Todd Bentley Separation Shocks Followers & Apostolic Overseers
By Paul Steven Ghiringhelli
“Pastors within the apostolic movement, who commissioned Bentley as an evangelist in June, express shock over the breakup of revivalist’s mariage.
[08.13.08] Leaders of the apostolic movement are scrambling for answers after learning that revival leader Todd Bentley is separating from his wife.
California pastor Bill Johnson, who with pastors John Arnott and Ch ƒ © Ahn represents Bentley’s apostolic “covering” under a group called the Revival Alliance, said he was shocked by Bentley’s announcement. “This is an obvious tragedy, both for Todd and Shonnah and the move of God in Lakeland,” Johnson said.
“They had problems a couple of years ago, and I got involved at that time to lend support and give counsel to Todd and his staff. In talking with Todd I was led to believe those issues were now in order. Obviously they weren’t.”
During an impromptu meeting Monday, Bentley told the staff of his Fresh Fire Ministries that he and his wife, Shonnah, were separating. In a statement released Tuesday, the Fresh Fire board of directors said “an atmosphere of fatigue and stress” created by the daily meetings Bentley led until recently, “exacerbated existing issues in [his marriage].”
Bentley did not respond to Charisma’s request for comment.
Fresh Fire’s board members stated that the meetings were not to blame for the breakup of Bentley’s marriage, that the separation was not due to infidelity by either spouse and that they hoped the marriage would be restored. “We know that many of you will have questions, for most of which we presently have no answers,” the board members stated.
Bentley has spent most of the last four months away from his home in Abbottsford, B.C., where his wife and three children reside. Shonnah Bentley has appeared on the platform with her husband in Lakeland periodically.
The news did not come as a total surprise to the top three members of the Revival Alliance, an apostolic group that Bentley submitted himself to during a commissioning ceremony on June 23 in Lakeland. “We are all of one heart in that we want to see their marriage restored, and just as important, see their hearts get healed from these points of weakness that have been there for years,” Johnson said.
At press time, Johnson said he had still not been able to make contact with Bentley.
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