M. Wayne Benson became
president of Central Bible College in June 2002. He had served 25
years as senior pastor of First Assembly of God in Grand Rapids,
Mich., during which the congregation grew from 250 to more than
5,000 constituents. Following this, Wayne and his wife, Kathy, launched
Paraclete Ministries, which is now under CBCs Center for Lifelong
Learning. Benson recently met with Ken Horn, managing editor of
Todays Pentecostal Evangel.
EVANGEL: What path
brought you to the presidency of Central Bible College?
Pastoring Grand Rapids First Assembly was a delight. Kathy and I
were blessed to minister through wonderful periods of growth, probably
most notably a four-year period of revival in which many thousands
of people were touched for the kingdom. I think God was preparing
me by cultivating a natural, God-given instinct towards shaping
lives. In my 25 years of ministry there, we were privileged to see
357 people (including MKs and PKs) from First Assembly go into the
fields of harvest. Today they are all over the world serving as
missionaries, youth pastors, ministers of music and in various other
When we left Grand Rapids
First, we began Paraclete Ministries descriptive of the Holy
Spirit, One who comes alongside to help and for one year
we were in 13 nations and 15 states coming alongside ministers and
missionaries. We were "helping the brethren." Then I received
a telephone call from the chairman of the CBC board. He informed
me that I was being considered for the presidency at CBC. The Holy
Spirit began awakening me to pray, and I knew that the Lord was
talking to me about CBC. So, "helping the brethren" has
come of age and the vision has found a new address at Central Bible
EVANGEL: Are there
other areas of your background you see benefiting your new role?
BENSON: For years
Ive enjoyed the privilege of speaking to ministers at councils
and conferences. I love empowering leaders to do the work of the
Lord. I also love influencing young people for the Kingdom. I just
enjoy hanging around kids who have a passion for God. They are exciting
EVANGEL: What is God
doing at CBC?
BENSON: That is
one of the most exciting questions you could ask. From the day I
was elected I began to pray for a campus-wide spiritual renewal.
We have made a commitment on this campus that when the Holy Spirit
knocks on this door, we are going to answer. Thats what makes
our chapels so powerful. We find the altars filled almost every
chapel service with students who are hungry and passionate for God.
EVANGEL: Who can benefit
from studying at CBC?
called to vocational ministry is a candidate for CBC. Those who
want to be pastors, associate pastors, youth pastors, childrens
pastors and missionaries are the obvious candidates for CBC. But
there are also those who just know God has touched their heart.
Their call hasnt been fully defined yet but they know they
want to extend themselves in Bible and theological education.
your vision for supporting CBC graduates in ministry.
BENSON: My vision
is that CBC become an international resource center for the ongoing
development of ministers. I would love to see the day when every
graduate has access to a mentor. The practicum side of our Center
for Lifelong Learning provides on-field, on-site training and mentoring.
Recently we trained 22 mentors from CBC who are already assisting
pastors on the field. Also, our on-line courses bring CBC to anyone
BENSON: The vision
and mission of the church is to see people saved all nations,
all people. We at CBC have the responsibility for carrying out the
mandates of the Great Commission. That is what CBC is all about.