Jim Bennett, member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aiken, South Carolina, and former Bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod, died on Saturday, January 21. Jim had recently moved to Trinity on Laurens. He was a graduate of Thiel College; Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky. He served Faith Lutheran Church, Lexington, Kentucky; Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Export, Pennsylvania; as Deployed Staff, Division for Mission (LCA); an Assistant to Bishop, Indiana, Kentucky Synod; Berkley Hills Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taught liturgies at the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, and served at St. Martin Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas.
Jim was elected to a six-year term as Bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod of the ELCA in 1994 and retired August 31, 2000 at the age of 64. He and his wife Char moved to Aiken and joined St. Paul on August 12, 2007. Jim & Char met at Thiel college and were married August 17, 1957. Char died shortly after their 60th wedding anniversary on July 2, 2019 at the age of 84. She is interred in the St. Paul Columbarium and is among the great cloud of witnesses who surround us.
Jim will join Char in the St. Paul Columbarium & a service celebrating Jim’s life in Christ will be held at a later date. As those arrangements are made we will let you know. Please keep Jim’s children Chris, Michele, and Cynthia in your prayers.
Bishop Sue Briner