will step up and guide young people in the right direction.
Pastor James E. Hunter says he witnessed the way Bishop Tyler was able to reach those once thought unreachable during the organization’s street patrols.
“Guys in the streets, when they listened to Bishop Tyler speak, things in their lives changed," Hunter said. "Things shifted. Because he had that magnetism, that anointing, that power that came from God.”
Mad Dads eventually opened several chapters around the country and was recognized by both President Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush.
George Spencer Sr., the newly appointed president of MAD DADS, says he will miss the counsel of Tyler, but believes the Bishop's impact will inspire other great men to lead in their communities.
“There’s a scripture that says, 'Faith without works is dead.' Bishop Tyler's faith, it was evident.”
Spencer told us that there are plans in the works to bring back the Omaha chapter of MAD DADS in the near future.