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Valley Harvest Ministries: Direction for Life; Profile of a Spiritual Shepherd: John L Benford; By: Will G. Louden™


Summer 2007 Edition

Published: September 27th, 2007

Valley Harvest Ministries: Direction for Life;

Profile of a Spiritual Shepherd: John L Benford

Published: Published: September 27th, 2007

Will G. Louden™™


              Divine Devotion and a spirit filled vision is what drive the inner workings and dealings of Northwest Arkansas Bishop John L Benford. Benford who is a native of Muncie, Indiana, about 60 miles north of Indianapolis, is the founder and senior pastor of Valley Harvest Ministries located in Bentonville, Arkansas. The energetic and forward-thinking pastor presents a steady and easy to comprehend message and approach towards religion, spirituality, and Bible study which is largely unseen in many of the “old school,” in-your-face deliveries of most past-day and some modern-day clergymen.

              After watching a few of Bishop Bedford’s television ministry broadcasts titled: “Direction for Life,” attending one of his new Fayetteville, Sunday morning worship services (9:30 a.m.), at the Clarion Inn (located on Martin Luther King Avenue – 6th Street), and subsequently visiting with the pastor on several occasions, one-on-one,

Valley Harvest Ministries: Direction for Life.

Bishop John L and Pleshette Benford

Picture Courtesy Valley Harvest Ministries

I think that its safe to say that Bishop Benford offers a fresh and appealing approach to spirituality. I found peace and spiritual fulfillment in the messages delivered by the Bishop.

              Benford, who was born in January of 1961 is the eldest of four children (1 brother and three sisters), he

Valley Harvest Ministries: Direction for Life.

Bishop John L Benford, Founder Valley Harvest Ministries

Picture © 2007, VGIS, Inc. & Will G. Louden

is also the father of five children of his own (4 girls and one boy) ranging in age from 28 to 3 years. First lady (wife) Pleshette and Benford arrived in Northwest Arkansas by way of Las Angeles (LA) about 14 years ago. According to an article published online Monday, November 7th, 2005 by the Benton County Daily Record (Rogers edition), titled: “Churches Expanding Despite Real Estate Costs,” by Rachel Lianna Davis, Benford’s first stop was at the First Christian Church of Gravette, where he spent four years getting seasoned before leaping into founding Valley Harvest Ministries in Rogers at the Embassy Suites Hotel. According to the article Benford’s church is an, “multicultural haven in Northwest Arkansas,” and I might add a refreshing beacon among its peers.

              The Bishop earned his wings earnestly by overseeing the Arkansas region
for the Convention of Covenanted Churches, which is based out of Los Angeles. During our interview he shared with me how he left Indiana at the age of 20 for Los Angeles, where he expected to pursue a career in engineering, but ultimately wound up in television and movies, which just about brings him full circle today as one of the areas top television evangelists. He spent 14 years out in LA before heading to Gravette for his next spiritual assignment.

Benford stated that not only did the call of God best prepare him for the role as Bishop, but that his life experiences and ...