Our founder Bishop Bennie Roberts Benbow, was born January 14, 1917 to Elder and Mother E.C. Benbow in St. Louis MO. He was the third of twelve children and the grandson of the late Mother Bennie Benbow Roberts. She labored with her pastor, the late Bishop C.H. Mason in his early ministry. To her credit, she built the first pulpit for our founder, Bishop C.H. Mason. Bishop B.R. Benbow was a true pioneer for the Lord and the son of pioneers in this grand old Church of God in Christ.
In his early years, Bishop attended public school in st. Louis and accepted the Lord at an early age. He later entered the military and received his basic training at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, Illinois. His advance training was taken at the U.S. Naval School of Navigation at the Hampton Institute in Hampton Virginia. He was later stationed at Pearl Harbor. After being honorably discharged, he began to pursue his work as a National Evangelist having received his Ministerial License in 1943 from the late Bishop D. Bostic of St. Louis Missouri.
Bishop continued to evangelize and later moved to Los Angeles, California where he labored with such great leaders as the late Bishop E.B. Stewart, Bishop L.C. Page and Bishop S.M. Crouch. While laboring with the late Bishop E.B. Stewart, he received appointments as Youth Pastor, Sunday School Superintendent and Evangelism leader. While laboring with the late Bishop L.C. Page, he served as his Assistant Pastor. Bishop S.M. Crouch at that time was National President of the Home and Foreign Mission and Jurisdictional Bishop of Southern California 1st Jurisdiction and he appointed the young Elder Benbow as Superintendent of the Santa Monica District. Bishop Benbow was also asked to organize what is presently known as the Santa Barbara Region.
In 1952, Bishop Benbow pastored the Philadelphia Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles CA, during which time he attended Life Bible College. He also received diplomas from Glendale Bible College and in Advanced Studies in Prophecies - Daniel and Revelations. Being led by the spirit of God to "go west", Bishop Benbow and his wife Rachel L. Benbow, heeded the call in 1959 and organized the New Light Church of God in Christ at 2905 Main Street, Santa Monica CA. Bishop C.H. Mason preached his last message at the New Light Church of God in Christ. In 1962, still reaching out for others, the congregation relocated and purchased the property at 3102 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica CA and 2 years later, the congregation burned the mortgage. In 1975, a remodeling program to the main sanctuary was initiated and completed and the property value was estimated at over 2 million dollars.