Friends, it seems like yesterday-May 2016- when I graduated from New York Seminary in Manhattan. The countless hours of studying most certainly equipped me to do ministry today. In addition, I remember when I was in Seminary and church leaders gave me a chance to have my voice heard.
We are SO blessed to have a Yale Divinity student in our congregation, Benjamin Geeding. This young man has several gifts and talents. This Sunday we will provide him the platform to preach the word of God. Below is a bio about a young man pursuing God’s heart:
Benjamin Geeding was born in Michigan and grew up in the farming town of Manteno, IL (south of Chicago), adopted into a family with wonderful parents and an older brother, Sam. From a young age, Benjamin showed an aptitude for music, acting, academics, and friendship/community with those around him. Ben’s charismatic attitude won him many friends and admirers, and he grew up surrounded by a whirlwind of activity. Ben excelled specifically in music and writing, and was heavily involved in his church youth group, even though he did not profess a personal faith at the time. To Ben’s surprise, many of his church acquaintances found themselves drawn closer to God through Ben’s life, even as Ben struggled to make sense of religion. After being convinced by his mother to try out a Christian university before transferring to a state school, Benjamin went to Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL to study Music Education. Ben met his wife Christine during the first week of classes as they both prepared for a choir audition.
Ben found and pursued a growing hunger for connection with God in college. He used his new-found light to continue investing in other people through music and preaching in churches across the Midwest. As his theological interests deepened, he found himself attracted to philosophy and ethics as well. After graduating with a B.A. in Music in ’15 and two minors in Religion and Philosophy, Ben immediately pursued an M.A. in Christian Thought at Olivet’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry, even as he concurrently led an inner-city music and art conglomerate, taught classes as a professor in the school of music and the school of theology at Olivet, led corporate musical worship at his childhood church, and directed a program of student preachers and musicians at the university.
Ben applied for a handful of master’s programs after getting his MA at Olivet and decided to enroll at Yale Divinity School for an M.A.R. in Philosophy of Religion. He continues to spend his time pursuing truth, goodness and light in everything he does, and is an incredible husband and partner for his wife, Christine. Ben dreams of being a professor and “stepping stone” for future college students, who, like him, come from quieter beginnings but are searching for a way to change the world.
I look forward to hearing a powerful seminarian preach this Sunday. God bless you and stay passionate!
Rev. Gary M. Morello