Man with gray hair and dark facial hair

Ben Morgan bio

Ben Morgan was born July 13, 1970, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where his father, Vernon, was a Baptist minister. His mother, Charlotte, cared for Ben and his older sister, Alicia. Charlotte also participated in the church women's activities, taught Sunday School, and performed all the traditional duties of a pastor's wife.

Ben became accustomed to many hours of church-going at an early age. Unlike many "preacher's kids," he didn't rebel against the rules of his church and his strict father. He thrived on routine and structure, and actively participated in activities and church organizations with the children and youth of his church.

An excellent student, Ben noticed that other students and the teachers paid attention when he spoke, even if they didn't like what he was saying. He couldn't understand why everybody didn't think as he did, but he thrived on arguing his position, which made him a star of his high school debate team.

At Campbell University, Ben considered studying political science and history with the idea of going into politics, but instead, he took business courses. He combined his gift of gab with his business acumen and graduated with a BA in Business Administration.

Ben always did well with girls, but he never got serious about his dates because none of them quite measured up to his standards. Then the summer before his senior year, he met Patience Chapman at a national church conference. He found her intelligent, articulate, and in possession of the social and political beliefs that the other young women he'd met had lacked.

Patience was starting her junior year at Blue Mountain College in northeastern Mississippi, and they stayed in contact during the school year. By the time Ben graduated, he and Patience were deeply in love, but they decided to postpone marriage until he could support a family.

After getting his degree, Ben worked for a Raleigh insurance agency owned by a long-time friend of his father. With his powers of persuasion and his many church and community connections, he did well in the job.

After college, Ben found his father's church didn't always share his increasingly conservative social, political, and religious philosophies. He sought a church that fit his ideals and became deeply involved in Pastor Thurman George's independent church. When Pastor George decided to establish a new church in Oxford, where he could be closer to his friends, the Wildmons, he invited Ben to go with him. Pastor Geroge felt Ben's unwavering faith and evangelism would help develop a strong congregation.

Ben welcomed the challenge of founding a new church and the opportunity to be close to Patience. The following year, Patience and Ben married in the new First Church of Oxford.

Building a new church supported Ben's family spiritually but not financially, so Ben started The Morgan Insurance Group. Within a few years, the business was doing well enough that he and Patience could start a family. Ben Junior was born in June 1997, followed by Grace in September 2000.

During the children's early years, their mother homeschooled them because Ben and Patience didn't want them misled by the teachings of the public school system. In 2010, the First Church of Oxford opened their own school with Patience as principal and the Morgan children among their first students.

Ben twice ran for Yoknapatawpha County School Board unsuccessfully, partly due to his ultra-conservative philosophy and partly because he lacked credibility since his children were privately schooled.

In 2018, he turned his attention to a new organization, Concerned Oxford Parents (COP), led by Claire Windham. Among other causes, the group campaigned against sex education in schools and pushed for stricter enforcement of the age restrictions at local movie theatres. They were also instrumental in ensuring the indictment and prosecution of Andrea Stover, which Ben felt was an important step in the right direction.

When Claire Windham was elected mayor of Oxford, Ben took over as president of COP. By the time Andrea Stover returned as an ex-con and registered sex offender, COP was poised to focus their attention on her once again. They were actively protesting her "immoral presence" in the community when she was found dead.



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