(2012 NACMAI AWARDS) HORIZON ALBUM
Born in Toledo, Ohio, as a child Rev. Benjamin Blankenship attended school in Sylvania, Ohio. As his’ family was from the south on both sides he spoke with a southern drawl until about the 3rd-4th grade of school. Raised in church he was saved at an extremely early age, called to preach at 7, & was baptized at 12. Benjamin was both filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues during a small church service in Temperance, Michigan & moved with his family to Rockwood, Tennessee at age 14. He graduated high school at 16, delivered his first sermon at 17, and began evangelizing part-time & a nursing home ministry at 18. At 19 Benjamin began evangelizing full-time. He pastored his’ first church (Heaven Bound Full-Gospel Church) at 20 years of age, married at 24, but divorced after his wife committed adultery. In the next year his’ son Elisha Jehu Blankenship was born, of whom Benjamin has sole custody.
In 1999 at the passing of his’ uncle & musical genius, Terry Smith, Ben asked the Lord for his’ gift of songwriting to be passed on to him. Instantaneously the power of almighty God filled the room with something so overwhelming that the aftershocks are still being felt today. From that time something was born… That something is BEN*JAM. Joined by his’ mother (Vocalist & Pianist)
Jonelle Blankenship; BEN*JAM is anointed of God with an old fashioned kinda flair. This live band aspires to glorify God in everything that they do.
Other jobs that may be of particular interest which Rev. Benjamin Blankenship has worked are: a Graphic Designer, Cartoonist, Comic-Strip Artist, Newspaper Reporter, Photographer, Board Member of Local Ministerial Association, Councilor, Sunday School Teacher, Playwright, Video Game Tester, Substitute Teacher, OTR, School Bus Driver, Singer/Songwriter, Drummer, etc. He has taken several college & college level courses in Religion, Law, & Psychology, is med certified and has held multiple jobs in the mental heath field.
In 2011 Rev. Benjamin Blankenship, BEN*JAM, and the members there of, won an onslaught of awards via the TCGMA/GCGMA Awards (Tennessee Country & Gospel Music Association / Georgia Country & Gospel Music Association). Their name has been seen in such publications as SINGING NEWS MAGAZINE, CHRISTIAN VOICE MAGAZINE, & SGNSCOOPS. They’ve played at such venues as: The National Quartet Convention, Knoxville Harley Davidson, Judy’s Barn, Ciderville Farm & Home (TV SHOW), Thunder Road Festival, Big Mama’s Unplugged (TV SHOW), Kentucky Southern Gospel Music Singing Convention, Pat’s Heavenly Jubilee, Singing In The Pines, Big Oak Gospel Barn, as well as a variety of restaurants, singing halls, churches, and local park events.
FAVORITE OLD & NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS:
Proverbs & James
MOST LIKE WHICH BIBLICAL CHARACTERS:
Jeremiah & Timothy
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
(1st JOHN 3:16-18)
Born in the hills of legendary “Bloody” Harlan, Kentucky, Jonelle Smith moved with her Father (Estil Smith), Mother (Earlene Smith), and 2 older brothers (Terry Smith & Larry Smith) to Toledo, Ohio, as her Father sought to prevent his two sons from laboring in the coal mines as he’d done.
As a child she attended school in Sylvania, Ohio. She both wedded Larry Brown Blankenship & accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior at 17 years of age. And has been playing the piano & singing since she was 18 years old. She is also notably a Saint Bernard Enthusiast, Animal Lover, & mother of 3 children (listed eldest to youngest): April Lynn Shepherd, Rev. Benjamin Lee Blankenship, Amy Marie Crowe.
In 2011 both herself and BEN*JAM won a several award via the Tennessee Country & Gospel Music Association.
MOST LIKE WHICH BIBLICAL CHARACTERS:
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”