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Monday, May 15, 2006

Ohio MegaChurch Pastor Accused of Stealing Songs and Money

The Cincinnati Enquirer has this bizarre story.  Stories like this really get my interest (as do most human interest stories).  This one involves a family dispute and a megachurch pastor, the supposed theft of money, accusations of lieing, a book written about a healing that never happened, and more.  It would make a great movie of the week; but unfortunately is just another "those church people are so weird" story that the world just shakes their head at...

Darrell "Wayne" Perry's career finally paid off in the '90s after he plugged his songs in Nashville for nearly two decades.

The Hamilton native worked in near-anonymity until artists like Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, the Backstreet Boys, Lorrie Morgan and Holly Dunn took his songs to the top of the charts.

The hits brought Perry fame, a steady income and a collection of awards for his lyrics. Yet when he died of throat cancer a year ago at age 55, Perry's estate appeared to be almost broke.

Perry's four children don't believe it.

A court fight over Perry's estate pits his three sons and a daughter against their aunt - Darlene Bishop, a 61-year-old high-profile pastor at the Solid Rock Church, an evangelical megachurch along Interstate 75 that sports the country's second-largest sculpture of Jesus.

The children say Bishop owes them proceeds from a life insurance policy, royalties from Perry's songs and at least three boxes of unpublished songs and notes. Combined, these items could be worth more than $1 million, the children say.

They also contend that Bishop influenced their father to sign a will giving her full power over their inheritance, and committed fraud by publishing a book saying God had cured their father from his cancer, even though she was told he was dying.

Bishop dismisses the allegations as a pack of lies.

"If you took all the lies out of there, you might have 5 percent truth," Bishop said. "The 5 percent is that I took care of (Perry). He lived with me for a year and a half."

You can read the whole story here...

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May 15, 2006 in For What It's Worth | Permalink

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This is in my neck of the woods and I believe the family. There have been rumors all around the area that the Solid Rock Church property was a tax shelter for someone who's assets were in jeopardy from the IRS. This property is massive and the congregation is simply flamboyant. They are largely a power and prosperity outfit and most of us just shake our heads when we drive by the place. So, the allegations in this story have a strong whiff of smoke that indicates a true fire under the surface.

Posted by: Dean | May 15, 2006 12:46:54 PM

I drove past that church just the other day for the first time in years. The large statue of Jesus looks like he is drowning!

For a minute I thought the cross, extending out into the lake, was a water slide.

They have been questionable for years!

Posted by: eric | May 15, 2006 4:15:24 PM

I believe its wrong to speculate on issues like this.I had a group that accused me of fraud as the pastor when they didn't agree with a vote of the church to sell the old building to build a new one.Absolutely no truth to it but there false accusations hurt the ministry of the church.That is a prime example of a Satanic attack not to speak about the hurt it causes one who has always tried to live holy before theLord

Posted by: huston | May 22, 2006 12:30:08 PM

I know the Bishops personally. While, I may not agree with everything (well a lot) they preach/teach. I believe she is being painted in a bad way with respect to the care she gave her brother. While I have nothing to say about the extravagance of her life style, I whole heartedly believe she would have done anything to make sure her brother was well cared for and she truly hoped that he was healed. She was very proud of her brother.

Posted by: David | Jun 26, 2006 5:25:19 AM

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