Benjamin A. Bradford
The editor is grateful to Brother George Walker of N. Miami, Fla., for sending this written tribute to our beloved brother, Mr. Benjamin Bradford, as well as for the splendid photo.
As cited in the March-April issue of Focus, Brother Bradford had expressed a desire to resign from the Board of Food for the Flock, Inc. because of failing health. At our last annual meeting on November 20, 1976 in Toronto, Canada, we unanimously chose not to accept our brother’s resignation and instead made him a lifetime member of the Board of Trustees.
Brother Bradford became a member of Food for the Flock, Inc. a few years after the magazine was started, his faithful service over the years being much appreciated. The editor first recalls meeting him at our annual meeting in 1969, and in the several years I was privileged to know him, he was always an encouragement and blessing to me personally.
All the members of the Board join the editor in conveying our loving sympathy to Mrs. Reba Bradford, assuring her of our continued prayers.
“The memory of the just is blessed” (Proverbs 10:7).
“…a prince and a great man has fallen…”
Benjamin A. Bradford of Miami, Florida (son of the late Benjamin Bradford, Evangelist), was called into the presence of the Lord on March 16, 1977. “Benny,” as he was so fondly known to his hundreds of friends, was born in New York on July 22, 1904, and came to Miami, Florida in 1925. At special meetings conducted by his father and the late John Rankin, Ben was led to Christ and proved to be a real warrior for God’s truth until the Lord called him Home. He was a pillar in the Twenty-ninth Street Assembly and his place will not be an easy one to fill. He was ever faithful at all the meetings and known for his hospitality to scores of the Lord’s servants who stayed in his home.
As a business man, he was highly respected for his honesty and integrity and God blessed him above many in material things. So highly esteemed was he as a Christian gentleman in the business world, he was elected President of the Executives’ Association of Greater Miami, and upon his retirement he was given an honorary lifetime membership.
For many years Ben Bradford dreamed and planned for a Christian Community for older Christians, where they could spend the eventide of their lives with like-minded believers in the very delightful climate of Central Florida. Upon his retirement from business, he purchased a large piece of acreage in Frostproof, Florida, on a large lake called Lake Reedy. Both local and national governments were very slow in sanctioning all that our brother had in his mind, but when all the red tape was finally cut and the obstacles were removed, he built several homes which are now ready for occupancy. Two months before his Home-call, the Lord allowed Ben to see the birth of the Frostproof Christian Assembly, and what a joy it was for him to gather with the Christians to remember the Lord!
Even though he was in failing health, he still continued to make plans for the future of the work, having set up a Board of Directors to continue what he had begun. At a Board of Directors’ meeting held on February 12th, he turned the deed for the property over to the Frostproof Gospel Church, Inc. Frostproof is located in the very center of Florida, in the most beautiful lake district.
At the very large funeral attended by lawyers, doctors, bankers, and business men from various industries, all listened with rapt attention to the ministry of the Gospel. Ray Zander prayed tenderly and George Walker spoke on David’s comment on learning of the death of Abner in 2 Samuel 3:38, “Know ye not that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel.” Little was said about the exploits of Abner, but David never forgot that it was Abner who brought David to Saul after the great victory when he slew Goliath. David would never forget the great victories Abner brought to the nation Israel, and referred to him as “a prince and a great man.” Truly this could be said of Ben Bradford, who has now seen “the King in all His beauty” and entered into rest. His labors will be fully rewarded by the words of His Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
As faithful men carried the precious remains to await the trumpet sound, again a clear Gospel message was spoken in the cemetery by Ray Zander to the many who gathered. The funeral procession was two miles long and was escorted by motorcycle policemen from the Miami Police Department.
Prayer is requested for his dear wife, Reba, who still retains a great interest in the work her husband commenced in Frostproof, Florida.