Ben was born in Parkersburg, WV, the last of six children, and was raised in the Northern Baptist tradition. His senior year at West Virginia University, he was confirmed at Trinity Episcopal Church. As an ROTC graduate, he was immediately commissioned, entered the US Army Infantry, and served on active duty for three years. He then took reserve retirement and began his life’s work, business-to-business sales of men’s suits. About this time three children were born; all have been a blessing.
Been has been a parishioner at seven churches and worked hard to serve our Lord in many ways: Vestry, junior warden, acolyte master, Sunday School teacher, and Convention delegate. He was instrumental building a church. One unique service opportunity was in the Episcopal Salesman Club in Chicago.
Ben worked as a contractor in Iraq between 2009-2012. There he met the post chaplain, an Episcopal priest; they became friends and shared many rich experiences together. When the chaplain received orders to be transferred, his replacement was to be of a different denomination. This would mean that the Army soldiers and soldiers from other parts of the world would not be served by familiar liturgy. The outgoing chaplain asked Ben to serve as chaplain. His home parish priest (Father Vernon Gotcher) did approve the change, as did the Army, and Ben ministered to the soldiers. “I will always remember the Eucharist and the private prayers of the soldiers as we sent them on their missions” Ben shared.