Lawrence Bishop, founding pastor of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, passed away at 11:49 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. He was 69.
Bishop was transported to the Atrium Medical Center after being found in his home unresponsive. He was later transferred to Christ Hospital where it was determined that he died as a result of a massive brain stem stroke.
Bishop and his wife, Darlene, founded Solid Rock Church in 1978. The church grew from a congregation of 12 people in 1978 to more than 3,000 today.
Many will remember Bishop’s testimony of how God called a prosperous Christian businessman with a heart to serve, to pastor a thriving New Testament church. In 1975, Lawrence reached a desperate point in his life. While building a vast horse business and traveling as a highly sought-after auctioneer, he found himself putting his family and God behind his business ventures. He knew that his priorities had to change.
One night, after much prodding by his wife, he attended a local church service. During that meeting, he felt as if the preacher were speaking directly to him and even suspected that Darlene had spoken to the preacher concerning his situation. Lawrence recommitted his life to Christ that night and a short time later, surrendered to the call of ministry. This calling culminated in the founding of Solid Rock Church at Monroe, Ohio.
Besides preaching, Bishop’s passion was bluegrass gospel music. He was an accomplished mandolin player and songwriter. Bishop and his band released six gospel bluegrass CDs and had four number one songs. He was named 2005 Music Evangelist of the Year and 2007 Inspirational Bluegrass Artist. He once sang at the Grand Ole Opry.
Bishop was a nationally recognized horse rancher and breeder of quarter horses. He operated the LB Ranch in Monroe, Ohio, which produced several World Champion quarter horses. Bishop shipped horses across the U.S., as well as exported horses to Canada, Europe and other parts of the world. Prior to founding Solid Rock Church, he was a nationally sought after Quarter Horse Auctioneer.
A funeral service will be held at Solid Rock Church, 903 Union Rd., Lebanon, Ohio, on Friday, Oct. 7, at 12 p.m. Dwight Thompson, Rod Parsley and Steve Fender will oversee the service. Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and also on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the service starts.