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Harold C. Bennett, former Southern Baptist leader, dead at 78

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by bb_baptist, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist New Member

    Jun 22, 2000
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    Harold C. Bennett, who led the Southern Baptist Convention during the era when conservatives seized control from moderates, died at his home of pancreatic cancer. He was 78.

    Mr. Bennett, who died Sunday, was president-treasurer of the Nashville-based SBC from 1979 to 1992.

    During Mr. Bennett's tenure, the SBC grew from 13.2 million to 15.2 million members, and its budget increased 87 percent, reported the Baptist Press.

    Born in Asheville, N.C., Mr. Bennett graduated from Wake Forest University before earning a master of divinity degree from Southern Theological Seminary.

    He served as a Navy pilot during World War II, was pastor of churches in Kentucky, Arkansas and Louisiana, and was the chaplain of a reformatory and women's prison in Kentucky in the 1950s.

    "He was so interested in spreading the gospel around the world, and after he retired he was vice chairman of the American Bible Society where they printed Bibles and sent those around the world," said his wife, Phyllis Bennett.

    The funeral is scheduled for today at First Baptist Church Downtown in Nashville.