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Birth date:

August 3rd, 1962

Death date:
October 11, 2013

McConnellsburg, PA

Death place:
Nashville, TN

Mother: Beverly Guyer
Father: Wayne Bennett
Siblings: Two sisters & one brother (all reside in Pennsylvania)

Favorite Foods:
Strawberries, Canned fruits and vegetables, seafood

Favorite Singer

Kenny Hinson

Favorite Singer(Female):
Chris Freeman

Favorite Group:
The Original Hinsons

Favorite Song:
I Never Shall Forget
The Day

Favorite Album:
From Out of the West They Came...The Hinsons Live and on stage

Favorite TV Evangelist:
Joyce Meyer

Favorite Bible Quote:
"For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain"

Jerry likes to surf on the internet and play games online such as Monopoly, Euchre, Spades, and Hearts. He also enjoys growing gardens and his favorites are tomatoes and strawberries. He enjoys canning vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, green beans, peaches, and berries. Even on the road Jerry has been blessed with friends sharing their own homegrown produce.

Pet Peeve:
I don't like to be around people who complain and are a pessimist. I believe as Christians we need to put off the old man and put on the new man, by the renewing of our minds. If we think differently our lives will change. I don't like to communicate with negative people. We can do "all" things through Christ who strengthens us. My message is clear and being a Christian is not a boring, depressing state. I don't like songs that lead people to believe that we have to wait til we get to heaven to be happy. But I am a happy individual today and enjoy the journey.

While some find this hard to believe after watching Jerry on stage, off stage he is quite reserved and shy. Some would assume that he was snobbish, but it's the fact that he doesn't assert himself and make new friends easily. If people approach him first then the avenue of friendship is usually paved that way due to his shy personality. Jerry also loves his quiet times.



Jerry was born on August 3rd, 1962 in McConnellsburg, PA. He was raised in the rural community of Mercersburg, PA during his childhood. His mother started attending church at the Mercersburg Assembly of God when Jerry was 9 years old. During that time Jerry had just started taking a very keen interest in music. Jerry got his first opportunity to learn how to play music when at Christmas time he received a very small chord organ. Later on his family came across someone who was giving away an old upright piano and luckily it was in tune. Jerry right away started tinkering with the notes.

While attending church he would watch the pianist during service and learned by her playing. Due to his musical ear that was God given he began fingering out songs one note at a time. Within a few months Jerry was playing with two hands and he was then learning to play the accordion during church services. Jerry had his heart set on playing piano for church, but there was a position to play the organ. Since Jerry was so small his feet couldn`t reach the bass pedals or the volume control, so he had to play with his hands and stretch off the bench to turn up and down the volume. He recently met up with one of the former members of the church who commented about how they remembered not being able to see him going to the platform due to his head barely topping the tops of the pews walking up the aisle.

His mother decided to dedicate the family and during the dedication service the minister stopped at Jerry out of all the other families being dedicated and prayed and spoke over him. Stating that God had shown him that He was going to use Jerry`s hands for the work of the Lord. That statement could not have been more profound. Not only has Jerry become an accomplished musician, but also a songwriter as well.

In 1979 between his Junior and Senior years of high school he made friends with a schoolmate who also was musically inclined. Being they both were Christians they put together a gospel trio where Jerry played piano and his friend played guitar and banjo and his cousin sang. After a couple weeks of practice they were informed of a gospel talent search and they walked on stage in front of 2,000 people. Making their first performance in front of a large crowd the whole group was scared and nervous but to their surprise they received a mass standing ovation. Although they didn`t take first place in the contest they did know that there was a definite calling to their group in which they called "Sonrise". This group later developed into a quartet and started to organize a live band.

Songwriting then came into play as Jerry penned his very first gospel song at a United Methodist youth retreat. This came from a challenge by his youth leader teasing in fun that he couldn`t write a song. And within a few minutes he sat down at the piano and started playing and singing words to a song that amazed his youth leader. This song has become a blessing to many that attend the programs today since Jerry still uses this song in his concerts.

Sonrise continued to use and write their own material. They entered through the years various other talent shows. One in particular where they placed 2nd was at the Hoppers singing at Watermelon Park in Berryville, VA. During that competition they were in competition with two now nationally known artists "The Paynes" and "The Greenes". Having won such a prestigious honor at that time was more in helping the group spread their wings to minister to other areas and churches. They recorded their first album in 1982 after speaking with the Paynes who at that time was working with Windchime in Nashville, TN. This album consisted of all original material, seven songs that Jerry wrote or co-wrote.

Sonrise disbanded in 1985 and Jerry was offered a position to play with a well-known gospel performer, "Donnie Seabolt". Donnie was a former member of the Blue Ridge Quartet and also traveled with "Laverne Tripp". Jerry spent nearly 8 years with Donnie traveling regionally in the northeast.

In 1993 a major career move was made. Jerry left his 13-year employment with the Federal Government and pursued a career of music and recorded his first solo project "The Heart of Things". This was later released in 1994. In later part of 1994 Jerry co-wrote a song with April Nye called "My God Forgets". This song was recorded by the Kingsmen and was later released in 1995. This song shot up the charts and remained in the top ten for four months. It also received several nominations in the Diamond Awards in 1996 for Song of the Year.

January 1996 brought forth another career change as Jerry then took a position as program director for the newly launched Satellite Network "Gospel Music Television" (GMT). He was featured on the program along with many of the other top 40 gospel artists. Jerry continued on with this network until it was sold in the fall of 1996 and Jerry then made another major move to Nashville, TN.

Dreams do come true!! 1999 Jerry got the opportunity to travel with the nationally known "Freemans". He traveled with the group for over a year and a half juggling a full time position and his solo career. Later in 2000 Jerry had to come off the road to concentrate more on his solo music career. He`s got many credits to his name. But if you would ask him all the credit goes to one and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jerry is presently traveling and singing all across the country in local churches and concerts. He enjoys being part of revivals and other special church functions. One thing that Jerry has always expressed was there`d never be a church too small for his ministry. For Jesus also ministered to just a few as well as multitudes. It`s his desire to do his part in spreading the gospel of our Lord Jesus through song. Jerry will not only bring to you an anointed message but also a professional country/southern gospel sound. He records his projects in Nashville, TN and uses the best musicians that can be found. Putting forth the best is what makes and separates Jerry from many of your other artists. He doesn`t come to put on a show for you, but he does bring a message of hope and to uplift the downhearted and to encourage the discouraged.


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