Pastor Ben Krey

Pastor Ben Krey  was called to be the Pastor of Christus Victor Lutheran Church in January 2017 and started on March 15th, 2017.  Before moving to Durham, Pastor Ben served as the pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Philadelphia from 2009.  In his baptism, the Holy Spirit gave him gifts for evangelism and goofy skits for VBS or otherwise boring church annual meetings.  Pastor Ben loves to talk to people outside of the Church and especially loves building relationships with people of different cultures.  Though he only speaks English, he loves finding ways to communicate Jesus' love through actions to those who do not speak English.  In doing so, he experiences Jesus in their smiles and hospitality. 

Philly Years

In Philadelphia, Pastor Ben lead his small congregation (with a BIG GOD) to resettle 250 refugees.  He and the congregation were also leaders of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER, a community organization and affiliate of PICO).  After over 5 years of work and building relations with politicians and community allies, POWER celebrated when the Philadelphia airport workers unionized in 2017.  Pastor Ben remembers the airport workers who pushed wheelchairs, making less than minimum wage, and could be fired if they asked for a tip.  Now they have hope and a living wage.

The church in Philadelphia was in the Lawncrest neighborhood, which was a great place to meet neighbors when walking to and from people's homes, the local shops on Rising Sun Ave, or community meetings.  Lawncrest was one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in the city in 2009, but the congregation was almost entirely white when he arrived.  He led the congregation to grow in cross-cultural relationship building, and experiencing Jesus in others; and the congregation was transformed into one of the most diverse congregations in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, with members from Pakistan, Liberia, Trinidad, Iraq, Congo, Columbia, Dominican Republic, as well as African Americans and still a lot of White Americans.  There were people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions (especially Muslim and Hindu from the refugee resettlement work) active in the congregation, because they were really welcome and experienced the love of Jesus in real tangible ways.

A little more ...

Pastor Ben was dean of the Northeast Philadelphia Conference of ELCA congregations from 2013-2017, and focused on creating cooperative ministries between gifted but struggling urban congregations.  He volunteered as a police chaplain for the 2nd Police District of Philadelphia.

Pastor Ben is excited to be in South Durham where there is also a great diversity and many flavors to life!  His better 7/8ths and best friend is his wife, Pastor Marissa Krey.  They love to play card and board games together, and are always happy to deal in another friend.  They have two people-loving cats, Argyle and Boitnoit.  They welcomed their son, Jonah, a gift from God, in 2019.

Early years ...

Pastor Ben was born in Bristol, CT and grew up in Waterbury, CT.  He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA with a dual degree in electrical and computer engineering with a minor in mathematics.  Through many conversations with his college roommate, Lutheran Campus Ministry and the Lutheran Student Movement, God stirred up that he might have a calling other than engineering.  At Resurrection Lutheran Church in the Roxbury section of Boston, during his first worship service with Philip, his little brother in a little brother-big brother program, Pastor Ben's heart exploded inside his chest.  God got his attention!  He now knows God was telling him that urban and diverse ministry among the poor is what God is calling him to do.  It is where he sees God's grace and Jesus on the cross the most clearly.  He graduated seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (now Union Lutheran Seminary) in 2008.  And he lives to help individuals and congregations experience the transformative power of God's grace.

Knowing Jesus gave everything on the cross, Daniel 3:16-18 further inspires Pastor Ben to live faithfully, no matter the cost.  At Christus Victor Lutheran Church, he works to help this congregation fearlessly trust God, accept all others, themselves, and their calling to give comfort.