Sparks fly as electricity collides with metal producing an unmistakable smell that can only be enjoyed by those who truly realize the power they hold in their hand. The trade of welding is not for the faint of heart, it takes grit and patience to melt steel while creating a piece of art. I'd like you to meet one lady that can go from "preacher's wife in heels" to "artist in welding gear" all in a day's work. SaLeena Bishop is a woman of many talents, not to mention she's an absolute beauty inside and out. SaLeena and her husband, Lawerence, live in Monroe, Ohio with their two boys, Elvis and Rio. Lawrence is Pastor of Solid Rock Church that currently has two locations in Cincinnati and Lebanon, Ohio. A very talented man himself, Lawrence is a retired saddle bronc rider, singer/songwriter and musician in an award winning Christian Rock Band "Bride". He also travels the world speaking at a number of churches and events. Lawrence and SaLeena have ministered at our church, Northern Colorado Cowboy Church, for a number of years. He not only brings the Truth of God's word in a powerful message but will also have you rolling on the floor laughing when he relays his stories of rodeoing and growing up in the horse business.
A man like that needs a strong woman by his side and that's exactly what he has in SaLeena. She not only is an amazing wife and mother, but this powerhouse builds beautiful podiums, pulpits and pretty much anything else a church would request to bring a contemporary touch to their sanctuary, all out of metal. To check out more of SaLeena's work take a peek at www.modernchurchinteriors.com.
Photos courtesy of SaLeena Bishop
We got to catch up with SaLeena on their most recent visit to Colorado to find out how she does it all:
First off: How did you get started with working with metal? Had you welded before or did you just learn because you wanted to create a piece?
Well, I have a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a Minor in Psychology, so I had no prior experience with metal fabrication or welding. For me, the destination has definitely been a journey, it started with jewelry making with sterling sliver and turquoise, which turned into stained glass, then ceramics, to wood working and then finally I think I’ve found my niche with steel. I honestly learned how to weld out of being cheap. I knew the design I had in my head and I just got tired of having to outsource the job to someone else. Through a good friend, and many hours of Youtube, I’ve learned how to weld and I love it!!
Where do you find inspiration? From God, Pinterest, etc?
My inspiration starts with the Lord. When I pray, I specifically ask God to download creative ideas into my mind that will build up the Kingdom and bless our church. Since God is the ultimate creator, I ask him to open my eyes to see the beauty in everything. It’s really helped me to look at things differently and notice and appreciate tiny details that I might have otherwise overlooked.
The screen shot function on my iPhone is also definitely a blessing. If I see something I like, I try to take a picture of it and keep it in mind for a project, even if it’s something I don’t use for a while.
How do you balance projects, kids, husband, ministry?
I seriously wish I was an octopus. Haha! Because balancing projects, kids and ministry, along with my crazy husband is probably something I can continually improve on. There are certain seasons that are busier for me than others, but even then I try to force myself to prioritize. Reading my Bible is something that the devil always tells me I can push off and do later. I’m really trying to find some quite time before everyone wakes up, before I check Facebook, to spend alone with God. I suppose it’s part of being a 21 century mom, but no excuse.
What would a day for you consist of? From morning to night.
Usually, I wake up around 8:30 and make some Coffee. Best way to start the day.
After that,I try to pray and read the Bible for about a hour before the kiddies wake up.
After getting the kids breakfast and brown juicy (chocolate milk), the babysitter will come over around 11, so I can go to my barn and work. Usually, I’m working on multiple projects at one time, so the perks of being my own boss, is that I’ll work on whatever I’m feeling inspired to work on that day until about 5.
After I take a shower, we’ll either go out to eat at a nearby restaurant, or I’ll cook up something simple like spaghetti…I’m not too good in the kitchen department.
Following dinner, we like to hang out around the house, or ride horses around the ranch with the kids. Maybe take the kids to a drive in movie.
When you run into difficulties with a project, how do you find a solution?
When I run into difficulties, I pray that the Lord would give me wisdom. I also Youtube it, and then I have a few good friends that have a little more experience than I do and can get me out of a jam!
What works in your marriage? You both live such busy lives, how do you get through the day to day, but still keep the bigger picture in your sights?
Through these 6 years of marriage, the best thing for us to keep in mind is being flexible and open to God’s plan. When we got married, I didn’t have a metal fabrication business, he wasn’t the pastor of two churches, and we didn’t have any kids. It would be easy for some to grow apart, or say I never agreed to all this, but since we said till death do us part, we’ve always tried to encourage each other and it’s been neat to see what God has done through both of us. We’ve both grown, but by keeping God first, we’ve grown together.
Praying together and a date night (almost once a week) as really been vital for us to get through our hectic life.
Our marriage, is really an adventure, we don’t know what God’s going to do next, but we are both headed in the same direction, and we try to stay completely open to God’s plan. When you do, you realize marriage is about your purpose together as a couple and then secondly, fulfilling God’s plan for our life as individuals.
What are three things you want to instill in your boys?
1. Put God first, in everything you do. Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God…
2. There’s nothing wrong with having nice things as long as those things don’t have you. I want them to always have compassion for others, to always help people and never get the attitude that they are better than anyone.
3. Chivalry goes a long way. I want them to be gentlemen.
You recently had an amazing event in your hometown and we caught wind of it from your Facebook page, can you tell us a little bit more about Hope Over Heroin?
The Hope over Heroin event was something God gave my husband Lawrence when he heard 14 people in one week had overdosed on heroin in Hamilton, Ohio. It was a three day event with Lawrence's Christian rock band, along with video testimonies, and free food. There were several alter calls, for salvation and deliverance from drug addiction. Followed by spontaneous baptisms. It was awesome. We had 2,000 the first night. 3,000 the second night and then 7,000 the last night! Other than giving hope to the addicted, it was also about healing the hurts of family members who have an addicted love one, and a call of repentance to the 'church'. Asking God and the community to forgive us for not being out there sooner:)