Meet Our Pastor
Rev. Ben Wilcox has been appointed by the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church to serve as the Lead Pastor at Cornelia United Methodist Church in August 2020.
Ben has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, a Master’s Degree in Forestry and Natural Resources from The University of Georgia, and a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology. Prior to serving at Cornelia UMC, Ben served as the Associate Pastor at Bethlehem First United Methodist Church from 2018-2020, was the Director of Children’s Ministry at Bethlehem First UMC from 2015-2018, and the Children’s Ministry Director at Princeton UMC in Athens from 2009-2015.
Ben grew up in Lapeer, MI and moved to Georgia in 2003 to work at The University of Georgia’s Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study. Work there consisted mainly of catching wildlife to test for various diseases including West Nile Virus and Avian Influenza. In 2013, Ben felt God calling him into ministry and he began to pursue ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church.
Ben is married to Kristine (Suzor) Wilcox, and they have two sons, Wyatt and Kody. Ben enjoys most sports, bird-watching, walking, and reading.
A Little CUMC History
Formed in 1888, Cornelia United Methodist was the first church built in Cornelia, Georgia by Methodist Minister Dr. H. P. Fitch. Starting with humble beginnings of 20 members, the Methodist shared a small, white frame church with local Baptists until the Baptists could build a church of their own. The church relocated to different locations throughout Cornelia for expansion and once due to a fire in 1955 before settling on Wiley Street. The building was consecrated in June of 1967 and remains in here today. In 1988 Cornelia United Methodist Celebrated its centennial year under the theme "100 years United in Faith and Committed to Christ." The year 2013 served as the 125th anniversary of Cornelia United Methodist as well as the 15 year anniversary of the Latino ministry that began in 1998 and was consecrated in 2001 moving to a separate facility in Baldwin, Georgia.
As God has revealed in the Scriptures, a church is a living organism that has its strength and life through its connection to Jesus Christ. For over 125 years, the Spirit of Crist has expressed the ministry of the Kingdom of God through the worship, witness, service and prayers of the Cornelia United Methodist Church. Godly people, both past and present, have given themselves freely in service to God and the world through Cornelia UMC. We can only stand in awe of their faith and vision that has resulted in such a vibrant church.
We are grateful not only for those who have served faithfully in different times, but we can give thanks for those who presently share with us in service, learning and witness. We truly have been "fearfully and wonderfully made."