ABBA Executive Director
Elder Reginald Benjamin
Elder Reginald Benjamin is the founding Executive Director of ABBA (Able Body of Believer’s Alliance) Leadership Center. For over two decades, Elder Benjamin worked as a Chaplain in Nassau County Jail under the leadership of the Nassau County Council of Black clergy.
Elder Benjamin grew up on the streets of the South Bronx and was educated in the school of “Hard Knox.” A former gang leader and an ex-felon steep in the drugs culture, he ended up homeless living in a homeless mission called Mount Eden Rescue Mission. His life spiraling out of control, living in a homeless mission, Elder Benjamin heeded the clarion call of Sister Gena Huddleson, the late executive Director of the Mission and, in 1986, turned his life over to God. From that humble beginning Elder Benjamin rose through the ranks of the Mission to become its Chief Operating Officer and Assistant to the Executive Director, Sister Gena Huddleson.
His exceptional Leadership skills drew the attention of the Promise Keepers, a national Christian men Organization sweeping the country in middle and late 1990s. He was eventually hired a the New York Representative for the Promise Keepers and was instrumental in galvanizing men into two major events, the 1996 Yankee Stadium gathering of over 33 thousands men, and the now infamous 1997 “Stand in the Gap” rally of over 2 million men (of all ethnicity) in Washington D.C..
In 1998 Evangelist Benjamin was hired as Outreach Coordinator for Long Island Youth Mentoring focusing on re-entry services for ex-youthful offenders transitioning back into communities after incarceration at Nassau County jail. In 2002 he was appointed to the position of Director of Jail Ministry connecting local church ministries to at-risk Youthful offenders. In his capacity as Jail Ministry Director, Elder Benjamin facilitated several local churches involvement in mentoring Youth in the County jail. He conducted numerous presentations and orientations training workshops for churches and faith-based organizations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.
In 1999 Elder Benjamin received his Evangelist license, and in the year 2000 he was ordained by the Mount Sinai Holy Church of America Inc. He presently serves on the ministerial staff of Bethlehem of Judea Church (Baptist) under the leadership of Pastor Lynnwood Earl Deans. With a laser-like focus, his inspirational message of hope is geared toward hurting and disenfranchised youth and young adults, especially those entangled in the criminal justice system. With confidence and authority, for 17 years, he walked the corridors of Nassau County jail preaching a message of hope, deliverance, forgiveness and restoration. His diligence is instrumental in helping to reduce the rate of recidivism among incarcerated teenage youth and young adults in Nassau County, Long Island.
In 2002 he and a fellow co-worker began to dream and envision a ministry that would take a more comprehensive approach to dealing with the high incident and co-relationship between absentee fathers and their offspring entanglementin the criminal justice system. For the next three years Elder Benjamin envisioned the cries of a yet unborn child reminisce of the Calvary’s Cross, “ABBA, Father” painstakingly pushing in his spirit to be born. On January 26th, 2005 ABBA was born and incorporated under the banner of ABBA (Able Body ofBeliever’s Alliance) Leadership Center Inc. For the last 10 years Elder Benjamin has been nurturing and developing ABBA, and today it is one of the most dynamic ministries in all of Nassau County, reaching thousands of hurting families throughout the Nassau County.
Over the years Elder Reginald Benjamin has received numerous citations and special awards from government agencies, community-based organizations, educational institutions and churches. In 2012, Elder Benjamin was appointed to the Board of the Advisory Council for Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs by unanimous consent of the 19 member Nassau County Legislature. In 2013 he was awarded a consultant contract with the Village of Hempstead by unanimous approval of the 5-member Board of Trustees for the Redevelopment of Downtown Hempstead. In addition, Reginald Benjamin has been recognized by Hofstra University and the Hempstead branch of the NAACP.
Elder Benjamin is the home missionary for several mega-churches such as Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle, Living Faith Christian Church and the world renowned Freedom Chapel Tabernacle.