Our Staff

Rev. Dr. Lawrence Powers, Senior Pastor

lawrence@bensonbaptist.org| EXT. 22


  • Campbell University Divinity School, Doctor of Ministry
  • Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Certificate of Completion toward a Doctor of Ministry degree
  • Campbell University Divinity School, Master of Divinity
  • Campbell University Divinity School, Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy
Rev. Dr. Lawrence Powers 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.

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

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

He 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.

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

Position Open, Minister of Youth and Children


This position is currently open. Click Here to apply.



Todd Johnson, Minister of Music

todd@bensonbaptist.org | EXT. 24


  • Campbell University Divinity School, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • North Carolina State University, Master of Arts in Public History
  • Campbell University, Bachelor of Arts in history

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 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.

Debbie Champagne, Secretary

debbie@bensonbaptist.org | EXT. 21

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 T. Otter, Associate Minister of Children’s Sermons


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.

Rannie and Sonja Lee, Custodians


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.