The Rev. John C. Benson, 74, a Methodist minister and a former electrician at the Washington Navy Yard, died Wednesday at Manor Care nursing home in Largo as the result of a brain tumor.

Mr. Benson, a native of Baltimore, moved to the Washington area in 1942 to work as an electrician at the Navy Yard. While there, he became a member of the Congress Heights Methodist Church and subsequently began teaching a Bible class. When he retired from the Navy Yard in 1967, Mr. Benson began studying at American University to enter the ministry.

He also became a lay pastor at Cheltenham Methodist Church in Cheltenham, Md. When he received his degree in theology from AU in 1973, he transfered to St. Georges Island Methodist Church in Maryland and also was a minister at the Bethesda Methodist Church in St. Georges Island. He retired from both churches in 1976.

After his retirement, Mr. Benson was an assistant minister at Calvary Methodist and Zion Wesley Methodist churches in Waldorf, Md.

He was a member for more than 20 years of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Anacostia Chapter of the Masons, and the Gideons, a group that places Bibles in hotel rooms.

Survivors include his wife, Mabel E., of the home in Waldorf; three daughters, Mary Anne Schmidt, and Janis B. DePuy, both of Waldorf, and Elizabeth L. Halwick, of Temple Hills; eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, Md.