A word from our Pastor Branan Becknell.
Raised in a Christian home, I trusted the Lord as a child in family devotions while living in Atlanta, Georgia. My father received a call of God to go into the ministry when he was around forty years old. It ws a real step of faith for my parents to leave the world that they knew, and go to Bible school for Christian training. Their example of faithful obedience to God's will challenged me in my own walk with the Lord. While attending a junior high church camp, I dedicated my life to serve God. In time, my father started and independent Baptist church in Atlanta, named Calvary Baptist Church in Dunwoody, Georgia, and our whole family became involved in this new work. While actively involved in part-time ministry at my home church, I finished a BA from Baptist University of America and a BA from Georgia State University. Having had my ministry skills validated by those in our church family but wanting to be better prepared for ministry in either teaching or preaching, I enrolled and graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston, Massachusetts. While in seminary, I met Marilynn Kenney who had served for eight and a half years as the Christian education Director at her home church in Bangor, Maine, namely Columbia Street Baptist Church. after graduation from seminary, Marilynn and I were married. Excited about the opportunity of more study in church history, I endtered a Ph,D. program in Ancient History at Miami Univeristy of Ohio and my dissertation was finished in 2000. Wanting more accountability and cooperation with other like-minded churches, I prayed about which Baptist denomination to join. While in Ohio, I affiliated and later was ordained as a pastor in the American Baptist Churches at the First Baptist Church of Hamilton, Ohio. Feeling a call to serve God in New England, I have served the past ten years in pastoral ministry in Maine in two American Baptist Churches, eight years at Windsor Memorial Baptist church and just over two years at United Baptist Church of Ellsworth. The Lord has blessed us with two children, a girl named Merritt and a boy named Jack.