James E. Bennett, Jr., M.C.M.
Associate Minister in Music and Worship
James Bennett has been Associate Minister in Music and Worship at Aiken's First Baptist Church since 1997.
He received a bachelors degree in music education from Baylor University and a masters degree in church music with an emphasis in music education from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition, he has studied conducting under James Jordan and Rodney Eichenerger at Westminster Choir College and Judy Clurman at The Juilliard School. James has earned Kodaly Certification from Winthrop University and has studied the Dalcroze method under Robert Abramson at The Juilliard School.
Under James' direction, the Sanctuary Choir has presented the Christmas and Easter portions of Handel's Messiah, Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio, Faures' Requiem, Stroope's Hodie!, Ray's Gospel Mass, Dubois' The Seven Last Words of Christ, and a fully-staged version of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. Most recently, the Sanctuary Choir joined the Aiken Masterworks Chorale, The University of South Carolina Aiken Concert Choir, and the St. John United Methodist (Augusta, GA) Choir in a performance of Anton Bruckner's Mass in e minor under the direction of Dr. Joel Scraper.
James is married to Beth Thomas Bennett, a 1996 graduate of Clemson University (B.A. in Early Childhood Education). When they are not working, Beth and James enjoy boating on Lake Hartwell and relaxing at home.