Okay, so this might not exactly be Hope’s greatest mystery, BUT it (more accurately, he) was definitely a mystery at least to me for a while. After my freshman year at Hope, the college hired a new chaplain of worship and arts: Bruce Benedict.
As a frequent Chapel-goer and someone who was definitely interested in joining Hope’s worship team at some point, I did the obvious, and I googled him. Apparently when you google “Bruce Benedict” he actually pops up as a former MLB player. This is not the same guy (but Hope’s Bruce is equally as cool as Baseball Bruce), but eventually I wound up on his resource website for worship leaders called Cardiphonia.
“This guy is legit,” I thought, and he is. Recently I realized that there are still a ton of things that I don’t know about Bruce, and I figured that the people of Hope could benefit by learning a few more things about him!
Me: Tell me who you are.
Bruce: I am basically a fashionista. Oh my gosh… My name is Bruce Benedict. I am the son of James Benedict. I am the worship chaplain at Hope College. I am the husband of PJ Maske and father of Aaron and Eliza Jo, and I’m a musician.
Me: Why did you decide to apply for this job? What were you doing before?
Bruce: I applied for this job after unsuccessfully convincing many of my friends to apply for it. I was a worship pastor at a church in Raleigh, North Carolina, before I came here.
Me: What does a typical “day in the life” look like?
Bruce: I wake up between 5:30 and 6 a.m., then I fix breakfast and help my 3-year-old son, Aaron, get ready for baby school. Then, I travel to the lovely Hope College to rehearse with my awesome, amazing, cooler-than-anyone-else-on-the-planet worship team (at 7 a.m.). Typically, I have meetings or touch base with other campus ministries staff before chapel. After chapel, I typically have lunch with someone on campus. In the afternoons, it can be anything from meeting with students to scheduling projects and rehearsals, or reading or praying, or helping out Lori with the things she’s working on. Then I usually go home and have dinner with my family and go to bed around 8, unless it’s a Wednesday. On Wednesdays we have rehearsal for the Gathering from 8-10 p.m.
Me: Which is more common: Finding you at Lemonjello’s or Paul Boersma at Crust 54?
Bruce: Definitely me at LJ’s. Although, I would say that Paul eats more pieces of pepperoni pizza at Crust 54 in a year than I have cups of coffee at LJ’s.
Me: What is the best part of your job?
Bruce: I get to work with college students doing music that helps to shepherd the Christian life. My job is basically awesome because I get to do a lot of things that I love.
Me: What is the hardest part of your job?
Bruce: I only get to do it nine months of the year. That’s sort of a fake answer. The honest real answer is that, because of the nature of my job being on stage in Dimnent Chapel, it’s hard for me to get to know as many students individually as I would like. Or working with Paul Boersma. Just kidding. He’s amazing.
Me: What are you most excited for in the next year?
Bruce: For sure, it’s to see who God’s going to lead to be on the worship team next year.
Me: Anything else? Any Hope rumors about you that you need to dispel?
Bruce: My office is actually in the organ in the balcony of Dimnent. People don’t know that. Additionally, I am wildly popular with seminary students and homeschool co-ops.
So, there you have it. An inside look at the life and times of Bruce Benedict. If you’re visiting Hope, make sure to visit Chapel at 10:30 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you’re a Hope student interested in being on the worship team, make sure to come to the informational meeting in the basement of Dimnent at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, February 10!
Thanks for reading! Want to know more about Bruce, Campus Ministries, or Hope? Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@hopekathryn17) or send me an email at email@example.com!
“…Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.”
—2 Corinthians 5:14