by Luke Connell; Spartanburg Magazine
Staff Writer for the Spartanburg Herald Journal. This article was published online by the Spartanburg Herald Journal on 20 September 2015. Read the original article at https://www.goupstate.com/article/NC/20150920/News/605136188/SJ/.
In a neighborhood on Spartanburg’s westside, Bucky Rogers and his wife, Julie, take a needed break on the couch. A small film crew is documenting their home life and their mission to build Benjamin House Ministries, an organization with the goal of helping orphans and rebuilding families in Uganda.
The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity, and from an outsider’s perspective, their lives would seem to be more exhausting than many others. Bucky and Julie Rogers have four adopted children — Sasha, Xan, Brennan and Becca, who has special needs.
A Tennessee native, Rogers has worked as pastor of students and worship arts at Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church — The Mill, for short — in Moore since 2006. After several mission trips, he and his wife felt called to pursue a life helping children abroad. A 2013 trip to Uganda solidified in their hearts that God wanted them in the African country.
Named in honor of the stillborn son of friends, Benjamin House celebrated its global launch in June at an event featuring presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. The event made headlines nationwide and ignited a fundraising campaign.
Brightly colored T-shirts bearing the Benjamin House name are donned regularly by followers across Spartanburg County, and a social media campaign has seen supporters post photos wearing the shirts in 40 states and 13 countries, so far.
For his part, Rogers has become a reluctant front man for the movement. A pastor, with more than 14 years of experience and a passion for music, he appears more comfortable in the presence of young people, helping guide them through life’s troubles, than in soliciting money for the mission.
“I’m kind of used to meeting people’s needs,” Rogers said. “I thrive on that. So, asking people to partner with us financially to help us accomplish this task is something that doesn’t come easily. But, for these kids and these families, I’ll do whatever it takes. And, I’m seeing more and more that people are just waiting for an opportunity to be a part of something like this.”
In July, Rogers and members of the Benjamin House team spent a few days touring orphanages and discussing potential partnerships with existing Ugandan organizations. At one possible future home, surrounded by students, Rogers said the dream of Benjamin House — up until then only envisioned on blueprints and in his head — was becoming real.
A documentary chronicling the last several months and the effort to build Benjamin House will be unveiled at an event at the Upward Star Center on Thursday. Rogers plans to return to Uganda in October to finalize more plans and, in March, he will move his family there to begin building Benjamin House. His vision is that the organization will be more than a group home for orphans, that it can repair families and be a conduit for education and change.
For more information
What: Unveiling of a documentary about the effort to change orphan care in Uganda.
When: Thursday, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Upward Star Center, 9768 Warren H. Abernathy Highway
Tickets: visit BenjaminHouse.net
Bucky Rogers, Benjamin House staff, and short-term missionaries