By Portia Williams
Two Portsmouth churches, Mabert Road Baptist Church, located at 1325 Mabert Road and Coles Boulevard Church, located at 1301 Coles Boulevard Church, have something unique in common. The pastors of both of these congregations are father and son. Rev. Jim Benner is the Pastor of Mabert Road, and his son Rev. Chad Benner is the Pastor of Coles Boulevard Church.
Pastor Chad Benner has served as Pastor of Mabert Road Baptist Church for 15 months.
“I was ordained in August of 1989, and was called to the ministry in 1987. My wife is Delores Benner, and we have a son named Brian, a daughter named Angela, and son Chad who is the youngest child in the family,” Pastor Jim Benner said.
When asked what he thought about having a son to follow suit, and to serve as a pastor.
“I think it is great. When Chad shared with me that he was called by God to be a pastor, I was just elated,” Pastor Jim Benner said. “My wife and I both were both excited about it when he came and shared it with us.”
Jim Benner said he enjoys serving his congregation of Mabert Road Baptist Church.
“They are a great bunch of people. Prior to this, I pastored two other churches. I was the associate pastor at Cedar Street Christian Union for a year and a half. And then I pastored Sacred Mission for 12 years,” he said. “Then I went to Vanceburg, Kentucky to a Christian Baptist Church in Vanceburg for 12 years. And then I was the General Superintendent for the Christian Baptist Association for six years.
During the next portion of his ministerial journey, Pastor Jim Benner went back to pastor Sacred Mission in Wheelersburg for seven years, and then to his present area of service of Mabert Road Baptist where he began serving 15 months ago.
“I have enjoyed every minute of it. Now at Mabert Road Baptist, things are going very well,” Pastor Jim Benner said. “We’ve had nine people saved since I have been there. We are just adjusting very well, and the people there are very friendly, Christian people.”
As it relates to Mabert Road Baptist Church, the church where he serves as pastor, he said he would like to do more outreach to the community, and to see everywhere that says that they are a Christian to simply live as one.
The Mabert Road Baptist Church service times are Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday School, Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. for Sunday Morning Worship Service, Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m., and Wednesday Bible Studay at 6:30 p.m.
Pastor Chad Benner, the son of Pastor Jim Benner, has been serving as the Pastor of Coles Boulevard Church First Church of God for five years.
“Pastoring is obviously a calling, and it is something that I have been dealing with for a long time,” Pastor Chad said. “I was called to preach at age 16, so I have been preaching for a long time. The pastoring came five years ago when an opportunity arose when a congregation was looking for a pastor, and I was looking for a church, and it was all a part of God’s timing.
“I was born and raised, and still live in Wheelersburg. I am married to Teresa for what will be 10 years for us this New Year’s Eve, and we have an eight-year old daughter named Caleigh in second grade, and we have a two year old son, whose name is Easton,” he said.
Serving as the Pastor of Coles Boulevard Church, located at 1300 Coles Boulevard in Portsmouth, has been a wonderful experience.
“We average about 50 to 55 people every Sunday morning,” he said. “Being only five years old, we are trying to get our name out there, and we are trying to get our foot in the door to help the community with different projects, and to serve the community, and serve the Lord. We are just excited to be there, and hopefully be light house in the city of Portsmouth, where it is needed.”
He said he has observed his pastor serve in ministry for all of his life.
“My dad has always been a pastor all of my life, and the one thing that I can take away from him, when I was growing up, is he has never said a bad thing about anybody in his congregation,” Pastor Chad Benner said. “He never talked negatively, he never joked about them.”
He also said both his father and his mother modeled faithful, Christ-like lives for him, and his siblings to pattern themselves after.
“I learned so much about family, and pastoring both from my dad, and it was nothing that he really said, but just watching his life,”Chad Benner said.
As far as his own church, he said they try to bring in Southern Gospel groups, and revivals.
“We have a Fall Revival that will be coming up, and we will be announcing the dates for those soon, and will take place in the month of November,” Pastor Chad Benner said.
Coles Boulevard Church service times are Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m., Sunday evening at 6 p.m., and Wednesday evening Bible Study at 6 p.m.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.