After I returned to the Lord in 2014 following my very long prodigal “season,” I once again sought out evangelical ministries that specialized in Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics. I had been a Roman Catholic for 27 years, from 1956 until 1983, when, praise God, He saved me by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone! Gospel outreach ministries to Roman Catholics are obviously very dear to my heart, but these days, with the rising tide of ecumenical compromise and betrayal, such ministries face opposition not only from Catholic quarters, but also from evangelical ecumenical Judases.
One of the outreach ministries I came across after my return to the Lord was Berean Beacon founded by Richard Bennett. I recently learned that Richard was called to Heaven by the Lord this past September 23rd. Many Gospel Christians who were saved out of Roman Catholicism will miss Richard dearly.
Richard was born in Ireland in 1938. In 1956, at the age of 18, he entered the Catholic seminary with the goal of becoming a Dominican Catholic priest. In 1963, at the age of 25, he was ordained a priest. The following year, he was sent to the Caribbean island of Trinidad as a missionary priest. By 1972, he had become deeply involved with the growing Catholic Charismatic Movement and was often invited by Pentecostal congregations to speak as a gesture of faux ecumenical unity. Richard was involved in a serious car crash in the same year and during his convalescence he began seriously reading the Bible for the first time. After his recovery, Richard continued planting Catholic churches on the island, but he was increasingly troubled by the differences between Scripture and Catholic doctrine. He was so distressed by the discrepancies between God’s Word and Catholicism that he became physically ill. Richard reached the point where he knew he could no longer be a part of the Roman church. In 1985, he quit the priesthood and left Trinidad for Canada and the United States. A Christian couple in Washington State led him to the Lord and Richard repented of his sin and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone. Praise God! He subsequently married his wife, Lynn, and the couple served as missionaries in Asia. The Bennetts returned to the U.S. and the Lord put it in Richard’s heart to start Berean Beacon ministry in 1990 as an outreach to Roman Catholics.
I thank the Lord for Richard’s faithful, twenty-nine-year outreach to Catholics with the Gospel of grace. It was clear from photos and videos of recent years that Richard was not in the best of health and yet he sacrificed and continued forward out of love for the lost souls of Catholicism. What would Gospel-compromising, evangelical Judas pastors and para-church leaders who embrace Catholicism as a Christian entity, men like Rick Warren, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, and Stephen Nichols, say about an ex-Catholic priest who devoted the last twenty-nine-years of his life to trying to lead Catholics to Christ and also warn believers of ecumenism with Rome?
Below are links to Berean Beacon and to my reviews of Richard’s four books:
Far From Rome, Near to God: Testimonies of Fifty Converted Catholic Priests
The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories of God’s Amazing Grace
Catholicism: East of Eden: Insights into Catholicism for the 21st Century
On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics