Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Since 1951

Meet Our Chairman




Meet Rick Benton: Board of Governors Chairman 2019-2021

Do True Leaders Ever Really Retire?


Born and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Rick Benton had never heard of Topsail Island until the late 1970s when he met his future wife Bettye. He learned about the island during visits with her family, and was later introduced to Emma Anderson through Bettye’s cousin Dwight Davis and his wife Sandra, affiliates of the chapel. In the early 80s, he and Bettye bought property in Surf City. They built their beautiful beach home in 2004 and have lived there full time since 2008. 

In 2012, after 32 years of public service and almost as many years serving numerous civic and nonprofit organizations, Rick decided it was time to slow down and smell the salty air. Except that he didn’t.

He became an independent consultant for Wilmington Business Development helping to create jobs and encourage investment in both New Hanover and Pender counties. He recently served as president of Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island Area. And he’s very busy at Emma Anderson.

It’s no surprise that Rick hasn’t slowed down. His professional life — all in North Carolina — was varied and busy, and cultivated his exceptional leadership skills. Among his many positions he was city manager, first in Ayden then in Roanoke Rapids. He retired after serving as manager of Pender County. Rick graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in biology, and holds a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State University. 

Rick has served on several chapel committees over the years. He currently serves on the Missions, Benevolence, and Endowment and Planned Giving committees. He has participated in Operation Christmas Child for several years, and recent mission projects in Guatemala in 2017, and in Western Pender County in 2016 after Hurricane Matthew flooded the area. Rick is one of the sound system techs during Sunday worship, and he attends our weekly Men’s Bible Study.

Rick Benton (blue t-shirt) with happy Guatemalan family after their new stove was installed. Also pictured: EAMC affiliate Rich Pollock (yellow cap) and Adolfo, our bus driver, translator, stove builder and all around good guy (yellow shirt). 


When asked what his goals for EAMC will be during his two-year tenure as chairman, Rick was quick to respond. “I’d like to facilitate what’s already happening with church growth, especially with respect to missions, communications and activities,” he answered. “I want to continue our practice of discerning God’s will for our chapel by asking ‘what would God have us do’ and listening for His answers. 

“We just need to continue to focus on the priorities that were agreed upon last May by the Trustees and Board of Governors in a special discernment session— to improve and grow our ministries for our guest ministers and missionaries, implement programs to further engage and integrate our young families and youth into the life of the chapel, and practice fiscally responsible stewardship of our facilities.”

Rick and Bettye have two sons, Ross (who has a 4-year-old son Ashton) and Bret (who was recently married). In his spare time, Rick likes to travel with Bettye, golf, bike and spend time with Ashton. He still attends Kiwanis meetings every Tuesday morning and Men’s Bible Study on Fridays.

Rick welcomes your suggestions, questions or concerns. Contact him via email or give him a call at 910-604-3835.