Dr. Ben Wagener

Minister of Welcome and Engagement

Ben and his wife, Dorothy, thought they were retiring when they moved to Winston-Salem in 2014. But then, Ben says, he “flunked retirement” when in October 2015 Knollwood called him as minister of welcome and engagement, to work with visitors and new members.

In 50 years of ministry, Ben has served pastorates in Kentucky and Virginia, including eight years as founding pastor of a covenant church modeled on the Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. His most recent full-time position was 12 years as pastor for spiritual formation at the Vienna Baptist Church in Vienna, Va.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Ben grew up “southern-fried” in Clemson, S.C. He holds degrees from Furman University (B.A., history), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Princeton Theological Seminary (D.Min.), and is a certified life coach. He and Dorothy have a son, daughter, and son-in-law. For relaxation, Ben is both active—doubles tennis and golf—and reflective, participating in an Anam Cara (“soul friend”) group and a dream group.