Father Ben began serving as St. Catherine’s interim rector on December 1, 2019. He comes to us from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Talladega, having served there as interim rector since 2011, and as Priest–in-Charge in 2014.
He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, lived in seven states and two foreign countries, moving frequently as the son of a career military officer, and graduated high school from Notre Dame International School in Rome, Italy.
He has a Masters of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. He became an ordained priest in January 1977, serving in numerous Episcopal churches including St. Phillip’s Church (Charleston, South Carolina), Church of the Epiphany (Atlanta, Georgia), Christ Church (Macon, Georgia), and Trinity Church (Long Green, Maryland).
In 2007, Bishop Parsley, who was a good friend from the Diocese of South Carolina, asked Father Ben to serve at St. Michael’s in Roebuck to help close the church. And in 2011, Bishop Parsley once again called him into service as interim rector at St. Peter’s, Talladega.
He has a broad range of experience in all areas of church leadership including youth group work, counseling, pastoral care, outreach efforts – especially in food programs, Bible study and confirmation classes, discernment committees, conflict consulting, vestry organization, children’s chaplain, fundraising, parish gatherings and retreats, and leading the building restoration at St. Peter’s.
Father Ben married Melissa Robertson, of Birmingham, in March 1984. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Allie. Melissa also had two sons from a previous marriage: one was killed in the 9-11 Trade Center Disaster, and her second son, Winston lives in Athens, Ga. with his two sons, William and Ted, and 3 step-children. Father Ben is an avid cook/chef, enjoys boating and sailing from his cabin on Lay Lake, loves the outdoors, bird-watching and reading mystery novels.