Cliff Benzel Passes into Glory

Saying goodbye to an old friend1cliff

by Ron Sider

Cliff Benzel is now with the Lord.  But his legacy lives on here on earth.  Cliff was ESA's executive vice-president for the decade of our largest growth.

Cliff brought enormous gifts and experience to our small organization when he moved from California to Philadelphia in the early 90s.  He had been a vice president at World Vision, where he was responsible for a vast operation and played an important role in fighting a devastating famine in Ethiopia.  By contrast, ESA was very small, but we were in the midst of a rapid expansion of staff, programs, and impact—thanks in part to several major foundation grants.

Just moving to the East Coast from sunny southern California was a great act of commitment for both Cliff and his wife, Marilyn.  We welcomed them with three big ice storms that first winter!

Cliff oversaw ESA's Thirtieth Anniversary celebrations, the launching of PRISM magazine, and the development of the Evangelical Environmental Network.  With his superb management skills, Cliff oversaw the expansion of  staff and programs.PRISM-July-Aug12

Even after Cliff and Marilyn moved back West at the end of the 90s, Cliff remained closely engaged with ESA, serving on the board and contributing generously to ESA's budget.

I will always be very grateful to Cliff and the Lord he loved and served for his fabulous gifts both to me personally and to ESA as an organization.

Cliff, for your gifts, your sacrificial giving of yourself, your leadership and personal integrity, we thank you and honor you. God bless you, dear friend.

Ron Sider is the founder and former president of ESA.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You May Also Want to Read

  • From the Desk of Ronald J. Sider Founder and President Emeritus, Evangelicals for Social Action Chair of the Board -…

  • All who affirm the use of violence admit it is only a means to achieve justice and peace. But peace…

Comment policy: ESA represents a wide variety of understandings and practices surrounding our shared Christian faith. The purpose of the ESA blog is to facilitate loving conversation; please know that individual authors do not speak for ESA as a whole. Even if you don\'t see yourself or your experience reflected in something you read here, we invite you to experience it anyway, and see if God can meet you there. What can take away from considering this point of view? What might you add? The comments section below is where you can share the answers to those questions, if you feel so moved. Please express your thoughts in ways that are constructive, purposeful, and respectful. Give those you disagree with the benefit of the doubt, and assume they are neither idiots nor evil. Name-calling, sweeping condemnations, and any other comments that suggest you have forgotten that we are all children of God will be deleted. Thank you!

2 Responses

  1. Stan LeQuire says:

    I am grateful that Cliff hired me and brought me to ESA/EEN. I learned so much with him as our VP. He was a man of great integrity, compassion and faithfulness.

  2. Brian Lagerquist says:

    I worked for Cliff at World Vision from 1977-1979. He and Marilyn helped me through a very dark week in my life in 1977. Can't say enough about what a wonderful man, manager and friend he was.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.