Rev. Bennie Simmons Jr. of Gary, Indiana was born March 25, 1948 a lifelong resident of Gary, Indiana. He graduated from Froebel High School class of 1966 and received a Bachelor of Arts from Moody Bible Institute and Indiana University. He was a Vietnam Veteran of the United States Navy and a former employee of the Gary Fire Department and Gary Steel Mill. Bennie accepted Christ as his Savior in August 1972. He founded The Church of Gary and was the first African American director of the Youth for Christ Campus Life Program for 15 years. Bennie received training in Evangelism from Billy Graham School of Evangelism. Bennie and his wife Willa founded the Youth Family Community Renewal Center (YFCR) serving Gary's youth and Project S.E.A.M. which is a program for at risk youth. On October 24, 2017 Rev Bennie Simmons Jr. made his heavenly transition. Bennie will be deeply missed by his wife Willa Mae Simmons; sister Sheila (Augustus) Carter, brothers Harold (Denise) Simmons, and Derrick (Debra) Simmons and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and his many children in the Lord. Visitation Friday, November 3, 2017 from 12-8:00p.m. Family hours 6-8:00p.m. at the Guy & Allen Chapel 2959 West 11th Avenue. Funeral Services Saturday November 4, 2017 at 11:00a.m. at Daniel Chapel AME Church located at 15250 3rd Avenue Phoenix, IL 60426.Interment Monday, November 6, 2017 at 11:00a.m. at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Elmwood. IL.
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Published in Post-Tribune on Nov. 1, 2017.