Pastors & Staff

Ben crismon

Senior Pastor

Meet Ben, our Senior Pastor and all around fun guy!

He and his wife Mary, a real estate agent, have three children: Sallee, Shepherd, and Calder. He loves serving God and God's people and has a deep desire to see others connect their lives with Christ.

Ben loves chicken and dumplings, gardening, wood projects, and the Hogs! Ben is from Little Rock but has called Benton home for the last 3 years.

Fun fact: Ben was the captain of his high school quiz bowl team!

Taylor loy

Associate Pastor

Taylor is one amazing guy! He started at our church in July of this 2018 and has quickly won over the hearts of our congregation.

Taylor loves his mom's chicken nachos, fountain pens, and has a large collection of bibles and prayer books. Ice cream is his biggest weakness. Taylor’s hometown is Hot Springs, but has called many towns home since childhood including Caney, Cabot, Fayetteville, and Durham, North Carolina.

Fun fact: Taylor did 3 years of professional, public debate in his undergraduate education. He has also spent 6 months in El Salvador where he met his wife, Bessie!

Donna hogue

Encore Ministry Director

Donna is our Director of Encore Ministries! She loves interacting with the people of Benton FUMC who worship in any one of our three services.

Donna was born and raised here in Benton and graduated from Benton High School! In her free time, she loves to read and cook with her family. Whether it is football, basketball, or baseball, Donna is a die hard Arkansas Razorback fan. Her favorite meal is Swiss steak with mashed potatoes and green peas. But if a lobster dish was available, that'd be hard to pass up for Donna!

Fun fact: Donna was a majorette and a Drum Major in the Benton High School Band!

daniel curry

Youth Ministries Director

Daniel is our Director of Youth Ministries here at Benton FUMC. He has been a part of the staff at Benton First since 2016. Daniel finds joy in being able to witness students grow up in life as well as in their relationship with God.

Daniel was born and raised in Little Rock and loves living in Benton! In his free time, he plays disc golf with friends and enjoys hunting/fishing with his dad. Daniel follows the Razorbacks as well as his Alma Mater, the UCA Bears. His favorite meal is his Grandma's spaghetti with garlic bread.

Fun fact: Daniel is a self-proclaimed, semi-professional tomahawk thrower. Also, he can win any staring contest, anywhere, anytime.

Jessica Mungle

Elementary Children's Ministry Director

Jessica is a long time resident of Saline County, and grew up as a part of this community.

She has been a part of our team since August of 2019. She loves having the opportunity to connect children and families to God.

Jessica loves spending time with her husband and children, and her favorite food is chocolate!

Katelyn berry

Infant to Pre-K Children's Ministry Director

Katelyn is the Director of our Children's Ministry for the children in our nursery through Pre-K. This includes our Early Christian Awareness program, Nursery Care, Sunday School, and First Kids on Wednesday Nights.

She has been with us since August of 2019. In her free time she likes to paint, travel, float, and spend time with friends and family. Her favorite food is pizza!

Jim Delamar

Contributions and Facilities Director

Jim DeLamar is our Contributions and Facilities Manager. Through Jim's job at Benton FUMC, he is responsible for the maintenance and the upkeep of the church. Because of him, we are able to turn the lights on Sunday mornings. Props Jim!!

Jim is originally from Prescott but has lived in Benton for many years. He loves to grill hamburgers and enjoys eating Mexican food. Jim's hobbies consist of using and collecting fountain pens, spending time with his wife, Terri, and their three poodles; collecting stamps and coins, and reading books.

Interesting fact: Jim is a member of the Arkansas Pen Club and also enjoys collecting Bosson heads.

Sam pierce

Director of Communications

Sam Pierce is our Director of Communications, which means he handles all of our printed and digital communication. Sam has been on staff since April of 2019. He is from Little Rock, having graduated from Pulaski Robinson.

Some of his favorite activities include spending time with his family, including his wife and two daughters. They read books, play and build LEGOS, and spend time at the park.

His favorite food is his wife’s chicken enchiladas and his chili.

Tanya Vinyard

Child Development Center Director

Tanya is the Director of all of our Child Development Center programs: The Shepherd's Fold, Jolly Time Pre-school, and Kid's Day Out. She was born and (mostly) raised in Benton.

She started as a teacher for the Daycare and Mother’s Day Out programs in 2011, and has been with us since.

In her free time she love spending time with her family, reading, hanging out on the Saline River and knitting.

Tanya says she could eat a taco or burrito for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Melissa berry

Jolly Time Teacher and Kid's Day Out Director

Melissa Berry is one of the most loved people here at Benton First! She has served as our Kids Day Out Director since June of 2012 and as Jolly Time Preschool Co-Director since June of 2016. She also serves at a Co-Teacher in part because she loves time with the kids so much!

Her family moved to Benton in 2006. She is married to Brett Berry and they have 4 wonderful children, Katelyn, Grant, Carter, and Jillian. Her family has been members of Benton FUMC since the Fall of 2011.

Melissa loves to travel, kayak, canoe, go to the movies, spend time with her family and friends, and watch her kids do any and all activities they are involved in. She also loves to volunteer in our church and in our community.  

Oh, and her favorite food is Mexican food!  

Also, her favorite part of working in our Child Development Center is making lasting relationships with the children and families in our programs inside and outside of the walls of our church.

Liz selby

Jolly Time Teacher

Liz was born and raised in Little Rock.  She has been married to her husband, John, for 42 years.  Liz has 3 adult children; Zach, Sarah, and Leah, who have given Liz 7 fabulous grandchildren! Her favorite food is anything Mexican! She has taught at Jolly Time Preschool for 28 years, and loves shaping the minds and hearts of children.

Josh johnson

Director of Sacred Music

Joshua L. Johnson is the Director of Sacred Music at Benton FUMC. Josh graduated from Benton High School in 2011, and received a Bachelors of Vocal Music Education degree from Arkansas Tech University in 2016.

He started working at Benton Jr. High School in 2018 after teaching at Wynne High School for 2 years.

In his free time, Josh loves spending time with his wife, Jasmine, and their daughter, Adaline. He also loves to ride long distances on his bicycle and fishing as much as possible.

Mike stramiello

Contemporary Worship Leader

Mike is our Contemporary Worship leader in our 9am service. He has been a part of the staff at Benton FUMC since 2017 and adds fun and energy to every interaction he has.

Mike loves hot wings, anything related to music, traveling and cheering on the Yankees in baseball. He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey but has been a Little Rock resident for several years.

Fun fact: Mike is an officiate for Division 1 men's basketball in the NCAA.

Lisa plischke

Church Nursery Director

Lisa has a great passion for working with children. She has a background in music and wants to provide a safe, nurturing environment which allows our children to learn and grow within the church community.

Lisa has worked as an elementary teacher for over 10 years and looks forward to leading our babies to learn about the love of Christ.

If you have not met Lisa, please drop by the nursery and welcome her to our family!