Anthony L. Bennett is a Pastor, Preacher, Teacher and Organizer. He is a native of Los Angeles, California and the youngest child of three to Ruby L. Bennett and the late Dennis Bennett. He is married to Donna M. Thompson-Bennett, J.D. They are parents to the late Brittany L. Tucker and Ahmad L. Bennett and grandparents to Nylah M. Tucker. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Upon graduating from Morehouse College (’88), he entered The Union Theological Seminary and received a Master of Divinity degree (’91). While in seminary he joined the staff of the Saint Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York under the pastoral leadership of the Reverend Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood. There he served as the Associate Pastor from 1991-1993, then Assistant Pastor from 1993-1994. He also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from The United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio (2001).
Following his tenure at St. Paul Community Baptist Church, he was called to serve Mount Aery Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut as its fifth pastor. Believing in the practical power of prayer, the church’s subsequent theme became, ‘A Praying People, With a Powerful Witness, of the Perfect God.’ As Mount Aery had a historical commitment to extend itself to the Bridgeport community, Pastor Bennett created new ministries that would continue the church’s legacy of outreach and evangelism. These included: the Leadership Institute, a ministry designed to develop the church’s lay leadership; People Learning Under God (P.L.U.G.), a ministry designed for teens to explore both their spiritual and ancestral history; Restoring Everlasting Faith Under God’s Embrace (R.E.F.U.G.E.), a ministry for those recovering from dependencies and co-dependencies. Pastor also serves as Chair of the Mount Aery Development Corporation.
Whereas Pastor Bennett’s holistic vision of health and healing extends beyond the borders of Mount Aery, he is very active in the greater Bridgeport community. In 2006, he led Mount Aery to partner with Optimus Healthcare to form the Hollow Community primary healthcare center. This was the first of its kind in the state of Connecticut. He serves as Co-Chair of Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT), a Fairfield and New Haven county multi-issue broad based organization that is an affiliate of the national body of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF); Past President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Bridgeport and Vicinity (IMA), a collective of fifty-five pastors and churches; past board member of the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County, Past Chair of Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC), a collective of seventy-five community and social service providing agencies.
Pastor Bennett has ministered and served in pulpits and universities throughout the state of Connecticut as well as around the country including Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools and Fairfield University. He also served as guest chaplain for the United States Congress House of Representatives in 2009. In March of 2014, he was a part of a national twelve-member clergy and lay leader delegation to travel on behalf of Metro IAF to Germany and Austria to meet with representatives from gun manufacturers under the strategy, We Will Not Stand Idly By. The goal was to meet with gun manufacturers in order to leverage a portion of this nation’s gun buying power to achieve responsible gun manufacturing distribution as well as to explore smart gun technology. Continuing in this effort, he traveled to the UK in April 2016.
His passion to see people and communities healed has led to the MAAFA Influence: Evoking the Pain of the Past, Building a Strong and Powerful Future, a psychodrama production that tells the story of the African Diaspora and its effects, which has been traditionally known as the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. This production has included more than 250 cast and crew members, mostly from the congregation. To date, more than 10,000 persons have witnessed this life changing production.