Lieutenant Benjamin Christopher

Name Benjamin Matthew Christopher MDiv, PhD

Position Chaplain

Rank Lieutenant


Character Information

Gender Male
Species Human
Age 38

Physical Appearance

Height 5'10
Weight 175
Hair Color Dark Brown
Eye Color Dark Brown
Physical Description Benjamin Christopher, at first glance, doesn't really fit the 'stereotype' of someone who might be considered a chaplain. He stands at five feet ten inches tall, and weights in and one hundred and seventy five pounds, though his weight may seem high, it is actually solid muscle. He feels that a healthy lifestyle not only is important for the body, but for the mind and soul as well. He has dark brown hair which he keeps trimmed and neat, and he has dark brown eyes (which have gotten him mistake for a Betazoid on numerous occasions). He has a beard, in which he keeps neat and trimmed to standards.

Because he is an ordained pastor, he is allowed to wear a variation of the standard Merchant Marine jumpsuit. When on duty, he wears a clerics collar, and also has robes, vestments, and multiple stoles that he wears for any multiple of occasions. When his services are needed, he will wear a stole, on any of the days he holds a service, he will wear the robes and vestments (it's important to note the stoles can be worn while on duty or off-duty in civilian clothing). When off-duty, he leans more toward casual, opting for jeans, t-shirts, boots, the cross he wears around his neck, and a leather cuff on his right wrist. He also tends to wear jackets, his favorite being a faux leather jacket that he found in a thrift store in San Francisco when he was 17 years old.

For distinguishing marks, Benjamin has no scars, but he has a lot of tattoos. The tattoos cover at least sixty percent of his body. He knows this is where a lot of people get the misconception about him, but he is okay with this. To him, a tattoo is a creative expression of oneself, and all of his tattoos are of his own design. He has been careful to be sure majority of them get covered with a uniform, but there are a couple that stick out but not obtrusively so. Even though he has the tattoos, he is very clean cut and adheres to the standards that are put forth by the Merchant Marines.

Family

Spouse Single
Children Ella Christopher (6)
Father Vice Admiral Frederick Christopher
Mother Miranda Christopher, PhD
Brother(s) No Brothers
Sister(s) Lt. Commander Bethany Hale (twin sister)
Other Family Captain Constance Hill (mother of Ella)

Benjamin is lucky to have family members on the maternal and paternal side. He is even lucky enough to have his great-great grandmother, Cynthia Christopher (a former Admiral) still alive. Though she has to have in home care, she is still quite feisty.

Personality & Traits

General Overview One of the things that most people realize when they get to know Benjamin Christopher is that he is a complex man, with complex thoughts. He is a man that sees that good in everyone, and always has hope even when hope seems to have been lost. For Benjamin, and he will repeat this over and over, he just wants to make the universe a better place to live in. He doesn't want to see borders, or invaders, he just wants to see happiness and tolerance. He would consider himself a pacifist, however, he already knows he would take up arms in order to protect his family, or those he cares about. Generally, the Merchant Marines had required him to pass some basic weapons handling, they do not require to carry a weapon or take up arms unless HE feels it is necessary. The Merchant Marines see their chaplain corp as instruments to facilitate peace. In the Merchant Marines, chaplains are also used to help with diplomatic squabbles, which is something Benjamin has taken quite seriously over the years.

Besides being a man of peace and understand, he is also a father. He loves his daughter with all of his being, and it saddens him that he does not get to be in her life the way he wanted to be. But, one of the reasons that Ella's mother and he broke up were due to his belief that Starfleet had changed, and not for the better. Ella's mother, Constance, wore the uniform proudly, which he respected but the respect didn't go both ways. Unfortunately since the rift keeps widening between he and Constance, Ella has paid the price. Though he gets to see his little girl over sub space, he rarely gets to spend one on one time with her. Sometimes he goes months without being able to see her in the flesh. It is a regret he carries with him, but he just hopes once Ella is older she will understand and find it in her heart to forgive him for not being there for her.

Another aspect to his personality is that he is open minded to relationships with women, men, non-humans, and he is sure the list goes on. This is another aspect of his life that he doesn't want to limit or fall into conventional constructs with. He believes there is someone out there for everyone, and for himself he doesn't want to limit himself to finding the happiness that accompanies that. Again, he knows he doesn't fall into that category of what people 'perceive' as a pastor, but he is okay with challenging perception and convention. He sees the person first, everything else is just gravy.

Benjamin is a man of faith which means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. He believes in God, and he fully embraces the Gospels and Paul's Letters to the people about Jesus' good deeds. Over the centuries, religion and faith have become progressive, but the foundation is still there. His sermons are not just filled with current events but what those readings and stories mean in a 24th century context. Though his service on Merchant Marines lean more toward counsel, he will hold services if others want them. But, it was his faith and mission work that led him to the Merchant Marines, and he hopes that he is able to help the captains and crews with not just their spiritual and ethical issues, but their issues of everyday life. He just doesn't want to be their spiritual leader, but their friend. He doesn't want anyone ever to feel uncomfortable around him, so a lot of times in social events he will try to leave Pastor Ben at the door, and just be Benjamin for the night.

Prayer is also a big part of his life, he feels that prayer has a lot of power to it even if others don't feel the same. To him prayer is more than just about praying for someone, but to him he feels it helps others center themselves, to allow the stresses to leave the body. For him, that is what prayer does, it allows him to just empty his mind, to center himself, and think about what matters. Every prayer includes his daughter, no matter what he might be praying about. He hopes, that is someone she knows he is and feels a deeper connection with him.

Overall, Benjamin, just like all humans, try to do his best to be a good person. He knows he has his flaws, but he also knows his strengths far outweigh those flaws. He just wants to live a good, decent life, and he prays every night for the same for those he comes in contact with.
Strengths & Weaknesses He knows it would sound cliche, but a lot of Benjamin's strengths come from his humanity. He is optimistic, kind, caring, and above all wants to make the universe a better place. He has a good heart, an intelligent mind, and beautiful soul. He just wants to go out and help those in need, he wants to make the universe a better place, but more than that, he wants to be the best person he can be. Again, he knows it sounds cliche, but he knows that humanity has a lot to offer, because humanity had gone through a lot through their history and came out better people because of it. He would never say he or humanity is better than another race, but he feels he has experiences and stories to tell that can help others.

Ministry is a huge strength for him. He knows that Earth has changed since religion had become more of an abstract idea than something people actually followed. But, there are still people who follow it, who still hold onto the beliefs, and traditions of religions... but with a very progressive spin on it. Now, religion is about love, acceptance, and the Bible, the Qu'ran, or the Torah are used more as guide books. He fully believes in the stories, and feels that we can continue to grow using the time tested stories.

One of Benjamin's weaknesses is regret. The regret comes from putting his career first above not only his family, but first and foremost above his daughter. He also has regrets in that he and Ella's mother do not get along well at all, causing less chances that he doesn't get to see his daughter. He knows that one should never live with regrets, and he tries not to do so, but it's hard not to when he will see his daughter, or a picture of her, or when he is thinking about her. He does try to rectify this, but the rift between and his ex deepens every time they talk, and he fears that one day Constance will permanently keep Ella from him. It's a fear that he doesn't even want to think about it.

In general, Benjamin keeps a positive attitude, and is willing to lend an ear to listen, and a shoulder to cry on. Though he is not a trained and certified counselor, his ministry studies, along with his graduate degree have taught him how to counsel others. He is more than willing to offer advice, but he is truly there to just listen and help where he can.
Ambitions Benjamin's only true ambition is to preach love, kindness, and acceptance of all. He does this through his ministry, his sermons, and through his mission work. He knows there is still a lot of hatred, bigotry, and judgement out in the universe but he deems that more of a challenge to help change minds of others. He just wants to do good work, spread God's and Jesus' message, and first and foremost, be an inspiration and good day to his daughter, Ella.
Hobbies & Interests Benjamin isn't just all ministry and biblical study, his hobbies and interest go far beyond that. Sure, his first love will always be theological study, but he also knows that one has to be made up of more than just one thing. There are many facets to ones personality, and he is a firm believer that every facet should be explored. For instance, he loves art, he loves it to the point of obsession, he loves it to the point that he tattooed his body with it. To him, art is a window to one's soul. To him, even the most abstract of art can mean something for someone. He is quite knowledgeable of it, and has dozens of books on the subject.

Having grown up in California, and then ventured out to New York City and Chicago for schooling, he gained in an interest in various cuisines. New York and Chicago are both infamous for their diversity for food, and that was not lost on him. It got him interested in the culinary arts, and though he could never hope to be as good as world renowned chef, he does try. He likes experimenting with different foods and flavors, sometimes he fails miserably, other times he is a success. The recipes that are a success, he writes down in hopes to put together a cookbook that he can pass down to his daughter one day.

Finally there is his daughter Ella. Every once in a while he does get to see her (not as much as he likes), and when he does he does what he can to make up for lost time. So that means amusement parks, zoos, visiting large cities, shopping, whatever Ella wants to do he will gladly do.

Over all though, Benjamin will get involved where he can. To him, there are limitless possibilities, and he doesn't want to be restricted. To, him you only live once, and it's important to live life to the fullest.

Personal History Date of Birth: January 2nd, 2350
Place of Birth: Starfleet Medical, San Francisco - Earth
Service Record 2368 - 2372: Enters Columbia University - Majors in Theology and Biblical Studies, Minor in teaching
2372 - 2378: Chicago Theological Seminary - Earns Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate of Theological Studies
2378: Becomes an ordained pastor
2378 - 2380: St. Paul Theological Seminary - Professor of Biblical studies, focus is Hebrew Scriptures
2380 - 2383: Mission work
2383: Begins ministry work for the Merchant Marines
2383 - 2388: Multiple assignments with the Merchant Marines
2388 (Present) - Chaplain, SS Star of India