Benjamin Meeks, 52, died on Tuesday, October 24, in the Prairie Home Hospice House in Marshall, Minn., after a lengthy fight with cancer. His death ended a 27-year career as an ordained minister, first as a Baptist and finally as a United Methodist pastor in Iowa.
Pastor Ben was born June 6, 1954, in Kingsport, Tenn. After living several places, including Bandung, Indonesia, he moved to Moorhead, Minn., in 1962 and attended school in Moorhead, graduating from Moorhead High School. He attended St. Olaf College for two years before going into the Army for three years. He returned to Moorhead and graduated from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, before entering seminary in Kansas City. He was ordained in Fargo, N.D., at Temple Baptist Church. Later his credentials were transferred to the American Baptist denomination, and he served as chaplain in Sleighton School in Pennsylvania and as pastor in Wisconsin (Ontario and Fond du Lac), in New York (Chittenango and Syracuse), and in Iowa (Sac City). For the past three years he had pastored two United Methodist churches in Merrill and Adaville, Iowa.
In addition to his pastoral skills and experience, Pastor Ben was a multi-talented person, playing guitar and recorder among other instruments, and he was professional in making balloon animals.
Pastor Ben is survived by his parents, Dr. Spencer Meeks and Rev. Dr. Fair Meeks, his sister Alexandra (Sandi) Rankin, and two nieces, Leah and Lindsay Rankin.
A memorial service was held Monday, Oct. 30, at Adaville United Methodist Church, rural Merrill. Inurnment will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis at a later date.
Memorials may be directed to Prairie Home Hospice in Marshall, Minn., or to Adaville/Merrill United Methodist Churches at Merrill.