This is the blog of Ben Howard. That’s me above. It is my thoughts, writings, opinions, and rantings on any subject that interests me. Those subjects are many and are guided by what makes me who I am. My plan is to update this blog regularly covering life, ministry and personal interests like, but not limited to, theology, military ministry, pastoral issues, running, Japan and family.
So who am I? I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. I have been happily married to my wife Beth since 1996. We have one son Bradley who was born in 2013. We are currently preparing to go to Yokohama, Japan to serve as the Associate Pastor at Yokohama International Baptist Church. We are excited to see how God can use us in a country we love, having lived there for two years while in the Navy.
Most recently I served as the Associate Pastor at Valley Baptist Church in Valley Center, California. Valley Baptist Church is our sending church to Japan. Prior to Valley Baptist Church, I served (still do in fact) as a Navy Chaplain. I was an active duty Navy Chaplain from 2005 to 2014—I am still serving as a Chaplain in the Navy Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Prior to the Navy, I served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1993-2014 where earned the rank of Staff Sergeant.
I am endorsed by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as a Navy Reserve Chaplain. I am a conservative evangelical in the world of Christianity. I graduated from Bob Jones University with a B.A. in Pastoral Studies in 1997. Following my time at Bob Jones University, I left the world of independent Baptist fundamentalism, for the Southern Baptist Convention which was a much better fit for me in practice and theology. I continued my education by earning a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2004.
Finally, we have had a number of people ask about our financial situation during this transition to Japan. I find that this is one of the hardest questions to answer. God has provided for us in amazing ways through the transition, but it is definitely a walk of faith for us! Yes, I will receive a salary in Japan, but will continue to serve in the Navy Reserve in order to make ends meet. We are not comfortable raising support, but have been so humbled by the many friends who have expressed an interest to come alongside and financially help us through this transition. If you would like to like to help supplement our income, you can give a tax deductible gift by sending a check or giving online to Valley Baptist Church (just designate it to “Japan”). Again, we trust God has called us and he knows better than we do what our needs are and already has a plan to meet those needs.