Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bishop John Gimenez---Rock Church

In Memorium




“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (Psalms 116:15)

Virginia Beach, Va. - John Gimenez, the International Overseer and Bishop of Rock Ministerial Family and Rock Church International has gone to be with the Lord. He was 76. He died Tuesday, February 12, 2008 after suffering a stroke.

John Gimenez was born in Spanish Harlem, New York and raised in the South Bronx. He was the son of a pastor and as he liked to point out a “praying Mom”. He became involved with drugs and when he was only eleven years old, he was put in a reform school. When he was sixteen, John went to prison for the first time of what would be end up being many times. He eventually ended up serving time in some of the worst prisons in the state of New York. As his drug addiction continued to worsen, John voluntarily went to several rehabilitation programs but none helped him. He was told that he was incurable and would in all probability die from a bullet, a knife, an overdose of heroin, or, if he was lucky, be in a mental institution for the rest of his life.

On April 12, 1963, John Gimenez left Rikers Island Penitentiary and found his way to a small church called Damascus Christian Church. It was there that he had a personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. Afterwards, he traveled for five years with a drama group he formed called "The Addicts". The group spoke in churches, schools and colleges sharing the horror of drugs and the message of salvation in Christ. He attended Elim Bible Institute and in 1967, he married the former Anne Elizabeth Nethery of Corpus Christi, TX.

The Gimenez’s traveled and ministered as Evangelists but God’s directive to John and Anne was "…I am sending you to a people you know not of…” After an appearance on The 700 Club in 1968, Betty Forbes, (who would later become a staff pastor at Rock Church), directed them to an empty church building in the Norfolk, Va. area. Soon it was overflowing with hundreds of spiritually hungry people. Out of that revival, John and Anne Gimenez founded the Rock Church and oversaw its rise to prominence as one of the largest Charismatic churches in the world.

After being delivered from a life of addiction, Bishop always had a heart for those with shattered lives and he developed several outreaches that ministered to drug addicts, broken families and anyone that needed a second chance. Today, many of those men and women are serving the Lord and are themselves pastors of churches.

In 1980, John felt led to call Christians throughout the United States to fast and pray for the future of our nation. After partnering with others, he organized a diverse group of Christian leaders and denominations for what became known as “Washington for Jesus”. On April 30, 1980, hundreds of thousands of Believers gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C. for a day of prayer and repentance while hundreds of others marched around the Capitol area with signs and banners declaring Christ's lordship over the nation. Other “Washington for Jesus" rallies in 1988 and 1996, the “America for Jesus” rally in 2004 and more than 200 other rallies across the U.S involving millions of Believers crying out to God, helped usher in a climate of unity and a Godly change for righteousness across America. Some say that the “Washington for Jesus” and “America for Jesus” rallies helped change the course of our nation and have altered the American political landscape forever.

Bishop was a firm believer in the teaching of the Ten Commandments and never backed down on his call for prayer to be reinstated in public schools. He always championed the cause of the unborn and refused to vote for any politician that endorsed abortion. As an author and a song writer, John wrote several books and recorded several albums. He made numerous television appearances where he shared his testimony and always sounded a clarion call for Godly change in our nation.

Rock Church is now a vibrant ministry with outreaches throughout Virginia, the United States and around the world. When John assumed full-time duties as Apostle and Bishop of the Rock Ministerial Family in 1999, Anne Gimenez was named Senior Pastor of the Rock Church International.

Today, the Rock Ministerial Family has over 500 churches around the world. This apostolic ministry is committed to fulfilling the purposes of God by equipping people from the “cradle to the grave”. Bishop’s vision of a family of churches where relationships are developed, a “covering” is provided and where unity is promoted will continue to “plant” new congregations as the Lord leads. His calling to build churches of Prayer, Worship, Healing and Restoration will go forward as others take up his mantle to fulfill a legacy that glorifies God.

John was a father, husband, brother and a Pastor’s pastor for over 40 years. He will be greatly missed.

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