NEWBERRY — The 5000 block of Monticello Road, in Columbia, will be renamed Bishop Robert L. Bishop Way in a ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 20.
Bishop, a native of Newberry and co-founder of Grace Christian Church and Grace Christian Ministries Inc., worked for more than 35 years in the Newberry community and throughout the state helping provide programs that would serve the holistic person. He died on June 7, 2006.
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 board affiliations included the S.C. Department of Corrections Pre-Release Center, Richland County Department of Social Services Foster Care, Tony Evans and City Light, S.C. Parent Teacher Association, Boy Scouts of America, City of Columbia Advisory Board, Ridgewood Community Organization and Student Relations Committee at Columbia International University.
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.