On May 12, the day after graduating, M.Div. recipient Benito (Ben) Aguilera was ordained at Christ Memorial Church in Holland, MI, where he has accepted a position as Pastor of Community and Global Missions.

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Ben grew up in Southern California and didn’t become a Christian until high school. His first church was a non-denominational charismatic congregation where he learned about the Holy Spirit, gifts and strong leadership. There he developed a deep passion for sharing the gospel. When Ben got to his first chapel service at Northwestern College in Iowa, he was in for a culture shock.

“It was interesting, it was different, it was new,” he says. “I began to see the beauty in liturgy, in the tradition that the RCA has, but I also saw some of the challenges that the RCA faces, for example—diversity.”

Ben has dedicated his studies and his ministry to understanding and appreciating different cultures outside and within the church and learning to meet people where they are. He is passionate about sharing the gospel with the un-churched and with those on the fringes of society.

“I always tell people I’m from the best of both worlds,” he says. “I’m from a charismatic background but also have this strong biblical foundation that I love in the RCA. It challenges me. It challenges the way I think; it challenges the way I walk with God, and I think it’s really important that I always have those two be a part of my life and my ministry.”

Ben has been working as the director of community development at Christ Memorial, where his job has been to maintain relationships with 20+ non-profits and ministries in Holland. One of his goals is to get the church out of the pews and into the community.

Ben and his wife Hannah will be staying in Holland for the foreseeable future, but they are open to the Lord’s direction. Ben has a heart for urban ministry and hopes someday to become a church planter.