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Phyllis Bennett dies at 90

NASHVILLE (BP) — Phyllis Jean Metz Bennett, 90, died Sept. 6 in Winter Garden, Fla. She was the wife of the late Harold Bennett, president-treasurer of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee from 1979-92.

“Phyllis strongly supported her husband’s work, both in churches and in the denomination,” according to information posted by a Nashville-area funeral home. “For 13 years Phyllis hosted and planned programs for the wives of the 78-member Executive Committee.”

Daughter Cynthia Bennett Howard lauded her mother during a 1992 retirement dinner for her parents. “I have seen you love and support Dad in all of his endeavors,” Howard, then a missionary in Swaziland in southern Africa, said via video. “You have always made our house a special home.”

“Phyllis was a lovely and refined woman who was devoted to serving Christ faithfully, often at the side of her husband Harold,” said Morris H. Chapman, Harold Bennett’s successor as Executive Committee president.

Phyllis Bennett “especially enjoyed hosting the wives of Executive Committee members when they came to their meetings. She made them feel right at home while, among other things, acquainting them with the work of the Executive Committee,” Chapman said.

“She and Harold loved the Southern Baptist Convention and gave many years of their lives to serving Southern Baptists.”

Before moving to Nashville, the Bennetts had lived in Jacksonville, Fla., where he had served as executive secretary-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention since 1967. They also had lived in Dallas when he worked for Baptist General Convention of Texas’ missions division and in Atlanta when he worked in metropolitan missions for the then-Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board).

The Bennetts also helped start two churches — the former Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville and Deermeadows Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

Phyllis Bennett, a native of Chicago, was a graduate of MacMurray College for Women in Jacksonville, Ill., and had been a schoolteacher in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and Florida until 1979 when the family moved to the Nashville area.

For the past several years, Phyllis Bennett had lived at The Heritage in Brentwood, Tenn., and earlier this year moved to Winter Garden, Fla., to live near her daughter.

Her funeral was Monday, Sept. 14, at First Baptist Church in Nashville, with burial at Woodlawn Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 108 7th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37203.

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