Daughter of Federated Covenant Church Pastor Dies in Accident


l to r: Jeremy, Dana, Chad, and Kylie Benkert

DOWOGIAC, MI (December 7, 2016) – Kylie Benkert, daughter of Covenant pastor Chad Benkert and his wife, Dana, was killed along with her boyfriend, Jaylen Weller, when a car they were traveling in on a snow-covered road was struck by another vehicle on Sunday night. The driver of the other vehicle was uninjured.

Slick road conditions contributed to the accident, police said. No charges are expected.

Chad, who is pastor of Federated Covenant Church, wrote in a Facebook post: “Sunday in church, I preached a sermon that ended up being what MY family needed to hear. In short, I spoke of times we feel alone or abandoned by God, who at times makes us wonder if He is even listening. In the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth the angel appears to Zechariah and says ‘Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard.’ Even when we feel like God is distant, He is always with us, even though we feel like our faithfulness is going unrewarded, He hears our prayers.

“We can take joy in knowing that He is always there and He hears us, even when it doesn’t make sense. Well, it doesn’t make sense, but we know He is with us and He is hearing Dana, Jeremy, and my prayers. The hardest prayer I have ever prayed in my life was as we were huddled together in the moment of hearing that our daughter was with the Lord. It isn’t fair but we know He is still with us.”

Kylie’s funeral is at 1 p.m. Saturday, December 10, at Clark Chapel in Dowagiac. Memorial funds may be sent to the Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp youth scholarship fund, 4158 Camp Delight Road, Onekama, MI 49675.

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Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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