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First Baptist Church in Benton welcomes new pastor

  • Jim and Fran Jenkel

    Jim and Fran Jenkel
    Courtesy of First Baptist Church

Submitted by First Baptist Church of Benton
updated: 11/22/2017 9:19 AM

When you meet the Rev. Jim Jenkel, it doesn't take long to see the "love one another" way he lives his life. His compassion for people is evident in his dual-career as the new pastor of First Baptist Church of Benton and as a dialysis LPN/patient care technician at Davita.

Jenkel was ordained in 2007 and was the pastor of First Baptist Church of Freeburg for 11 years. Before going into ministry, he worked in the coal mining industry. He and his wife, Fran, met while attending Pinckneyville High School and have been married 44 years.

"Fran and I are both excited about being here at First Baptist," Jenkel says. "I look forward to serving the congregation of First Baptist as we grow and learn from one another."

Since the pastor position is part-time, Jenkel is also continuing his job with the Davita Dialysis Company and has transferred to the Benton location. He has been with Davita for 17 years.

"I've always considered my work with dialysis patients a ministry," Jenkel said. "Patients sometimes express feelings of fear or anxiety and that often raises spiritual issues. This setting allows me to enter into their experience and offer support and spiritual care.

The church is located at 201 S. Main St. For more information, call 618-438-7661 or visit

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