Bennett was born August 3, 1962 in McConnelsburg, PA and was raised
in the rural community of Mercersburg, PA. His mother started
attending church at the Mercersburg Assembly of God when Jerry
was nine years old. During that time, Jerry started taking a keen
interest in music. Jerry got his first opportunity to learn how
to play music when he received a small chord organ at Christmas
time one year. Later, his family found someone who was giving
away an old upright piano, which fortunately was in tune. Jerry
started tinkering with the notes right away. While attending church,
he would watch the pianist during service and learned by her playing.
Due to his God-given musical ear, he began fingering out songs
one note at a time. Within a few months, Jerry was playing with
two hands and he was then learning to play the accordion during
church services. He had his heart set on playing the piano for
church but there was a position to play the organ. Since Jerry
was small, his feet couldn't reach the bass pedals or the volume
control. This forced him to play with his hands and stretch off
the bench to adjust the volume accordingly.
mother decided to dedicate the family and during the dedication
service the minister prayed for Jerry, speaking a word over him
that God was going to use Jerry's hands for the work of the Lord.
That statement could not have been more profound. Not only has
Jerry become an accomplished musician, he has become a songwriter
1979 between his junior and senior years of high school, Jerry
made friends with a schoolmate who was also gifted musically.
Since they were both Christians, they put together a gospel trio
in which Jerry played piano and his friend played guitar and banjo.
Jerry also had a cousin who sang with them. They were informed
of a gospel talent search, and after a few weeks of practice they
played on stage to an audience of 2,000 people. The group was
scared and nervous since this was their first performance in front
of a large crowd but much to their surprise they received a standing
ovation. Although they didn't win first place in the contest,
they knew there was a definite calling on their group, which they
named "Sonrise". This group organized a live band and would later
develop into a quartet. Songwriting came into play as Jerry then
penned his very first gospel song at a United Methodist youth
retreat. This came from a teasingly fun challenge by his youth
leader that he couldn't write a song. He sat down at the piano
and within a few minutes started playing and singing words to
a song that amazed his youth leader. Jerry still uses this song
in his concerts and it blesses the many that attend these events.
continued to write and use their own material. They entered various
other talent shows. One in particular was at the Hoppers singing
at Watermelon Park in Berryville, VA where they placed 2nd. They
were in competition with two artists, the Paynes and the Greenes,
who are now nationally known. To win such a prestigious honor
at that time helped the group to spread their wings in ministering
to other churches and areas. They recorded their first album in
1982 after speaking with the Paynes who were working with Windchime
in Nashville, TN engineered by Kevin McManus. This album consisted
of all original material, a total of seven songs that Jerry either
wrote or co-wrote.
disbanded in 1985 and Jerry was offered a position to play with
well-known gospel performer Donnie Seabolt. Donnie was a member
of the Blue Ridge Quartet and also traveled with Laverne Tripp.
Jerry spent nearly eight years with Donnie, traveling in the northeast.
In 1993, he made a major career move when he left his 13-year
employment with the federal government to pursue a music career
and record his first solo project "The Heart of Things", which
was released in 1994. In the latter part of 1994, Jerry co-wrote
a song with April Nye called "My God Forgets". This song was recorded
by the Kingsmen and was released in 1995. "My God Forgets" shot
up the charts and remained in the top ten for four months. It
also received several Diamond Award nominations in 1996 for Song
of the Year.
1996 brought another career change as Jerry then took a position
as program director for the newly launched satellite network "Gospel
Music Television" (GMT). He was featured on the program along
with many of the other top 40 gospel artists. Jerry continued
on with the network until it was sold in the fall of 1996. Jerry
then made another major move to Nashville, TN.
dreams began to come true in 1999 when Jerry got the opportunity
to travel with the nationally known Freemans. He traveled with
the group for over a year and a half, juggling a full time job
with his solo music career. In 2000, Jerry made a decision to
come off the road to concentrate on his music career and in 2003
he signed with Zion Music Group in Nashville, TN, releasing his
first project titled "No Regrets". April of that year also brought
his first top 80 with an original song titled "The Night the Fire
is presently traveling and singing all across the country in local
churches and concerts. He enjoys being a part of revivals and
other special church functions. One thing Jerry has always expressed
was that there would never be a church too small for his ministry,
as Jesus also ministered to just a few as well as the multitude.
It's his desire to do his part in spreading the gospel of our
Lord Jesus through song. Jerry will not only bring to you an anointed
message; he'll also bring a professional country/southern gospel
sound. Jerry's message is one of hope. He doesn't perform to entertain;
he performs to uplift the downhearted and to encourage the discouraged.