Pastor Ray Bentley, founding and senior pastor of Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, CA passed away on January 4th. The church released this statement:
Dear Church Family,
With grieving hearts, we need to let you know that our dear Pastor Ray went home to be with the Lord this afternoon due to complications of COVID. We are all in shock and heartbroken. We find comfort in knowing that he is rejoicing in heaven with his beloved Jesus. Certainly, he was welcomed with those beautiful words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Please pray for Vicki and their family and for our church. More information will follow, but for now we needed to let you know and ask for prayer.
May God Bless Us All.
Pastor Bentley founded Maranatha Chapel in August 1984 when he began teaching a small Bible study in a recreation center with 30 people. Now, Maranatha serves 7,000 people weekly through its various ministries. He reached thousands more on his daily radio show Maranatha Radio “as he takes the whole Gospel to the whole world.” Many of his messages and devotionals can be seen on his website.
Many considered Bentley an expert on Biblical prophecy. He wrote The Holy Land Key: Unlocking End Times Prophecy Through the Lives of God’s People in Israel. He also just completed a trilogy called The Elijah Chronicles along with Brock and Bodie Thoene. These geo-political thrillers centered around Jerusalem and brought end times prophecy to life. He discussed that trilogy with CBN News last year in [an] interview.
Bentley also founded The Nehemiah Fund, “an outreach ministry of Ray Bentley Ministries that supports and endorses a group of non-profit organizations dedicated to helping and blessing Israel and her neighbors.” The ministry is based on the scripture in Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
In Bentley’s infectious way, he encouraged his church, listeners and readers to “step into the story” and be a part of God’s end time plans.
Best-selling author Joel Rosenberg worked with Pastor Bentley on many projects and mourned his passing on Twitter:
Joel C. Rosenberg on Twitter: “I cherish so many fond memories of @RayBentley — preaching at his congregation, traveling through Israel together, hosting Epicenter Conferences with him and @AGLotz and others, training pastors in Iraq together and so much more. So grateful he’s in heaven. But I will miss him.
Evangelist and Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest.org tweeted his condolences:
Greg Laurie on Twitter: “So sad to hear that my friend, @RayBentley died. Ray was a fathfuful Pastor,husband, father and Grandfather. Death does not have the final word, Christ does! Ray is alive and well in Heaven! He will be deeply missed.
Bentley married his wife Vicki 40 years ago who served in the ministry with him. They have two grown children along with their spouses Daniel and Jill Bentley and Shawn and Annie Stone along with six grandchildren.