Gomes defied stereotypes throughout his life. He was a black Republican and openly gay.
He grew up in Plymouth, Mass., became an American Baptist minister and spent most of his career at Harvard, serving first as assistant pastor at the Memorial Church in 1970. In 1974, he became a professor of Christian morals and the church’s minister.
Gomes wrote best-selling books on the Bible and preaching and published 11 volumes of sermons.
Long known as a conservative, Gomes made a surprise announcement in 1991 that he was gay, in response to anti-gay rhetoric on campus. “I acted not as an outraged homosexual, but as an outraged Christian,” he said after the incident.