Three Dollar Baby
There was a life and death struggle raging. It was July 3, 1942 and Mary Bishop was in labor but it was not yet her time. Living in rural Kentucky far from the help a hospital might have provided, she was afraid for her child's life. She had dispatched her husband, Gardner, to fetch a midwife to help deliver the baby. Although her labor was 2 months premature, there was no turning back now. Gardner performed his task by locating the midwife and paying her the $3.00 fee. He returned shortly with the midwife to help bring the child to birth. Although weighing less than 2 pounds, blue and battered, the baby survived. Such was the beginning of the life journey of Lawrence Bishop. Lawrence developed both a love and a keen sense for horses. As a young man he began training, breeding, showing and trading horses. He earned such US titles as Top Horseman and top exporter of quarter horses and was one of the top three auctioneers in the country. Although very busy with his horses, Lawrence did find time to attend church. It was in church that he was introduced to Darlene Perry. He was only seventeen and she was only fifteen but it was love at first sight. He knew she was the one God had ordained to be his wife. They were married January 27, 1962 at the early ages of nineteen and seventeen. After marriage, Lawrence and Darlene worked together in the business. It wasn't long until Lawrence's childhood hobby developed into a multi-million dollar horse ranch. The LB Ranch is home to many famous stallions and other championship horses. Horsemen come from across the United States and all over the world to buy quality horses from the LB Ranch. In 1975, Lawrence reached a desperate point in his life. While building a successful 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. Shortly after Lawrence accepted his call to ministry, he and Darlene founded what is now know as Solid Rock Church, in Monroe, Ohio where they have pastured since 1980. The church started with 12 members and has now grown to approximately 3500 active members and is still growing. Solid Rock Church is an evangelistic church with a heart for missions. The church and Darlene Bishop Ministries provides about 90% of the support for the Darlene Bishop Home for Life, a home for homeless or unwed pregnant teens and is the sole support of an orphanage in Sao Polo, Brazil which houses close to sixty children. Solid Rock Church is currently negotiating to buy property in Sao Paulo that will make it possible to almost double the number of children for which it provides care and housing. This month Solid Rock Church in association with Darlene Bishop Ministries is launching a new television program called "Sisters". The program will be a talk show featuring Christian themes. Regulars on the show will include Darlene Bishop, Jana Mitten, Shirley Murdock, and Arlene Parker. The program will air on Word network, January 22nd during the 10:00 a.m. time slot in Saturday mornings. Darlene Bishop founded Darlene Bishop Ministries in 2002. Representing this ministry, Darlene preaches in churches and conferences across the country. She has been a featured speaker in such venues as T.D. Jakes's Woman Thou Art Loosed Conference and Juanita Bynum's Women of Power Conference. She continues ministering at Solid Rock Church where she serves as Co-pastor supporting her husband and Senior Pastor Lawrence Bishop. In addition to his love of God, family and horses, Lawrence Bishop spends much of his free time writing, playing, and singing bluegrass music. He began playing guitar at the age of five and feels that his involvement in Gospel Bluegrass Music is an expression of his heritage. His first bluegrass CD entitled Travelin' Preacher Man debuted in early 2002 and appeared on the DJ Hot Picks in Bluegrass Now Magazine for 5 months in 2002 and 2003. The song "Travelin' Preacher Man" ranked #1 on popular bluegrass radio stations throughout the United States. Travelin' Preacher Man also received excellent reviews in various periodicals as Acoustica, Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, IBMA Magazine and Power Source Magazine. He is currently writing songs for other recording artist as well. His second project entitled White Horse Rider was released in December 2002. This CD features hit singles such as "Could I Get A Witness", "White Horse Rider" and "Hickory Grove", which charted #7 on the Gospel Truths Chart of reporting DJ's to the Bluegrass Now Magazine. White Horse Rider was also on the charts for several months in CCMA's enormously popular Power Source Magazine. Lawrence's music is studded with an all-star collaboration, from major bluegrass musicians such as fiddler, Michael Cleveland, Tom Adams on banjo, Lawrence Bishop and Adam Steffey on mandolin, Clay Hess on guitar, Glen Gibson on Dobro and Ben Isaacs on bass. White Horse Rider has received an enormous amount of positive reviews, from DJ's and writer from most of the major Bluegrass and Christian Country Music magazines. These kinds of accolades are rare when a project is not attached to a major recording label. His latest project, "Three Dollar Baby" is rapidly becoming popular even on the international market. One of the songs from this CD is currently number two on the European charts. Lawrence was nominated for the Music Evangelist of the year category and listed in the top five at the 2004 CCMA awards show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Here at the home of the original Grand Old Opry, he performed with Shirley Murdock and was reported to be one of the highlights of the CCMA awards show. He has traveled to and ministered in many foreign countries of the world but now feels the call to take care of the duties at the home base, Solid Rock Church.