Todd Bentley, Wife Separating

by | Aug 12, 2008 | Charisma Archive

The leader of the 'Lakeland Outpouring' is leaving Florida and will
reportedly receive counseling.

 
Todd Bentley, Wife Separating
[08.12.08] In a stunning revelation by his ministry today it was announced that
evangelist Todd Bentley, who has led nonstop revival meetings in Lakeland, Fla.,
since April 2, is separating from his wife, Shonnah, due to “significant
friction in their relationship.”
 
The board of directors at Bentley’s Fresh Fire Ministries released a
statement Tuesday afternoon that praised the “outpouring” in Lakeland led by
Bentley, but also acknowledged “an atmosphere of fatigue and stress” that more
than 100 daily meetings had created, which “exacerbated existing issues in
[Bentley’s marriage].” 
 
Though the “outpouring” came with the “blessing and the burden of
exponential increases,” the board of directors stressed in the letter that the
meetings were not to blame for the break up of Bentley’s marriage. They
expressed hope for restoration, but neither promised nor guaranteed it—instead
focusing on “growing the Global Outpourings” that have spread via the Internet
and GOD TV. “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
flown to Lakeland and has appeared on stage with her husband periodically. The
statement released by Fresh Fire Ministries on Tuesday emphasized the separation
was not due to infidelity by either spouse.
 
Stephen Strader, senior pastor at Ignited Church where Bentley’s revival
was first sparked, told Charisma the separation was for “a period of time
while they both continue to receive counseling.”
 
Lynn Breidenbach, who until yesterday was a spokesperson on Bentley’s
staff, told Charisma on Monday that she had no knowledge of any impending
separation between Bentley and his wife and that rumors of such a separation
received by Charisma were apparently false. However, according to the
Lakeland Ledger, Bentley called a staff meeting later on Monday and
acknowledged his plans to separate from his wife.
 
Bentley did not respond to Charisma’s request for comment. At press time, members of the Revival Alliance, a group made up of prominent
charismatic ministers who ordained Bentley as an evangelist in the Lakeland
meetings in June, had not yet commented.
 
According to Strader, Bentley turned over the spiritual authority of the
meetings to him last Wednesday—more than two weeks earlier than the August 23
date announced earlier this month. Strader said Bentley’s official departure
will occur during this Wednesday night’s meeting in Lakeland, when Bentley is
scheduled to thank the crowd, while also “commissioning his interns” to continue
the revival. —Paul Steven Ghiringhelli

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