Herb Benham

Herb Benham is a clergyman and this document — fresh off the internet — proves it.


A few days ago, I became an ordained minister. “An ordained minister.” I like the sound of it. It’s as if I were chosen and had no choice other than to say, “Yes, I will serve.”

l became an ordained minister because I am planning to officiate at the wedding of friends in October. I started in April because I thought becoming a minister might require lead time or that the Universal Life Church, the church with which I am now affiliated, might have to do a background check. But, in fact, my ordination took 90 seconds and was easier than ordering a Nespresso Milk Frother on Amazon Prime.

Easier and not that expensive. For $39.95, I ordered the Classic Wedding Package, “which contains every item an ordained minister needs to perform a beautiful, memorable wedding ceremony that will be remembered for years.”

The Classic Wedding Package includes one ULC ordination credential, a wallet license, a certificate of marriage, as well as a complimentary clergy badge and a fancy floral marriage certificate.

This is the best $39.95 I’ve ever spent. I can’t believe how good I feel. Not only do I have a new title and peace of mind but I feel as if I am better than a lot of people, people with whom I was tied before, or slightly behind.

I know we are all brothers, but some brothers are better than other brothers and I’m one of those brothers, brother.

Becoming an ordained minister has also made me feel more accomplished. I didn’t have to spend four years going to divinity school. With all the time I saved by not reading the Bible, I can bring a fresh approach to Scripture that few other pastors can claim.

I’ve thought about what I’d like to be called. A friend suggested Rockin Rev Rovell, Rovell being my middle name. However, I’m leaning toward “His Holiness” or “His Holiness Herb” because when you shorten it — HH or HHH — both look good monogrammed on towels and white linen handkerchiefs, with which I will blow my holy nose.

I look forward to the wedding. Thomas Baker is marrying Brittany Baker — same last names. How convenient is that. I’ll be decked out in a white robe and a high plum-colored hat, although I have to make sure I don’t look like the Grand Dragon in the local KKK chapter.

Weddings are only the beginning. I’d like a church, so let the fundraising begin. A church close to the beach. One, where, when I open the windows, I can become restored by the sounds of the waves and the holy phrase, “Surf’s up.”

I could do confessions — $25, like a cash adjustment at the chiropractors. I know I’m a nonprofit but I could use a side business. The “donation” can be between us and you-know-who.

Exorcisms? How hard can they be? Finger some beads, turn down the lights, put on the Moody Blues and look out the window with your hair standing on end as if you have seen something too horrible to describe to the other people present.

Now that I am an ordained minister, I look forward to spending time with my colleagues, people like Monsignor Craig. I’d like to ask, as a member of the clergy, how do you get people to pick up the check at lunch, although I’m pretty good at that already. I’d also like to find out how much it would cost to add Monsignor to my name, or Cardinal. I’d pay another $30 or $40 for that but I do have some Amazon bonus points, so maybe I could get a free upgrade.

The Universal Life Church sent an email that said my package is on its way. I feel lighter than the wings of an angel. I can hardly wait, although patience is something HH will soon be preaching.

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