Faith Matters: Showing God’s love a part of job for Benson II

Expressing his faith and love for God is practically a full-time job for Lloyd Benson II — even while on the job.

Life in ministry and sharing his faith is nothing new to Benson, 31, who has served with his father, the Rev. Lloyd Benson Sr., international prelate of the World Link of Churches and Ministries and pastor of Cathedral World Worship Center in Baton Rouge. The younger Benson is also founder of the David Paul Learning and Enrichment Center in Baton Rouge.

But the younger Benson said it is his position as patient experience manager at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center that allows him to express his spirituality in the secular workplace.

“This is my first opportunity to actually work in healthcare, but I knew there was a need in healthcare for those that really have a passion to serve people, that have a desire to see people healed. … Being able to touch about 80 to 100 patients a day that I see and just share the love of God and just encouraging them in their time of need has been the ultimate test and challenge to kind of intertwine the two and be comfortable with my spirituality,” said Benson, who has been in the post for a year.

Benson said he leads a support staff that provides environmental services for infection prevention.

“I’m oftentimes praying with our patients, even out of their concerns for their environment but praying with them that they will be healed, that something miraculous would take place in their bodies,” he said. “This environment is enriched for miracles, and I feel it everyday when I come. It’s a blessing to be strong in the faith while I’m at work. I don’t have to suppress it and hide it.”

Benson said he’s not a chaplain, but it does take a team effort.

“To me, anybody can pray with someone. You don’t have to have that title,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s a God case. And we have to have all hands on deck.”

Benson said God can lay healing hands and perform miracles, especially as it pertains to healthcare, as he did in the Bible.

“I still believe he’s the chief physician. I believe miracles are still taking place. God doesn’t change. … I believe whenever God is the center of all activities, miracles can happen,” said Benson, who has an undergraduate degree in business management, a master’s in marketing and is an adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix.

Saved at an early age, Benson said he experienced a personal revival in 2006. It came after he watched news reports stressing that most violent crimes were committed by black males. He said God laid it upon his heart to do something.

“For the first time, I could audibly hear God giving me assurance that, ‘I need you to do this because you have a voice. There’s so many voices your father was going to be able to reach. Through your hands, you’re going to reach some yourself for the Joshua generation, for the generation to come.’”

After that, Benson said he went to “survey the land” and found the former Presbytery of South Louisiana Office at 928 Rodin Drive in the Melrose East community. He took a loan out against his recently purchased first home to start the David Paul Learning and Enrichment Center Inc., a haven that incorporates after-school tutoring and strategic problem-solving skills for low-income families. The center also holds a free summer camp.

“It was some hardship, but through it all we’ve seen countless young people whose lives have been changed,” he said. “There’s been so many success stories, and it’s just been humbling. I would have never thought we would see this kind of fruit from a humbling beginning.”

Interestingly enough, Benson said he’s been able to intertwine his work at the center with this work at the hospital, getting an opportunity to minister to parents to many of the students he helped minister to over the years at the center.

To donate to the center, call (225) 291-2400.

Equipping pastors

The Pastors Equipping Pastors Expository Preaching Conference is returning Feb. 5-8 to the Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.

The theme this year is “Grasping His Will.”

The conference is headed by Mount Zion pastor, the Rev. Rene Brown, and sponsored by the Fourth District Baptist Association.

The first day starts with evening worship service at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at the church, 356 East Blvd. The Rev. Arthur Jackson, of Miami, will be the speaker.

Feb. 6 starts with registration and breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by conference workshops at 10:30 a.m. The evening will be led by the Rev. R.A. Williams, of Los Angeles.

On Feb. 7, registration and breakfast is 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by conference workshops at 10:30 a.m. and the 7 p.m. evening service by the Rev. Frank Ray, of Memphis, Tenn.

Other conference facilitators will include the Rev. Jesse Bilberry, Fourth District president of pastor Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church of Baton Rouge; and the Rev. K. Edward Copeland, of Rockford, Ill.

The conference concludes Feb. 8 with breakfast at 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by the workshops from 10:30 am. to noon.

Last year, more than 130 pastors and ministers from Louisiana and southern Mississippi participated in the conference, organizers said.

For more information, call (225) 387-5247 or go to mtzionfirstbaptist.com.

Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Terry Robinson can be reached at (225) 388-0238 or email trobinson@theadvocate.com