CrossTraining, today, announced Chaplain Gustavo Bentos to begin serving the Charlotte Independence. Bentos takes the place of recently departed John Bettis. Bentos, a pastor at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, has a long history with professional soccer. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Bentos’ 18 year professional soccer career includes teams from Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, and the United States.
While playing in Chile, Bentos became a Christian and started to attend a local Bible institute and study to work in Christian ministry. He later returned to continue playing professionally. Retiring from soccer in 2010, he last played for the, then, USL-side Charlotte Eagles. After a brief spell back in Chile, Bentos and his family returned to live and work in Charlotte.
CrossTraining’s Executive Director, Rev. Brad Kenney, spoke about Bentos’ appointment,
Gustavo was a God-send. We were looking for a Spanish-speaking chaplain to help John Bettis with the work with the Independence. When John knew that Charlotte was going to be out of the picture for himself, Gustavo became the next likely person to step in and serve the team.
Bentos’ role at Northside Charlotte is as pastor of the Spanish ministry as well as pastor of Outreach. Bentos and Director Kenney met back in January during a visit to Charlotte for the Global Sports Chaplaincy Summit. When asked about his interest in serving the Independence, Bentos was excited,
I need this…I need to be out serving and being with people — and to serve people in the soccer community this is a blessing. Sometimes we can get too busy and in too many meetings that we forget about the people we need to help most.
Chaplain Bentos, who has been pastoring for a number of years now, possess a rare quality. As Director Kenney explains,
Gustavo, has a pastor’s heart. But even more, he has something that not too many even in sports ministry really possess — personal experience in the professional locker room as an athlete. Many involved as sports chaplains might enjoy sport or have familiarity with it. Some have played, but Gustavo’s played at a high level for a long-time and so that sensitivity that comes from being around a professional team will be a keen insight that he adds to the work and ministry of CrossTraining.
If you would like to help support Chaplain Bentos and his chaplaincy work with the Charlotte Independence, you can make a donation through PayPal. Donations help cover the expenses for the ministry work of our chaplains. A small portion helps provide materials for our community outreach through the Timothy Project program.