While most children dream of being firefighters and
policemen, Pastor Ben's childhood dream was to be a preacher. In those
days it was because that was what his Dad was—and he wanted to be just like
him. But when Ben was 13 years of age, and preparing the sermon for
Pathfinder Sabbath, he knew this was about more than just being like Dad, it
was about being like Jesus; and it was about sharing His love with
In 1990, Ben heard about a mission trip to Mexico with other
young people. Thinking it would be fun to travel over spring break and
get away from home for a time, he raised the funds to go. But it was more
than just a trip. It was truly a mission, and it sparked in him an interest in
missions and service. Since that first mission trip, Ben has been on two
additional trips to Mexico, two to Ukraine, one to Romania, and one to El
Salvador. But the crown jewel of his mission experience is the year he
spent as a student missionary in Melbourne, Australia.
While still studying at Southwestern Adventist
University in Keene, TX, Ben met his bride-to-be, Silvia. She too had
served as a student missionary—to Poland—and had been on other mission trips to
Mexico and Ukraine. Of Waldensian descent, her family has a rich history
of church service, whether as pastors or medical missionaries. In fact,
her father has the distinction of being the first surgeon to successfully
complete a kidney transplant in one the most remote parts of Argentina.
Silvia immigrated to the United States from
Argentina when she was just three years old. Silvia started college at
Southwest Texas State University, but her dad wanted her to go to an Adventist
school so she could meet an Adventist husband. She still laughs when she
tells of how, in the first months of her Senior year, she called home to tell
her dad she was sorry he had wasted her money, but she was still single.
A couple of weeks later, she and Ben went on their first date—and as they say,
"The rest is history." When they had both graduated from
college, they married in January, 1999. Now, Silvia's dad has the last laugh.
Ben holds a Masters of Divinity Degree and Silvia a Masters
of Social Work, both from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI.
Together, Pastor Ben and Silvia have led
churches in all four time zones across the continental U.S. Though his
specialty is church revitalization and restart, he as hosted a weekly radio
broadcast, planted a church, conducted numerous seminars on Bible Prophecy,
marriage and family, and stress management, and shared the Gospel on three
continents during his career. They were pastoring 3 churches in New
Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the city. Though temporarily
displaced during that time, they worked to find all their members, and
thankfully, not one was lost in the storm.
Besides her clinical therapy work, Silvia has
also worked as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness Instructor, a
vocational rehab counselor, and a behavioral health case manager. Silvia is also
a gifted teacher and kids are naturally drawn to her warm and friendly
The Church and church service are important
parts of the lives of Ben and Silvia. Together they share in ministry;
not only to the congregations they serve, but to their local and global
communities as well.