Broadcaster, author and pastor Richard A. Bennett was called home to his heavenly Father this week, but his teaching will continue touching lives around the world.
As he struggled with declining health for several months, Dr. Bennett wondered aloud if he would live to be 91½. His passing on Jan. 17, 2019, came exactly six months after his 91st birthday. He was being cared for by hospice in Lynden, Washington, where he and Dorothy, his wife and ministry co-worker, made their home.
“The encouragement and inspiration that I feel ...,” said Ralf Stores, director of U.S. Media Services for TWR. “I have rarely in my life seen two people with more passion for the Lord and for the world than Richard and Dorothy Bennett. Even though they were living on this earth, their hearts and minds were already in heaven.”
Dr. Bennett served the Lord for more than seven decades, five of them in partnership with TWR. Cross Currents International Ministries, founded by the husband-and-wife team from Britain, produced radio programs, books and other Bible-based materials in fulfillment of their lifelong calling to “preach the Word.”
Stores said TWR has content produced by the Bennett’s ministry in print, digital or broadcast form in 40 languages. The most widely distributed works were Dr. Bennett’s books Your Quest for God and Food for Faith. And he continued publishing almost to the end, Stores added: Between ages 88 and 90, he completed four books, including Biblical Reality and Forward in Faith.
Several Cross Currents programs are available on twr360.org.
Despite the illness and passing of one of its founders, Cross Currents is aggressively pursuing gospel outreach, Stores said. In fact, TWR is working with the ministry on eight to 10 international projects, among them new translations of popular five-minute radio program presented by Mrs. Bennett, Dorothy’s Daily Devotionals.
“During a time that I’m trying to comfort her during her loss and grief, she just begins breaking out in praise and prayer for me that as we continue the ministry, God will anoint me in my role,” Stores said. “One of the things that Dorothy is doing right now is she’s saying, ‘We need to take all this ministry, and all this content, and continue to spread it around the world.’”
TWR Tributes to the Bennetts
“Few people have the opportunity to reach millions for Jesus internationally, but Richard Bennett did it faithfully for 50 years by partnering with TWR. We are so grateful for his contribution to God’s kingdom work.”
Lauren Libby, TWR CEO
Ray Alary, president of TWR Canada, recounted the story of a Muslim cleric who refused to listen when his Christian wife tried to share her beliefs. But one day he spotted someone with a small book that sparked his interest, and his determination to have a copy spurred him to travel nearly 150 miles to the TWR partner office in Burundi. That book was Dr. Bennett’s Your Quest for God.
“He found Jesus,” Alary said. “It changed him so much that he … went to Bible school. Today, this man is a pastor and has become the producer of The Way of Righteousness, a radio program specifically designed to take [a listener] who is asking questions and bring him into a relationship with Jesus Christ. This man is a modern-day Paul.”
“I worked with Richard and Dorothy (mostly Dorothy) on several translations of his books mostly for the West Africa languages (and some for Kenya) while I lived and served in South Africa. It was a blessing to see the response these books received from African recipients. The Bennetts were very generous and eager to present their books and radio programs and to cover the cost of translation of their material. They were very meticulous about the translation’s accuracy, ensuring that it was especially true to Scripture.”
Flora Rittenhouse, veteran TWR missionary and author