“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families; he leads out the prisoners with singing.” — Psalm 68:5-6
Benjamin Isaac Blakeslee was born to Bob and Mary Blakeslee on June 5, 1979. Held by his family and now by Jesus, he went to rest with the Lord on Feb. 28, 2018.
Ben grew up in the “hood” on Jackson Street in Billings. His parents had started going to a small church then and Ben was one of the first babies born into that new congregation called Faith Chapel. Growing up, he ran the halls of that church with his brothers and friends, and the church remained instrumental in his life. In high school, Ben met Jodi and fell in love. Ben would argue that as soon as he’d set his eyes on her, he knew she was it and, as a resolute man who knew what he knew, that girl was gonna be his to love. They married on Jan. 30, 1999.
Ben dedicated his life and work from a young age to Christ in the Church. He started playing guitar and singing worship songs in high school and continued on to be an amazing musician, singer and songwriter. He led worship at Faith Chapel for years. Whether it was in front of thousands of people or by himself, Ben embodied a heart for God and worshiped with an honest and joyful voice to his Savior. Ben wanted to be a pastor. His dream and calling was for a people and for a church and he waited for years for the Lord to fulfill that promise. In 2015, he took over the pastorship at Hope Center Foursquare Church and made that church and neighborhood his devotion.
Ben loved people. He embodied the perfect mix of grace and truth. He met people where they were with good news but would gladly tell them a hard truth if they needed it. He and Jodi loved big. After having Dawson, their oldest son, they decided to fill their home by adopting. Ben believed wholeheartedly in the promise of God in Psalm 68:5-6 and he lived that out. They adopted Hope, then Nate, and fostered kids. Many, both big and small, can attest to being unofficially adopted into the Blakeslee family. All were welcome there and all were blessed to know them.
Ben is survived by his wife, Jodi; children, Dawson, Hope and Nathaniel; parents, Bob and Mary; brothers, Matt (Kate) and Aaron; and nephew, Anders.
A celebration of Ben’s life will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, in the main sanctuary at Faith Chapel, 517 Shiloh Road, with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Ben Blakeslee Family Trust, P.O. Box 21193, Billings, MT 59104.