Abundant Life Church Leader Succumbs to COVID – 19

Bishop Ronald Abbott, spiritual leader of Abundant Life Church in Tulare, passed away this morning at age 72 from COVID – 19 at Kaweah Delta hospital.

Because of the no visitors policy his family was not able to be with him when he passed. The nursing staff taking care of Abbott in the ICU facilitated a family facetime around 10pm last night so they could say their final goodbyes.

Family members put out a final call to their many followers to pray for a miracle.

Abbott was admitted to the hospital on April 3, where he went straight into the ICU to be put on a ventilator. For the next five days he fought the low oxygen levels, an irregular heartbeat, and finally liver and kidney failure.

“We love you so much daddy!!! We will miss you forever! The corner piece of my life’s puzzle is now gone,” Bethany Abbott Riportella Yaplee’s posted on her facebook page.

Five members of the Abbott family have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Abbott’s older daughter, Stephany Parkey, a pastor’s wife in Memphis, Tennessee, flew to California on March 14 to sing at a funeral in Tulare. Parkey then fell sick in Tennessee seven days later on March 21 and was taken to the hospital where she tested positive for COVID – 19. The source of her infection was unknown.

Parkey self-quarantined at her home in TN and has since fully recovered.

While in Tulare she stayed with her parents Ron Abbott and Margie Abbott.  According Yaplee’s facebook page, her father started showing severe symptoms the weekend of March 21.

In her facebook post, Yaplee stated that before his diagnosis, Abbott had already lost 20lbs from a prior respiratory illness contracted on a family cruise in January.

Margie Abbott, his wife, was also suffering from symptoms of the virus while taking care of Abbott for 12 days as he struggled to recover at home. Abbot’s wife of 52 years is still in quarantine at the couple’s house and is recovering.

While Abbott remained the patriarch of the church, his son-in-law Mickey Grogan had taken over as Pastor of Abundant Life Church a few years ago.

Grogan was hospitalized April 2 because of low oxygen levels. He was discharged April 7 and is recovering at home with supplemental oxygen. Grogan’s wife and Abbott’s daughter, Tiffany Grogan, was diagnosed with the coronavirus but suffered few symptoms.

As recently as March 22, Abundant Life Church was conducting services on a live stream without the congregation in attendance but with a dozen members of the choir and musicians together on stage. Grogan had obvious symptoms of the virus during the live feed.

Because rumors have spread that the coronavirus is not real or is greatly over-blown, a theory shared by the religious right, a fellow Pentecostal pastor from Vacaville posted his condolences on Abbott’s facebook page adding, “Please no dumb & insensitive comments about this COVID-19 being a govt hoax/conspiracy. Support these families with prayer. Thank you.”

Bethany Abbott Riportella Yaplee wrote upon learning of her sister’s diagnosis “I am not an alarmist but the reality is more than i expected!!…. WAKE UP PEOPLE!! This is not a hoax, it’s not a joke!!”

She added, “I realized not just the importance to wash your hands but all the surfaces a virus can live on! Realizing the basics of how a virus spreads (if you need to understand this, watch Contagion.”)

Ron Abbott was also owner of Top Dog Kennel. Since his illness, Edwin, his employee, has taken over the sales part of the business along with tending to the kennels. As recently as April 2 Top Dog Kennel’s facebook page was advertising a litter of chocolate, yellow, and black Labrador puppies for sale.

Edwin stated that a litter of Labradoodles will be ready for sale in May and a litter of Doxies well be ready in June.

Edwin didn’t know if the business could survive without Abbott as the rest of the family had not taken an active role in running the kennel. He added that the kennel also had to reduce the number of dogs since the county imposed stricter regulations on commercial breeders.

28 thoughts on “Abundant Life Church Leader Succumbs to COVID – 19

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  1. Our heartfelt prayers and condolences for your family at this difficult time. With Love. Loyal & Brenda Brown

  2. My heart goes out all the dogs who lived a horrible life as caged breeding machines in this heartless man’s puppy mill. I hope they finally shut the place down and release the dogs to rescue organizations. Good riddance to his cruelty.

    • That was uncalled for you are totally out of line where is your compassion for his family if you dont have anything good to say then stay off here. Ron was a good man he worked hard to make sure the dogs were well taken care of I have been to his property several times and everything was clean dogs were healthy and happy have you been there well if not again shut the fuck up. Sorry everyone for my rant but I think Ron was a kind, caring man who did all he could till the end. God rest his sole…..

        • Yes I’m aware of the difference in spelling of SOUL and Sole but spell check has a mind of it’s own so please dont be so petty and nit pick at my post. If there was a edit I would have done that but was to late after I posted it. Have a good day and think about what this section Is for. If you can’t remember let me help you. It’s to pay our respects to a wonderful man and his family.

          • No. The Valley Voice has not provided this space for people to pay respects to “a wonderful man and his family.” You can do that on your own, if you choose. The Valley Voice provides this space for valid comment–even if you don’t agree with it or it’s not so time sensitive as to your approval.

  3. Tulare Church Of God extends our condolences, peace, and comfort from our congregation in your time of need. God-bless you all. We’re praying for you.

  4. Hard to reconcile a supposed man of God running puppy mill for years. He caused much suffering.

    • MarG, you are disgusting and insensitive. You have neither knowledge or humanity.

      To post something like this, just as your fellow traveler did, makes you look like a brainwashed sociopath. There is a time and place for your opinion, but this is NOT it.

  5. If I wasn’t on the other side of the country, I would hunt you down & throat punch you! You’re a heartless, thoughtless puke! Regardless of how you feel about his business, he has a family! They are grieving & do not need these kind of interjections on this page!

  6. We are praying for the Abbott family may the God of peace comfort you at this most difficult time. My boys still speak of the hospitality of the Abbott family when GB5 sang at the church. God Bless you.

  7. The puppies are rejoicing for all the PAIN and SUFFERING they have endured at the hands of Ron Abbott. RIP

  8. What is wrong with you people don’t you have anything else better to do than to come on here and Bash a man who has done a lot for his community and his family don’t you think that they deserve some respect if you have nothing good to say don’t come on here and disrespect his family. Just remember KARMA

    • I guess that those who disapprove of puppy mills would like some respect too. That said, whatever the case may be I don’t particularly like character bashing of a COVID-19 victim. We all live in glass houses. Try a little kindness toward those whose families are suffering. Who knows….. when it comes to KARMA.

  9. So Sorry for your loss…
    Praying for your family for Peace and Comfort and healing for you all in Jesus Name…God Bless y’all…

  10. Ron was a dear friend of mine in Christ. So sorry his family is going thru this terrible loss. He was a good man and walked with Christ every day. He will be missed by many.

    • I hate people who run a puppy mill and he definitely was one. I hope they shut the mill down and shelters are able to save the animals. Karma will always get you in time.

  11. Abbott Family:
    I was saddened to hear about Bishop Abbott. My heart and prayers go out to you in this sad moment. I have so many good memories of Senior Camp meeting when I was a teen. Bro Abbott was always so cool to us. Several years ago I saw him at Iron Mens Conference at the church there in Tulare and he recognized me right away after so many years. I am from Life Church San Diego, Pastor Schexnayder and Bishop Stevenson. I pray that God will keep us all! Bro James (Jim) Cron. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. He was not a good man, he swindled many of people out of money and lived in a mega mansion and he ran a puppy mill and treated the dogs horribly.

  13. Good riddance to this animal abuser- many animals without a voice suffered at his hands and now he doesnt have a voice of his own because it was God’s plan to remove him from this earth.

  14. Praying the remaining animals can be saved from that horrible nightmare. May they FINALLY get to know what a REAL home & feel loved & cared for.

  15. And after ALL they have been through and rescues trying and offering to AT LEAST take the mother dogs who have been tortured for years out of there. They sell them off or give them to those who bred for him – like the rest of his garbage.
    I guess at least its the end of the horrific treatment by him.

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