John and Jane Benbow

  • John and Jane Benbow

It was the Benbow’s home that provided Elder Wilford Woodruff his first preaching location in Herefordshire. This was particularly important because of John Benbow’s connection to the United Brethren, a break-off from the Primitive Methodists. It was a connection that soon opened many other homes to Elder Woodruff. Woodruff arrived at the home of John Benbow on 4 March 1840. The next day, Wilford, accompanied by William Benbow, began to teach and meet the friends of John Benbow, at the Benbow home in Hill Farm. On 6 March 1840, John was baptised with his wife and four Methodist Ministers, who were leaders of the United Brethren, by Elder Woodruff. In the month following, Elder Woodruff baptised almost 160 persons, a consequence of members inviting their friends and family to meet with Elder Woodruff. Not only did his home and farm play a pivotal role in the conversion of the Saints in Great Britain, but John gave £300 to help print the first European edition of the Book of Mormon, and a hymnal. In September 1840, the Benbows set sail for America, and following the death of Jane in 1846, John followed the Prophet Brigham Young to Utah. Many notable Church leaders and members can trace their roots back to the Benbows. Although the Benbows repeatedly gave and assisted the Church and members financially, the Benbows gave their whole lives to serving the Lord and building up the Kingdom of God. The Benbow's home still stands, and the pond that they and many of their neighbours were baptised in can still be found on the property. The faith and example of the Benbows is just one story of thousands of early LDS members who joined the faith in the nineteenth century. The restored Gadfield Elm Chapel near their home is the oldest still standing LDS Chapel, more information about it can be found here; Gadfield-Elm Chapel