Colette M. Jenkins

The Rev. Bennie A. Mosley III is praying for a miracle that will allow him to return to his pulpit at the Christian Teaching Center Church.

And he knows that if God answers his prayer for healing, he will go back a different man.

“My faith has been tested, and I will never be the same,” said Mosley, 51. “Going through this ‘Job moment,’ has taught me that there was a level of maturity that was lacking in me.”

Mosley’s tribulation began in early August, when he found himself without any energy or strength and barely able to stand. A trip to the emergency room revealed an extremely low hemoglobin count. After being admitted into the intensive care unit of a Cleveland hospital, a series of medical problems ensued, including an infection and complications from prolonged hyperglycemia that threatened every organ in his body.

“He was in a lot of pain and he was so weak. He couldn’t walk,” said the Rev. Angela Mosley, his wife of 26 years. “It was hard to see him like that, but I am strengthened now, seeing God move.”

Mosley, who founded the Christian Teaching Center Church in the Cleveland area 17 years ago and moved the ministry to Akron three years later, typically led services at the church three times a week. A resident of Maple Heights, he and his wife traveled daily to Akron to serve in the church’s outreach ministry, which primarily focuses on people with addictions.

Diagnosed with diabetes 19 years ago, Mosley also understood the need for watching his diet and exercising. His routine included workouts at a local fitness center four or five days a week.

“I have always been able to do what I wanted to do, so not being able to stand up was a real challenge for me,” Mosley said. “I’m the kind of person who would push myself, so when I got to the point that I couldn’t do anything, I began to question, ‘Why me, Lord?’ I was in agony.”

After many sleepless nights and some soul searching, Mosley said he came to a place where he concluded the source of much of his pain was frustration.

“God showed me that I had a level of immaturity and that I had to mature. There are people whose whole lives are full of pain. Frustration is not pain. Pain is the next level,” Mosley said. “Even with what I was going through, I had to look around and realize that I was in a hospital room that in a third-world country would be considered a hotel.

“I was in a $5,000 bed that adjusted when I wanted it to, I had a sink, toilet, a place to wash, a button to push to call educated nurses, some of the best doctors coming to see me each day and cable TV and a remote control,” Mosley said. “This would be a vacation to someone in a third-world country. I was actually in a place where they were going to try to fix me where I was broken.”

About 70 pounds lighter these days, Mosley has not completely regained his stamina. He is on dialysis three times a week and is undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the infection in his foot. He has been unable to fill the pulpit for the 7 p.m. services Tuesdays and Thursdays and the 11 a.m. service Sundays since being hospitalized in August.

In his absence, other church leaders have stepped in to lead the services, which attract about 20 and 40 worshippers, respectively. Mosley, who does not receive a salary from the church, is a gospel music producer, recording engineer, singer and musician.

To assist Mosley, his wife and their children — Nichelle, 10, and Andreas, 12 — and a committee of local pastors has planned a benefit at 7 p.m. Thursday at the House of the Lord, 1650 Diagonal Road in Akron. The couple also has two other children: Bennie Jr., 19, and Nichole, 22.

The benefit will include musical selections by local groups and choirs and words of encouragement for Mosley and his family. It is being planned by the Rev. Dennis Butts, of the House of the Lord; the Rev. Vincent Peterson, of Providence Baptist Church; the Rev. Darrick Willis Sr., of Peoples Baptist Church; and the Rev. Michael Martin, of Christ is the Answer Ministries.

“When we heard that our brother was sick, we saw a need to unite as clergy and do something to help,” Martin said. “We just want to bless him and his family financially and share our love. As pastors, we are always preaching that we need to come together in love. This is our chance to do that and encourage our brother.”

Mosley said he is deeply touched by the commitment of the pastors and their outpouring of love.

“It has been difficult for me to find inspiration in all of this, but to know that these pastors think enough of me to show this kind of care for my family really touches my heart,” Mosley said. “God has shown me his love through them and through my wife. She has been there every step of the way. Her touch has been better than any medicine that the doctors have prescribed.

“I wasn’t handling this very well, and if I didn’t have her by my side, I think I would have lost it,” Mosley said. “We are fighting for a miracle. I am praying that my kidneys will come back. I believe [in] God for healing, but I have to accept the infirmary that I am living with while believing [in] God.

“I have to exhibit that example of faith for others who might be watching me. I trust the Lord with all my heart.”

For more information about the benefit for Mosley, call 330-535-2888, ext. 4.

The Christian Teaching Center is located at 43 E. Tallmadge Road.

Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or cjenkins@thebeaconjournal.com.