The Rev. Victor Alan Bentley was born August 26, 1952 and was sent home on August 24, 2004. In between those dates the most important event of his life occurred when he was born again and became an integral member of First Apostolic in Toledo, Ohio under the pastoral authority of Brother Kinzie. I’m sure that at a young age he began to truly understand what it meant to be a father as he experienced the agape love that can only be found at the feet of our heavenly father.
Today as we celebrate Fathers all over the world, we can’t help but think of the fathers that are absent from the lives of their children by choice. The fathers who are only known by a monthly check of child support that may or may not be present in the mailboxes of their children’s homes. I stand grateful today that while my father Victor Bentley was taken away from me when I was only 24 before he could meet his grandchildren, I was able to experience Victor Bentley as a Godly example, intellectual giant, spiritual mentor, wise counselor, and most of all wide lap to sit on.
The unique and interesting thing that few people realize is that I found out I was expecting my first child, Reese, on the day of my father’s funeral. This bittersweet news solidified to me that the love of my heavenly father endures. The passing of the baton of life occurred and the memory of Victor Bentley lives on in the sense of humor, strong will, and obvious mental prowess of my children, especially Reese.
Many of you were impacted and touched by the anointed ministry, down to earth nature, and love for people that my father showed while a saint at First Apostolic, staff member at several Ohio District Churches, evangelist, and then long distance friend and Ohio district pastor. When I think about what it means to be a father, I can’t help but think of the financial provider, close friend, prayer partner, pastor, and mentor that my father Victor Bentley was to me.
It was on Father’s Day 2004 that I sat in my parent’s living room for the last time to see my father sitting in his chair with a pile of books by his side. It was on this day that he began his decent into the coma that ultimately claimed his life. Little did I know that this was the last Fathers Day for me to share with him a card of love, adoration, appreciation, and encouragement. I didn’t know that was the last Fathers Day that I would buy him a gift.
Life is short and precious. Please let your father know daily how much that he means to you and take time out of the business of life to appreciate the sacrifices that he has made for you.
Victor A. Bentley was the embodiment of what it means to hold both the title of Father and Friend.
I am looking forward to sitting on a couch in the living room of heaven one day to discuss the questions of life, ponder the length of eternity, and to worship God with him for all of time.
Romans Chapter 8
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.