Pastors' Memoirs

A. Benjamin Chidester Jr., 1924 - 2011

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When I first met Ben Chidester, I couldn’t even pronounce his name, much less spell it. I wanted to meet him so he could come and visit my first husband who was dying of leukemia. But with Ben’s busy schedule as minister of the Boones Mill United Methodist Church and always helping others, he never had the opportunity to visit him in our home in Boones Mill. But he always greeted him with warmth and enthusiasm after church services each Sunday. Meanwhile, my husband passed away, and a year later, Ben’s wife, Joan, passed away.

Ben and I shared our sorrows and hopes and dreams. We married on St. Patrick’s Day in 2001 and began a life of fun and adventure. On our first trip we flew to Alaska where I had lived for almost 40 years. That was followed by four more years of adventure in our Roadtrek mobile home with our little Maltese, Frisky. For his 80th birthday, Ben celebrated by taking an exciting rubber raft trip down the frigid gray waters of the Nenana River in Alaska.

In between years of traveling to Alaska, we traveled to New England and Canada where he would show me all the churches where he had ministered and the beautiful places where he had been.Wherever we traveled, Ben never met a stranger. He was always so warm and had so many friends everywhere.

I was always so proud to be his wife and support him in his entire ministry. He was not only a minister but also a friend to all.
- Mrs. Dorothy (Dot) S. Chidester



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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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