Ben is a Georgia native. After going home to Symrna, he has lived in Tucker, Dalton, Marietta, Auburn, AL., Wilmore, KY., Temple, Lilburn, Grayson, and Loganville.
Ben was baptized as a 10th grader at McEachern UMC in Marietta, GA. became a member after accepting Jesus as his Savior. He sensed a call to full time ministry a few years later while a student at Auburn University where he graduated with a degree in Construction Science.
Ben and June were married shortly after graduating from Auburn then moved to Wilmore, KY. to attend seminary and start a family. Ben graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1997 and became an Ordained Elder in Full-Connection in 1999, the same class as John Purrington. Ben and June were high school sweethearts. June graduated from Auburn with B.S.N. and worked as an N.I.C.U. nurse while Ben was in school. She now works as the Perinatal Infomatics Coordinator for the Women’s Pavillion at Rockdale Medical Center. She is utilizing her nursing background in the I.T. and project management areas of hospital administration.
Before graduating from Asbury, Ben accepted a full-time appointment as the Senior Pastor at Temple UMC near Carrolton, GA. Two years later Ben was invited to be the Senior Associate Pastor at Mountain Park UMC, a church of 1000+ in worship, where he led evangelism, small groups, and started a contemporary worship gathering.
While at Mountain Park Ben began to feel called to start a new congregation and won a competitive full-scholarship to the Beeson Pastor Program at Asbury Seminary. The Beeson School is an in-residence Doctor of Ministry course of study that includes national and international trips to healthy, growing, and dynamic churches of all denominations. Highlights from that year included trips to churches in Korea, Hawaii, California, Chicago, Dayton, Montgomery, Louisville, and Atlanta.
Following the year of doctoral studies, Ben was appointed to start a new church in Loganville, GA. In 2001. Moving to Loganville without knowing a soul, Ben began to gather a core team who would launch the church by making as many relational contacts as possible and even visiting over 550 doorsteps. A small team of 17 folks launched The Orchard on March 3rd 2002 and 135 people showed up for the first worship gathering. The Orchard grew steadily over the next decade reaching an average attendance of almost 500 people and moving into a 20 acre campus with about 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Four people have experienced calls to full-time vocational ministry at The Orchard and over 50% of new members have come by profession of faith.
Ben and June have three children. Hugh Bentley, Ashlyn, and Amber.
Ben has served beyond the local church as a member of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration for the last five years and as a member of the Conference Executive Board of Congregational Development for the last eight years. He is a new member of the board of directors for the University of Georgia Wesley Foundation and a teacher for the New Church Leadership Academy which is a conference wide learning lab for pastors who are potential new church planters. Ben is newly retired from his position as Vice President of the Archer Marching Band Booster Club.