Pastor Dr. Benny Charles Hand Sr.

Published 6:12 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

March 22, 1941 – April 11, 2016

In 1941, Leonard and Ola Hand had a baby boy and named him Benny Charles. His parents and sister, Bobbie Jean, welcomed him with joy. Soon after, Leonard served his country in WWII while Benny grew very close to his mother. After the war they moved several times, as the family served in several churches.

In 1958, Benny’s family was living in Dadeville, Alabama, where a young lady named Nelda Lee Knight visited their church. They were married on May 29, 1960, and Benny made the news for working full-time so his wife could finish college before him. Eventually, they both graduated from Auburn University with a baby of their own, Benny Charles, Jr. They worked as school teachers and became parents again, to their daughter, Starlyn Bene’.

In 1975, it was time for another change as Benny answered the Lord’s call to missions. Their education degrees helped open the door into Nicaragua where they taught in a school owned by the Standard Fruit Company before leaving secular employment for good. He preached the Gospel in Nicaragua and Guatemala and many of the people who heard him are serving the Lord there today. The adventures of this time were legendary, a machine gun in his back, rescuing a kidnapped American, driving mountain roads, and more. He picked up the nickname “Benny Mano.” The family endured hardships and wars but they made it out with

a third Hand child, Benelda Shea. He ministered in Mexico and South Texas during this time as well, building up many believers and helping to establish a thriving church.

In 1985, Benny Mano became Pastor Hand as he brought his family back home and, with the help of dedicated friends, started Believers Church. Many people came to know the Lord and grow in their faith through his ministry. His wisdom and faithfulness caused many other pastors and missionaries to seek him out as their pastor and teacher, or Apostle. Many people were led and taught in the Word of God and became ministers, serving in the church as deacons, elders, prophets and more. He continued his own education in this time, earning his Doctorate of Theology, becoming Dr. Hand and President of Monteagle Institute of Theology. He had a vision to help parents educate their children in a Godly way, and the church opened a school and a homeschool ministry that became known as Ballard Christian School.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Pastor Hand’s children married and had children of their own, which brought about another name change, when his first grandchild, Elisabeth, started calling him “Dandy.”

As time moved on, Nelda became ill with Parkinson’s disease and Benny’s character became more evident than ever before. He dedicated his life to caring for her and spent every waking moment caring for her with great love and tenderness. It was clear to anyone who knew them that he was truly the example of a loving husband.

In 2016, Benny Charles Hand, Sr.’s, physical heart failed and he went home to be with the Lord he loved so intently with his true heart, which will never fail. In his home going, he precedes his wife, Nelda Lee Knight Hand, of 56 years who together showed their children, friends, and family an example of a perfect marriage in their undying love, respect, and devotion to one another; son Benny Charles Hand, Jr., with his wife Elizabeth and their children Elisabeth, Abigail, Aliya, Taylor, Benjamin, Noah, Rosie, Zoe, Jack, and Rachel; daughter Starlyn Bene’ Weems with her husband Hassel and their daughter, Anna Grace; and daughter, Benelda Shea Hand with her son D’Andre; his sister, Bobbie Jean Bradley and her husband Whit. He was preceded by Leonard Eugene Hand in 1971 and Ola Pearl Hand Albea in 2000.

Benny’s strength, love, and faith inspire us all today to serve the Lord, stand for what is right, and care for each other in Christian love.

Funeral service will be held at Believers Church at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 14, 2016, with visitation on Wednesday, April 13, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Believers Church. Burial will follow at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church Cemetery in Clanton, Alabama. Burial will be 4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 14, at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, Clanton, Alabama. Pastor Dan Lane is officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ballard Christian School at Believers Church, 1415 Moores Mill Road, Auburn, AL 36830.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home is directing (www.jeffcoattrant).