In May of 1988, the Brighton Nazarene Church members voted to invite Pastor Ben to become their pastor. At that time, Pastor Ben was pastoring in Wisconsin and knew it was God’s timing to accept the call and move to Brighton, Michigan. Pastor Ben and his family made the ten-hour drive to Brighton to start a new adventure. Needless to say, he had no clue that his decision would last the balance of his career as a pastor.
Pastor Ben met his wife Melanie at the college they both graduated from, Mount Vernon Nazarene University. They married in 1976 and had two children: Crystal and Benjamin. Crystal is married to Chad, who is also a Nazarene Pastor, and they have two children: Alaina and Carson. Pastor Ben’s son is also a Nazarene Pastor and is married to Courtney. They have two children, Addie and Ben.
One core value of The Naz is outreach. From the beginning, it has been Pastor Ben’s heart to get outside the walls of The Naz and reach into our community. In the summer of 1997, God led the church into opening a skate park for the community. Since then, it has had over 10,000 kids from the community come through the doors and hear the message of Jesus Christ. Another avenue that has touched the community has been the Celebrate Recovery Ministry. Since it started in 2005, it has become the largest Celebrate Recovery program in the state of Michigan. This ministry has been able to help and touch thousands of people who are struggling with hurts, habits, and hang-ups through the power of Jesus Christ.
The Naz wants to help each person experience an abundant life through Jesus Christ. Its mission is to Love God, Love all People, and Love in Action. The goal is to help people discover a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ, connect with a wonderful church family through small group involvement, and find the perfect match to serve God’s kingdom with each person’s God-given gifts.