The Reverend Ben R. Wells became the rector of St. Francis on January 1, 2013.
Ben is a native Kentuckian and attended the University of Kentucky where he received a BS in Biology and an MS in Toxicology. He spent 25 years as a forensic toxicologist in Lexington, KY and Atlanta, GA. It was in Atlanta in 1992 that Ben met his partner Arthur while both were beginning their journey with the Episcopal Church.
After discerning for the priesthood and being granted postulancy by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Ben and Arthur (with Bishop J. Neil Alexander’s consent) decided that Ben would attend The Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in Berkeley, CA, a member of the Graduate Theological Union, an ecumenical consortium of nine seminaries and two houses of study. Ben became a candidate for Holy Orders in 2010. He graduated in May of 2011 with a Master of Divinity emphasizing homiletics and liturgics. Ben was a co-winner of the 2011 CDSP preaching award.
After accepting an offer to relocate to Macon to become the assisting rector at St. Francis, Ben was ordained to the priesthood on August 27, 2011 at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, his sponsoring community. At St. Bart’s, Ben had served as the acolyte warden for eight years, Sunday school teacher for ages 12-14, junior warden, and senior warden.
Ben’s interests lie in reading, gardening, cooking, contemplative prayer, and watching zombie, sci-fi, and classic Hollywood films. He enjoys hiking and going to Camp Mikell when he can. He also has a great interest in religious icons after taking a summer “writing icons” class at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.
His ministry’s emphasis is on Children’s, Youth, and Adult Christian Formation, and the St. Francis Young Adult community. Since 2006, Ben has traveled to southern Honduras as a member of a medical mission team sponsored by the Episcopal Dioceses of North Carolina and Atlanta. He considers himself both a scientist and a priest, both vocations searching to make the invisible visible.
To contant Fr. Ben, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richmond Jones grew up in Coral Springs, FL and Roswell, GA with his father Steven, mother Holly, and his two sisters Lauren and Veronica. Along with his wife Perry, a New Jersey native, and their two cats they are incredibly excited to be coming down to work at St. Francis in Macon.
Richmond enjoys reading sci-fi novels, rugby, working outdoors, and watching television with his wife. Perry loves running, gardening, animals, and watching television with her husband.
Richmond is a graduate of Jacksonville University with a BA in Marketing. Before seminary he was a waiter, dish washer, and a high school rowing coach. Richmond is very active in the youth conferences that occur at Kanuga in Hendersonville, NC and believes outdoor camps are invaluable to formation for young people.
To contact Fr. Richmond, email him at email@example.com.