Rev. Paula Anne Benson
Major, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Major, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Reverend Paula Anne Benson, Major, United States Air Force, retired currently serves as the Founder and CEO of the Fortify Your Life Enrichment Center in Philadelphia, PA after over 22 years of honorable service to our country. In this capacity, Reverend Benson enriches the lives of women veterans through preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and spiritual growth/development in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. Reverend Benson is a native of Philadelphia, PA. She received her education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools. Reverend Benson was licensed to preach the gospel in 2007 and ordained in 2016.
The acceptance of God’s calling on her life has been very inspirational to all that she encounters. The desire to serve God’s people through ministry and the ability to lead are her greatest attributes. In 1989, Reverend Benson obtained her direct commissioning in the United States Air Force Nurse Corp as a Second Lieutenant after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Her first duty assignment was a six-month Obstetrical Internship at Andrews Air Force Base, MD. While working as a Labor and Delivery nurse, Reverend Benson was awarded an Air Force Institute of Technology scholarship to pursue a full time advanced degree in nursing while serving on active duty. In 1996 she earned a Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Nurse Midwifery from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, AL. Immediately following graduation
Reverend Benson received Board Certification as a Certified Nurse Midwife. Her passion for ministry has also opened doors for her outside of the continental US. Reverend Benson was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she served as a nurse practitioner and clergy for wounded troops and their family members arriving in Germany from battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. During her deployment, she humbly served more than 10,000 wounded troops. In 2004-2007 Reverend Benson traveled abroad again to Tokyo, Japan with her family. While stationed in Japan she traveled to Kanagawa, Japan with the International Christian Ministries in an effort to strengthen the bonds of faith between African Americans and other believers from twelve different nations victoriously coming together sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through this opportunity, she supervised a team of clergy and lay leaders introducing them to the idea of universal precautions and hand hygiene in the missionary environment.
Reverend Benson possesses an innate ability to inspire from all walks of life; she remains committed to ministry, her Christian walk, and her education. In 2011, Reverend Benson returned to Philadelphia with a thirst to better understand the Word and will of God. In 2012, her thirst led her to enroll at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in Philadelphia, PA., where she is currently a Master of Divinity candidate. While attending LTSP, Reverend Benson is completing her internship in Pastoral Care at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. She is rock solid in her faith, yet her mind is open to new opportunities to understand and exercise her faith. She is currently concentrating in Black Church Studies at LTSP and plans to pursue an additional certification in Interfaith Studies. This program is designed to equip ministry leaders who want to extend their ministry in multi-faith contexts.
Reverend Benson is actively involved in ministry throughout the city of Philadelphia. Most recently, she was appointed as the Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Woman Veterans Command Center of Philadelphia, PA. She was charged with implementing the founder’s vision of providing strength based spiritual initiatives to empower, educate and enrich the lives of woman veterans throughout their lifespan. Reverend Benson is a proud member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, The National Black Nurses Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Reverend Paula A. Benson is committed to provide powerful service in the Ministry and is devoted to motivate, inspire and create paradigms to touch the hearts and ultimately heal and transform lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.