Growing up west of Chicago in the height of Michael Jordan’s dominance, Ben’s initial life plan was to play point guard for the Chicago Bulls. Genetics and lack of talent were the two primary reasons for choosing another path. Upon meeting Christ in his boyhood years, Ben developed an insatiable desire to know the Bible and to understand the storyline of Scripture. With a passion for learning, and a love for a challenge, he was drawn to the laboratory of science and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Anderson University in 1998.
Call to Ministry
Upon graduating from college, Ben met his wife-to-be, Lynley Nix, while working at a sports camp called Kanakuk Kamps. Lynley thought she was marrying a Biology teacher and coach, but supported Ben as he felt called to pursue a seminary education. In 2006, Ben graduated from Southern Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree.
Early Ministry Years
While making plans to be a campus minister and working full-time on a college campus, Ben was asked to be the regular speaker at a collegiate worship service at a church called Englewood. To Ben’s surprise, the service grew dramatically, which created the invitation for Ben to become a frequent teaching pastor in the main services. In 2006, Ben became the Senior Pastor of Englewood Baptist Church, and celebrated a season of growth from 1,800 people to 2,700 in weekend attendance.
The Call to Church Planting
In early 2013, as Ben and Lynley were leading their church in developing a long-range strategic plan, a sense of “holy discontent” materialized. They prayed that God would re-energize them for the work, or supply vision for what their next assignment might be. In the midst of that season, Ben was introduced to the Send North America initiative—a growing movement to plant culturally connected churches in key cities across the country. After initial discussions, Ben and Lynley decided to visit three cities for exploration: Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Diego. They visited Denver first, in July of 2013, and cancelled the trips to the other cities. God had planted a new dream and passion in their hearts—to launch a multiplying church in the northwest corner of Denver, in Arvada.
With a B.S. from Anderson University, and an M.Div. from Southern Seminary, Ben pursued one final level of education: a Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching. The focus of his dissertation was the development of men as strong spiritual leaders. It remains his passion to help men gain confidence in growing their family closer to God.