Beni Johnson, the wife of Bethel Church Senior Leader Bill Johnson, has died following a lengthy battle with cancer, days after being put in at-home hospice care. She was 67.
Bethel is based in Redding, California, and reportedly has around 11,000 members. The church has garnered controversy for its belief in faith-healing and for running a School for Supernatural Ministry.
“Healthy and Free,” posted Bill Johnson on his social media accounts early Thursday morning, showing a photo of his wife that included a caption noting that she had died on Wednesday.
Brian Johnson, one of her children, also confirmed her passing on Instagram, writing, “My mom went home tonight. Love you mom.”
In addition to her husband, Beni Johnson is survived by three children and 11 grandchildren. She co-led Bethel with her husband beginning in 1996.
In March 2018, Johnson was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, she shared that doctors had found two lumps in her right breast, which were caught early and removed.
“When this all began in March and I walked out of the doctor’s office shocked. I asked Jesus, ‘what do I do now?’ I heard Jesus tell me, ‘just love me.’ I said, ‘I can do this,’” she said in 2018.
“There has been so much peace and at times those decisions that have to be made the peace has helped me navigate through.”
During her surgical treatments, doctors discovered that Johnson had a mutation in her BR2 gene, which placed her at great risk of developing various cancers.
In February, Bethel launched a 24/7 prayer campaign for Johnson, as her cancer had apparently gotten worse and was interfering with her breathing and, by extension, her ability to sleep.
“This is a serious situation. Beni’s health is a serious situation,” said Bethel Lead Pastor Dann Farrelly during a Sunday worship service in February.
“Listen, beloved, this is unjust that our matriarch, that Beni is being robbed of her sleep and having difficulty breathing … This is not as it should be.”
On Wednesday, Bethel took to social media to announce that, after undergoing treatment for chemotherapy, Johnson had been moved to at-home hospice care the week before.
“We continue to stand with the Johnsons for Beni’s complete healing. Medicine is a blessing and a great help, but in this moment we need a miracle from the Lord,” stated Bethel. “Please continue to pray for a total deliverance from all cancer, and for Beni’s strength to be renewed.”
In 2019, Bethel garnered headlines and criticism when they held a resurrection prayer campaign for the two-year-old daughter of a couple who had been pronounced dead days earlier.