Pastor Harry Bennett Jr. was born in Takoma Park, Maryland in 1942 and is a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist. When he was three his parents took him and his 1-year-old sister to Africa where his parents were missionaries for 13 years.
Harry attended Adventist schools and graduated from Andrews University in Michigan in 1965. While a student at Southwestern Adventist Junior College in Texas, he met his future wife, Marilyn MacLafferty. She had recently returned with her parents from Hawaii, where they had been missionaries for 12 years. Harry and Marilyn were married in San Jose, California, in 1964.
They taught music at Georgia-Cumberland Academy when it opened in 1965 and were on the staff there for three years. In 1968 the General Conference sent them to Brazil, where they were music missionaries at two schools. While at Northeast Brazil College he helped train 250 theology students each year. Harry was ordained as a minister of the gospel in Brazil in 1980.
After the Bennetts returned to the United States in 1982, Harry taught music and Bible at San Diego Academy for 12 years. In 1993 he was invited to become an associate pastor at Paradise Valley Church in National City, where they have been members for the past 39 years. For the past 12 years he has been part-time chaplain at Paradise Village Retirement Community, which is next door to Paradise Valley Hospital.
Harry’s wife, Marilyn, recently retired from teaching piano but continues as an organist and pianist at Paradise Valley Church. The Bennetts have two children and five grandchildren in Oregon and Washington.