Life Questions Pastor Spotlight: Tim Benjamin

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What led you to become a pastor?

I grew up in Alger and church has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember.  Some of my earliest childhood memories are of church events.  Pastor Calvin Waugh is one of the great influences of my life.  I wanted my life to count for something in making the world a better place.  The church was certainly the place where I saw that a positive difference could be made.  This calling was confirmed to me on a mission trip to the Philippines in 1995.  The calling God has given me is actually very simple: go find something and make it better.  I have not always been successful in that calling, but the calling I feel has not wavered in over 2 decades. 

What are some of the best parts of your calling?

Seeing people do ministry and make a difference is a great part.  I am one man and changing the world is not something I can do alone, no matter how hard I try.  But when I see someone become inspired and do something that makes the world a better place in Jesus’ name, I go to sleep at night with a smile on my face.  That is the Body of Christ acting like the Body of Christ.  It doesn’t get any better than that. 

Talk about your church.

We have two Sunday morning services, 8:30 First Light service is our traditional service. Traditional hymns are sung and played on the organ.  From September through May, our chancel choir will sing.  Our Awaken service is at 10:45 and is our contemporary service.  Worship is lead by our Awaken Band and we sing songs you will hear on Christian radio.  Both services are come as you are.  I wear a robe in the early service and I wear jeans and tennis shoes in the later service.  Both of these services are open and welcoming to all.  We also have a whole series of small groups that meet throughout the week.  Our youth and children’s ministry have mid-week events on Wednesday evenings at the church.  For more information about current events at Wayne Street, check out our website at www.waynestreetumc.org

What is an event people won’t want to miss?

We are currently in the middle of a sermon series entitled “Better Together” and a series of small groups is running as a part of this series.  Each Sunday, a character is presented around a specific topic.  These small groups, which are open to all, come together through the week to discuss the topic and give the participants the chance to connect with each other. We are in the midst of planning a community giving thanks service, which will take place at the Union Hall in St Marys on Wednesday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m..  We are working with all of the community churches to pull this service together. 

Tell us more about Pastor Tim.

I am a runner and have been for years.  I run 5Ks and half marathons around the area as often as I can.  I also love running down the Tow Path here in St Marys.  However, what I really love to do are obstacle course events like Tough Mudders and Savage Races.  I have received my 8 completion head bands for Tough Mudder and I have completed the Savage Race 6 times.  I am already signed up for 2 Tough Mudders and the Savage Race for next summer! 

How many years have you been a pastor?

I have been a pastor since 1996.  I was a part time youth pastor at Elida Immanuel on Sunnydale Ave.  I spent about 18 months there working with Rev. Terry Washburn.  I learned a lot during my time there and it was a good place to start to learn what it means to be a pastor.  In 1998, I was appointed to the Fort Recovery and Erastus charge.  I was still in Seminary at the time and the people in these two churches were far more gracious and kind than I deserved.  I am grateful for the chance to have a place to learn in the real world so that I would know that Seminary wasn’t the only education I needed.  I also needed to know how ministry worked in the real world.  In 2000, I was appointed to Westwood UMC in Cincinnati.  This is the first and to date the only large church experience I have had.  I was an associate pastor and I worked with youth.  I spent three years there and during that time, we transitioned every other position on staff, including the senior pastor, the other associate pastor, the Christian Ed director, all the secretaries and custodians and the musician.  I learned a whole lot about how a church functioned during that time, especially serving a church of over 500 per Sunday.   From there, I was appointed to the Marseilles Circuit in Wyandot County, where I spent 7 years leading three rural churches.  Quite a transition from Cincinnati.  In 2010, I was appointed to Forest Park in Lima and spent 8 years working in the Lima community.  It was my first experience of being the lead pastor with a staff.  In 2018, I was appointed to Wayne Street United Methodist in St Marys.  I am doing the best I can to become involved in the community so that we can figure out how to become one of the most important organizations in St Marys. 

Share a meaningful Bible verse.

My personal favorite Bible verse is Nehemiah 4:14:  “Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes!”

Why are you thankful for TV-44?

Having served churches all over TV-44’s viewing area, I know that TV-44 is a companion to many people.  I have been on Life Questions a couple of times and I get feedback all the time from people who saw me on there.  I know people love the programming but people also love the ministry that is brought into their homes via the TV-44 broadcast.  It is a wonderful opportunity for many people to worship and learn about the Bible all through the week when most churches are limited in their ability to provide as much content as TV-44 does.

Watch Pastor Tim Benjamin on Life Questions Episodes 1 & 2, and 23 & 24.

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