By James Shanklin –
The Faithful Covenant Baptist Church is located in the city of Colton with a ministry that just started in March. As the church begins to grow, and the number of members becomes larger, Pastor Cleo Bennett watches as the church he started begins to expand with love and trust in the Lord.
Originally from Arkansas, yet raised in California, Pastor Bennett, now at the age of 46, began his career in preaching on Thanksgiving of 1999. He was inspired by other members of his family who preached, and realized that Christ had been calling him to conduct sermons of his own and speak the word that people needed to hear in order to move their lives forward.
After spending years at a church in San Bernardino, Pastor Bennett decided to move on to a church where he could have more of an impact on his community.
“This is a church where we want to go out into the community and we want to try and fulfill the needs of the community from a spiritual standpoint,” said Bennett.
The Faithful Covenant is doing all it can as it is still in its beginning stages, but it is already on track to creating a daycare and after school programs for the youth. The church is also interested in making sure the young people come to hear the word as around 65% of the church is from ages 10 to 30.
“There are a lot of young kids dying in the streets because nobody has made an effort to impact their lives.
And that’s the thing we are trying to do, we want to reach people,” Bennett said.
The church gives kids a chance to worship God in their own way, with instruments, singing and rapping, just as long as they understand the difference between performing and praising.
As society today has been uplifted and brought together by the idea that it is time for change, Pastor Bennett has been touching on the topic for years in his sermons, where his major theme is the Power of Change, and that Christ can change your circumstances and he can change you as long as your heart is open.
“I preach to empower people, because many of us struggle through life because we do not realize that God has empowered us to be able to live beyond our circumstances,” said Bennett.
Pastor Cleo Bennett saw the power of change firsthand, after going through the loss of his father, Bennett himself became a cancer victim and went through chemo therapy, he has gone through surgeries and has had half his liver removed, all this just in the last year.
But now after the struggles, Pastor Bennett is still preaching, working out and can still get in a game of full court basketball from time to time.
He knows the power of God and takes with pride the job he has been called to do.
The Faithful Covenant Baptist Church is open to all races, and nationalities, and to people from all backgrounds.
Pastor Bennett, with the love of his wife and 3 sons, continues and will continue to speak the word and keep the doors of his church open for those who are willing to listen.
“It’s a ministry of freedom, and love, and it’s non-traditional, we don’t have all the Baptist rules,” Bennett said, “We want people to come as they are.”