Ben Lippen Stories

Mr. Jack Branney

Teaches: Middle School Art

The Branneys, having been part of the Ben Lippen faculty/staff family for a combined total of 54 years, are somewhat of a fixture at our school. Mr. Branney has been married to his wife Donna, who is the lower school administrative assistant at our MR campus, for 37 years. They have two grown daughters: Sarah and Anna. In speaking about his family, Mr. Branney states, “I am blessed that my two daughters have both gone all the way through Ben Lippen and have graduated from Columbia International University and are walking with the Lord. I am blessed to have two grandsons and enjoy watching the oldest play soccer and the youngest always asking if he can go fishing with ‘Poppy.'” In his free time, Mr. Branney enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, fishing, and playing soccer with his grandsons.

What are you most passionate about? I am passionate about winning souls to Jesus and nurturing all students in small groups through my church and in the art class. I also enjoy teaching Sunday school to junior high students and men’s groups.

Why do you choose to teach at Ben Lippen? I chose to work at Ben Lippen because I wanted my daughters to receive a firm foundation in the Word of God. I have been teaching art 37 years, 30 at Ben Lippen (22 years as the yearbook adviser), and love what I teach.

What do you love most about teaching art? I love it when students do their best and go on to win rewards for their quality work. Cate Lees is one example. Cate won a Best of Show at the South Carolina State Fair for a piece she did in 8th grade. We sent 13 works to the fair in 2021 and six came back with ribbons. I also get very encouraged when I see or hear of former students who have become art teachers or own their own graphic design companies. That encourages me greatly.

What do you love about Ben Lippen? What I love about Ben Lippen is the community of believers. I remember a few years back I had foot surgery and my middle school art classes encouraged me with a load of encouraging cards (I still have those cards). I also love the friendships I have made over the years among fellow teachers and staff. They are genuine prayer warriors who hold you up in prayer and service.

What do students get at Ben Lippen that they can’t get elsewhere? What students get at Ben Lippen is heritage. A heritage of relationships that will last a lifetime. I remember teachers who taught at BLS for 40 to 44 years and kept in touch with former students over those years. In the end, it is all about relationships that shape our lives to look to God alone for our strength and salvation in Jesus Christ.

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