Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Charleston, SC
Rev. Dr. Byron L. Benton serves as the Senior Pastor of Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church located in North Charleston, South Carolina. He works closely with public and private institutions, serves on and advises various boards, and speaks across the country on critical issues that impact families. His commitment to community and families is evident throughout his ministry. He serves as co-president of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM), and as a board member of the Lowcountry Foodbank, and African-American Chamber Fund. He is an advisor to The Four Rivers Outreach Community Development Corporation in Charleston, South Carolina, and the founder and host of the Mountaintop Manna Podcast.
Pastor Benton, an academically high achiever, offers a much-needed blend of southern hospitality and urban edge. He is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, and a proud graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a degree in business education and administrative systems. He completed his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, New Jersey), focusing on homiletics and pastoral care, and has a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
Pastor Benton’s gifts extend beyond the classroom and the sanctuary. He is a gifted percussionist who served as Chaplain of the N.C. A&T State University Band, also known as The Marching Machine. As an undergraduate student, Pastor Benton instructed an urban charter middle school drumline. While serving as the Associate Pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, he founded the award-winning Berean Community Drumline (BCD) through the Berean Community and Family Life Center. In 2012 Pastor Benton became one of the founders and later that year the Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. There he became a founding Board member of the Berean Community Center and was the Vice President of the Garden on Millbrook Catering Company, Inc.
Pastor Benton works closely with public and private organizations, having served as a chaplain intern at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey, and Chaplain of the Association of Black Seminarians at Princeton Theological Seminary. His time at Princeton was rewarding and life-changing. Pastor Benton was awarded the Aaron E. Gast Award in Urban Ministry, the Jagow Award in Homiletics and Speech, and the Ray Lindquist Award in Pastoral Care. The Amsterdam News (New York, New York) featured Dr. Benton as the “Black New Yorker,” and he was awarded a congressional record for his community involvement.
Passionate about the abundant life and holistic health accessible through Christ, Pastor Benton has committed his life to empower others to live spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy lives. Living by example, he completed the TCS New York Marathon and has run countless other competitive races and challenges, such as the Tough Mudder. Pastor Benton truly believes that the transformational power of Jesus Christ can change any circumstance and renew all mindsets.
Pastor Benton is married to his best friend and soulmate, the former Yasmeen Hadaway, and they have three beautiful daughters – Arianna, Mayara, and Zaya. Pastor Benton looks forward to watching his family continue to grow in love for God and each other.