COLUMBIA — The 5000 block of Monticello Road has been renamed Bishop Robert L. Bishop Way in honor of the late Bishop Robert L. Bishop.
Bishop, a native of Newberry, was the co-founder of Grace Christian Church and Grace Christian Ministries, Inc., he passed away on June 7, 2006.
He worked throughout the state of South Carolina for over 35 year providing programs that would serve the holistic person.
“We are just honored that the City of Columbia chose to acknowledge the service that my father gave to this community,” said Rev. Aaron Bishop, his son and pastor of Grace Christian Church. “It’s allowing everyone to understand that there is greatness in serving and letting your light shine before men. We are honored and humbled by the acknowledgement today in the place of his heritage and blessings to his community.”
Bishop served as a pastor of seven churches, four educational complexes and auditoriums, and turned an abandoned grocery store into Grace Christian Church.
He served in various capacities with the National Black Pastors’ Conference in Birmingham, Ala., Community Urban Renewal, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Columbia Bible College and Seminary in Columbia.
His calling and gifting ignited The American Dream Project, an affordable homeownership program that empowered more than 15 families in the city of Columbia to be homeowners within the first two years of the initiative’s inception.
In 1994, under his leadership, the Unto the Least of These Thanksgiving Feast was born where more than 800 homeless and seniors citizens from various community care homes throughout the city where fed a Thanksgiving meal with most of the funds coming from him.
Bishop’s generosity and family legacy continues through the Grace Academy Child Development Center and Pathways Out of Poverty, an employment readiness initiative and expungement service in partnership with Richland County Judicial Services and the City of Columbia Pre-Trial Intervention Services.