Church on the Rock- International

Church on the Rock- International
Church on the Rock-International
Classification Protestant
Theology Charismatic Evangelical Pentecostal
Polity Congregational
Leader Lawrence Kennedy
Geographical areas Worldwide
Founder Larry Lea
Origin 1989
Rockwall, Texas
Separated from Southern Baptist Convention
Congregations 3,000
Official website [1]

Church on the Rock-International, also known as the Church on the Rock or COTRI, is a neocharismatic evangelical Christian denomination. Christianity Today has described the organization as a "virtual denomination"[1][2] with over 3,000 affiliated churches worldwide.

COTRI is rooted in the charismatic renewal, historic evangelicalism, and pentecostalism.



COTRI was founded by Larry Lea in the 1980's after he separated himself from the Southern Baptist Convention. Following a stint as an itinerant preacher in the late 1970s, Lea was invited to pastor Church on the Rock in 1980 with 12 people in Rockwall, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Within 5 years, the church had shot up to over 5,000. In 1986, Lea began to travel again, holding what he called "Prayer Clinics" and later, "Prayer Rallies" or "Prayer Breakthroughs". Also, that year marked the beginning of Lea's television program, called Change Your Life. Also, that year, Lea released his first book, the best-seller[3] Could You Not Tarry One Hour?, which was his teaching on The Lord's Prayer. He also began a partnership group where his partners were referred to as "Prayer Warriors".

In June 1990, Lea stepped aside as pastor to oversee Church on the Rock International. He was succeeded by Lawrence Kennedy who still leads the organization today. Lea found himself in some controversy later that year, when Lea and several ministers met at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Lea's ministry was heavily criticized by an assortment of gay-rights activists, pro-choice activists, and Wiccans led by Eric Pryor (who later converted to Christianity[4]). On Halloween (the first night of the crusade), there was a massive protest[5] leading to many who came to the Civic Auditorium having to come through a very hostile crowd outside.

A year later, ABC's PrimeTime Live aired an exposé involving Lea and fellow Dallas-area televangelists W.V. Grant and Robert Tilton.[6] The incident involving Lea came as a result of his fundraising appeals, questions as to how much money was going to mentioned projects, and accusations that Lea implied a fire at one of his homes left his family almost destitute even though they still had the home in the Dallas area.

Lea allowed the National Religious Broadcasters financial integrity arm, EFICOM (Ethics and Financial Integrity Commission), to audit his ministry to look into the charges. Following the incident, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.[7]

See also


United States Christian bodies v · d · e
  1. ^ Kim Lawton, "Broadcasters face ethics questions - again," Christianity Today, January 13, 1992
  2. ^ Nigel Scotland Charismatics and the New Millennium (Guildford: Eagle, 1995).
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Nov 1990: 6,500 Christians Attend S.F. 'Exorcism'". 1990-11-01. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  6. ^ Bark, Ed (November 21, 1991). "Judgment Day on `Prime Time Live'". Dallas Morning News.,0ED56291649D24AC.html. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  7. ^ "Judgment A Journey Toward Healing". Charisma magazine. 2002. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 

External links

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