Our Staff

Dr. Lawrence Powers

Lawrence's Bio
Lawrence is no stranger to Johnson County. He graduated from Smithfield Selma Senior High School in Smithfield and spent many years in the area while a student at Campbell University.

Lawrence began his ministry tenure serving with teenagers and college students in congregational settings, most recently serving as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina Campus Minister for the Raleigh Area, at UNC Chapel Hill and as the Baptist Chaplain at Duke University.

He is a graduate of Campbell University (B.A. in Religious Studies, 2009, M.Div., 2013). He began pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree as a student of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, but transferred to Campbell when BTSR unexpectedly closed. He graduated with his doctorate in May 2020 with a project entitled: Journeying Out: A Field-Based Curriculum for Preparing Youth for Life After High School.

Lawrence believes deeply in the future of the local church as we follow the call of Christ to love deeply and serve well. He is thankful to be a part of the community at Benson Baptist as we seek to serve each other, the community, and the world.

Lawrence currently serves on the Leadership Team of Baptist Women in Ministry and as the Past Co-Convener of the Board of Directors for Baptist Women in Ministry of NC.

Lawrence is married to Heather, a Certified Athletic Trainer and together they have two sons, one daughter, and two dogs.

Coming Soon!

Minister of Youth and Children

More info coming soon

Todd Johnson

Minister of Music


Todd's Bio

Todd Johnson brings to Benson Baptist a heart for worship and over 25 years of experience as a church musician in Johnston and Wake counties. A native of the Cleveland community, he is a 1982 graduate of South Johnston High School. He earned degrees from Campbell University (B.A. in history, 1986, and M.A. in Christian Ministry, 2015) and N.C. State University (M.A. in public history, 1991).

He is married to his college sweetheart, Donna Barfield, a gifted vocalist and worship leader in her own right, and they have three amazing and wonderful grown children, Abby, Cliff, and Kevin. They live  in the historic Fleming Boarding House in Smithfield where Todd serves as executive director of the Johnston County Heritage Center, a museum and library devoted to local history and genealogy. He is a published author of several books related to church history and local history. He also has several unpublished sacred musical compositions and arrangements under his belt. 

Todd is excited to be a part of this wonderful church family and for all of the amazing worship experiences and special friendships that are present at Benson Baptist.

Natalie & Sean Farris

Interim Directors of Children and Youth


Sean & Natalie's Bio
Sean and Natalie are BBC members who have stepped up to work with our youth and children while we search for our next Minister of Youth and Children.

We are thankful for their willingness to serve in this way during this time of transition!

Debbie Champagne

Debbie's Bio
If a church is only as good as its secretary, then Benson Baptist is in good shape.

A military veteran, mother, and grandmother, Debbie has embodied the word “service” all of her life.  She has demonstrated that embodiment at church for over twenty years by attending to the needs of anyone who might call or stop by her office. 

Debbie’s selflessness is rooted in her own faith in the God who selflessly loves us, and every person who graces the door of Benson Baptist is blessed because of it.


River The Otter

Minister of Children’s Sermons

No email because he has no WiFi at the river

River's Bio

River came on staff at BBC in September 2020 to help us with Children’s Sermons for Sunday mornings and to work with our BBC Kids ministry.

River loves to splash, build, and play with toys. He’s got an imagination that rivals everyone and is always found having a blast no matter the situation.

River lives down by the river in his Den where he has built many rooms himself. He loves to travel.

Kate Crowe

Nursery Coordinator


Kate's Bio

Kate joined our staff in January 2020 as she is currently completing her Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical Research at Campbell University.

In addition to working with us, she is also interning at Syneos Health and looking to further her experiences in the real world!

Kate’s favorite things are to travel and try new things.


Rannie and Sonja Lee



Rannie & Sonja's Bio

We don’t like to think about what Benson Baptist would be like without the love and devotion that Rannie and Sonja bring to their work! 

Every week, they tirelessly keep things running as they prepare rooms for Bible study, sit out tables for meals, or make sure our spaces are ready for people to come in and worship. Now in their fourteenth year of service at Benson Baptist, we’re thankful for their dedication and work.