Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Solid Rock Pinheads for Jesus

This article below is from The Dayton Daily News. It is in regards to the builders/owners of Touchdown Jesus that burned along I-75 recently. Fuckers are pinheads. See particularly paragraphs in bold. I wish they would turn the church building into a hay barn. Good idea!

By Mary McCarty and Tom Beyerlein

Staff Writers
Updated 8:50 AM Monday, July 26, 2010

MONROE — The 62-foot King of Kings statue no longer stretches out its giant arms to motorists on Interstate 75, but a pastor of the Solid Rock Church says the June 14 fire was good PR for what the church is about: Christ.

“His name was mentioned more in the 24 hours after that fire than probably in 2,000 years,” said Lawrence Bishop, 68, who, along with his wife, Darlene, 65, founded the church in 1978.

The fire also shone a spotlight on the Bishops, who built Solid Rock from a dozen congregants in a tin-roofed building with folding chairs into one of the region’s largest churches, with a satellite church east of Cincinnati, a home for troubled women, 13 churches in the Philippines and an orphanage in Brazil. Clearly, the statue outside the church wasn’t the only thing about Solid Rock that’s larger than life.

Internet rumors have it that Lawrence, a rancher, got rich by smuggling bags of cocaine inside the body cavities of his horses. That the colossal King of Kings statue of Jesus that burned June 14 was a stash for drugs. That the church basement contains a stockpile of armaments.

In an interview with the Dayton Daily News, the Bishops didn’t shy away from confronting the oft-repeated rumors.

“I tell people if I’m a drug dealer I’m very successful because I’ve lived on a hill for 22 years and I’ve never been arrested,” Lawrence said.

Added Darlene: “Lawrence never smoked a cigarette or had a drink of alcohol. He wouldn’t know a drug if it was right in his face.”

The rumors, ongoing sources of speculation on Internet message boards, demonstrate the passions that the Bishops stir in people. They are the objects of anger and scorn, adoration and devotion.

Reason for the rumors

Lawrence, 68, said he and his wife are controversial because of their strong stands against abortion and gay rights.

“We are not against (gays), but we are against lifestyles that go against the word of God,” he said. “If we don’t believe what he believes, we might as well turn that (church) building into a hay barn.”

Plenty of believers subscribe to the Bishops’ conservative, racially inclusive brand of Christianity. Solid Rock has some 3,500 members on the rolls, many of whom attend at least one of three weekly services in a sanctuary built for 2,100. While most area churches tend to draw either blacks or whites, Solid Rock claims a 50-50 racial mix. Services blend African-American gospel, country music, evangelical fervor and high-tech production values.

Nationally known R&B and gospel singer Shirley Murdock of Dayton said she was attracted to Solid Rock from her first visit, about 15 years ago. She became close friends with the Bishops, “my spiritual parents,” and starred with Darlene and two other women in a Christian cable TV program called “Sisters” from 2005-2009.

“It’s like what I imagine heaven must be,” Murdock said of Solid Rock. “Nobody cares what color you are, what clothes you wear, what’s your social status. (The Bishops) just really love God. People with great big hearts — that’s what I see when I see the Bishops.”

The couple met in a Hamilton church 50 years ago, when Lawrence was 17 and Darlene was 15. Two years later, Darlene dropped out of high school and married him.

Lawrence, who hails from tiny Zag, Ky., already was dealing in horses. Darlene was from a strict Pentecostal upbringing that forbade women from cutting their hair and using makeup.

Darlene said as newlyweds they lived in a one-room apartment without any plumbing and she worked in a music store for $14 a week while Lawrence got his business going. Over the years, the couple had four children.

By the mid-1970s, Lawrence’s business as a horse breeder and auctioneer was booming, but he said he was drifting away from God and his family. “I’d done well, but I wasn’t really happy.” One day, he said, he opened a Bible at random to Matthew 6:33: “(S)eek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The incident rekindled his faith and, in 1978, the Bishops founded the Middletown Evangelistic Center, the forerunner to Solid Rock.

About the same time, Darlene said, there were news reports that authorities arrested some Texas ranchers on charges they were running drugs from Mexico. She said the rumors about drug involvement by the Bishops started then. A Butler County prosecutor’s spokeswoman said the Bishops have never been charged with any crime, and the county’s chief humane officer, Julie Holmes, said she has investigated several animal-cruelty complaints against the couple’s LB Ranch and found only healthy horses.

Church on the move

Outgrowing its Middletown building, Solid Rock in 1992 relocated to its sprawling campus off Interstate 75 in Monroe, right next to the Traders World flea market. The church features Spanish-style architecture similar to that of the LB Ranch across the highway.


Ms. Moon said...

My favorite part is this:
"His name was mentioned more in the 24 hours after that fire than probably in 2,000 years,”
Really? You think?

All This Trouble... said...

How informative, SB! People waste money everyday. And these rumors! Whoah! I think I'd respect them alot more if they WERE true.

Drop-kick me Jesus!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Ms. Moon,
Fuckers are deluded. They also thought that damn fug statue was art. Jesus.

Laugh. Me too.

Love you both,


Jeannie said...

The wife dropped out of highschool at 19? She hadn't finished? I dunno - doesn't sound like she would have finished anyway.

I think giant Jesus statues are pretty tasteless - as are bobbleheads etc....I mean really - do they think God will be impressed?

Sarcastic Bastard said...

High school may have been a struggle. Laugh.

Love you!