The first meeting we ever had in our main sanctuary was an evening meeting with Larry Norman. People got saved that night. The place wasn't even finished (as you can see from the picture) but the building inspector let us meet that night.
We've had him at the church several times performing and just attending. We arranged a pretty interesting tour of some of the Universities in New England with him and one of our church house bands that included Jeff Lecee on bass and Damon DeChaplain on drums. We did an outreach that time at Battell Chapel at Yale and on one of the quads at Brown Universtiy. Beth Wacome (Keck) (another great friend!) opened up for him at Yale and his brother Charlie (who writes below giving info about Larry's death) was there as well that night. We had some trouble at Brown with the administration preaching the Gospel outside, but it all worked out and Larry did great.
Larry is considered the "Father of Christian Rock." Read the wikipedia entry about him here. We'll have to play some of his music on the radio station this, so listen for that. I'm sure John Fogg will do a tribute to him. Larry will be missed. He was a real innovator. Today Christian rock is pretty normal to a lot of Christian's, but Larry really was a forerunner in bringing rock to the church. Listen to a powerful song and Larry reflecting on his own death by watching the video here. (This video features stills of Larry and other Christian artists that were contemporaries with Larry.)
Here's the note about Larry's death from his brother Charlie
Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sunday morning. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in bed with him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past week laughing, singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had us taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry and art.
Several of his friends got to come and visit with him in the last couple of weeks and were a great source of help and friendship to Larry. Ray Sievers, Derek Robertson, Mike Makinster, Tim and Christine Gilman, Matt and Becky Simmons, Kerry Hopkins, Allen Fleming and a few more. Thank you guys. Larry appreciated your visits very much. And he greatly appreciated the thoughts, wishes, support and prayers that came from all of you Solid Rock friends on a daily basis. Thank you for being part of his small circle of friends over the years. Yesterday afternoon he knew he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the following message to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these words into Larry's computer:
I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.
My brother Charles is right, I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.
My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.
I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.
Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.