Rev. Dr. Ben Sharpe

March 15, 2021

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I was born in Chapel Hill and have lived in North Carolina my whole life.  When I was four years old our family moved to Hamlet, NC where I grew up in the house my grandfather had built for my parents.  My father, mother, and two younger sisters and I attended Fellowship United Methodist Church – a church that my grandparents had helped plant.  In fact, when I was not quite two months old my parents traveled from Chapel Hill to Hamlet to have me baptized at Fellowship UMC.   It was in that church that I came to a living faith in Jesus Christ when I was sixteen years old.  While I had grown up in church, and intellectually would have assented to the core doctrines of the Christian faith, I was still very much dead in my trespasses and sins.  I accepted Jesus Christ at a special Sunday service that was a part of a “Lay Witness Mission” weekend.  That conversion experience was dramatic, and it resulted in a total transformation of my character.  In just a few weeks following my conversion I sensed God’s call on my life for ordained ministry.  This call was affirmed by my youth leaders and mentors.

When I was still an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I married my childhood sweetheart, Lisa Carter.  In January 1985 we welcomed our first daughter, Rebekah, into the world.  After completion of my undergraduate degree that year I accepted a position as the District Scout Executive for Alamance County, NC.  In 1987, sensing a renewed call to ministry, I matriculated at the Duke Divinity School. At the same time, I began serving as the Student Local Pastor of Phillips Chapel United Methodist Church outside of Graham, NC.  During my time at Duke our second daughter, Kathleen, was born.  In 1991 our family moved to Atlantic, NC where I served as the pastor of Atlantic UMC for four years. Our third daughter, Elizabeth, was born during that time in the “Down East” area of Carteret County.

In 1995 I was asked to plant a new church in Fayetteville, NC.  That church became known as Cornerstone Church and I served there until 2004.  In 2004 my wife and I experienced a very clear call to become a part of what was then known as the Anglican Mission in America.  I was ordained as deacon in the Anglican way in June 2004 and as priest in December of that year.  In 2004 we returned to Chapel Hill/Durham with the hopes of planting a new Anglican church in that area.  Ultimately that attempt was unsuccessful and after three years we realized that it was time for our family to move on to new work.  In 2007 the Rev. Alan Hawkins welcomed me onto the staff team of a new Anglican church plant in High Point, NC.  In the autumn of that year, according to plan, families from that church who lived in Winston-Salem began the process of starting their own Anglican church in that town.  Those families asked if I would be their planting priest.  In June of 2008 I was instituted as the rector of Christ Church, Winston-Salem and have served there to the present time.  During my tenure as the rector of Christ Church I also completed my Doctor of Ministry degree, with an emphasis in catechesis, at Nashotah House.  Christ Church was a founding member of PEARUSA and the Diocese of Christ Our Hope.

Since planting Christ Church our congregation has also planted Church of the Good Shepherd Bermuda Run, NC, and Christ Church, Lewisville, NC.  Both of these churches are served by pastors formed at Christ Church.  In cooperation with Hope Church in Charleston, WV and Resurrection Church, Hope Mills, NC we helped plant Christ the King Church in Beckley, WV.  The Rev. Chris Borah, rector of the Beckley plant was formed and sent out by Christ Church, Winston-Salem.

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