Pastor Mark Bishop, who plunged 30 feet from his roof and preached two days later, says it was prayer that sustained him.
Thousands of Kentucky Baptist friends and others were praying for the popular pastor of GracePointe Baptist Church, Louisville, after his wife alerted everyone to the accident on social media.
“No one falls 30 feet and usually even lives from it,” he said. “I believe it was the prayers of God’s people.”
Doctors were calling it a “miracle,” he says, but Bishop is convinced the thousands of prayers were what made the difference in him being able not only to walk but to talk to a congregation two days later.
“It was not my shining moment, but it was pretty remarkable,” he said. “I have a bunch of nurses and doctors in my church, and they were saying nobody falls 30 feet without something – broken neck, a brain bleed, or worse.”
Bishop went onto his roof to hammer down a shingle that had blown up from a storm the previous day. He was wearing casual shoes and the roof, which has a pitch to it, was a little damp. “Once I started sliding, there is no stopping,” he said.
Bishop was knocked unconscious from the fall and when he woke up, he was choking on vomit. He told Siri on his phone to call his wife, Kim, to tell her he had fallen off the roof. “I couldn’t feel anything at first,” he said.
An ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital. Meanwhile, Kim started the prayer chain that Bishop credits for being lifesaving.
“Two hours into it, everything started hurting,” he said. The paramedics asked him who was the president. He answered Obama, and when they asked him what year it was, he said 2003. But he was talking, which was a good sign.
Doctors ran a barrage of tests on Bishop expecting to find internal injuries, broken ribs, broken neck, brain bleeds, collapsed lung or pelvis injury.
“The nurse came in and said, ‘you’ve got a super bad concussion. Your neck is not broken and there’s no brain bleed. We’re sure something is broken in your back, and X-rays show a collapsed lung,’” Bishop said.
But upon further review the lung was not collapsed and the pelvis, which they felt was at least cracked, was not damaged. “The nurse said, ‘We don’t know what to say. It’s a miracle.’’’
Bishop was sure it was God’s grace that kept him alive.
“I may have been broken when I left my property, but two hours later, not anything was broken, and God was getting the glory,” he said.
Going to the service
Bishop, who experienced two concussions while deployed in Afghanistan, said some of his Airborne training in the Army may have come into play, too, as he was falling. He remembered the slow-motion fall and trying to protect his head and face.
The doctor released Bishop on Friday and told him to stay in bed for a couple of days, but he balked at that since Sunday was coming.
“I told him, ‘This is my calling, this is my passion,” he said. “If I don’t go, I’ll be at home wringing my hands and watching it on the screen.’’’ The doctor gave him a reluctant OK to preach. He arrived at the church just before time to speak.
Bishop said he did have the stage lights turned off because of the headache from the concussion had not subsided. The church also took up its Christmas offering — $50,000 — and he didn’t want to miss that day either.
“That was big for us,” Bishop said. “We had a great day with people responding.”
Bishop’s wife was praising God for keeping her husband safe on social media along with thanking those who prayed for him.
And she said in her Facebook message, “But God …”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Mark Maynard and originally published by Kentucky Today.