What’s a Benchmark?

Why are we called BENCHMARK? It’s not because we think this ministry is the standard by which all others should be measured. Whether in the wilderness or in the city, a benchmark is a known point, a permanent point of reference, which can help us better understand exactly where we are, almost anywhere in the world.

Our name is taken from this topographic map symbol, which is often a simple metal disc set in stone and inscribed with a triangle and a small mark in the center. A benchmark has two planes: vertical and horizontal. In this country, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) determines the location of each specific benchmark and its relationships to other features like roads, streams, or mountains. That’s the horizontal plane. Vertically, the USGA confirms its elevation in relationship to sea level.

BENCHMARK designs interactive adventures to help individuals assess their horizontal relationship with other people, their surroundings and Creation, and their vertical relationship with God. The small mark in the middle of the triangle symbolizes the high value of a Christ centered, Biblical worldview and how that emphasis affects the whole person. The three sides of the triangle represent BENCHMARK’s focus on the whole person: the mind, the heart, and the will.

A BENCHMARK experience helps you to better understand where you are and will challenge you to evaluate the way you think, feel, and act in light of Biblical principles.

benchmark, a surveyor’s mark made on a permanent landmark that has a known position and altitude: benchmarks are used as reference points…

-Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary

Mission Statement

BENCHMARK Adventure Ministries’ mission is to stimulate significant life change toward wholeness in Christ through interactive experiences and outdoor adventures.



James H. Evans



James is a self-described “hard-headed, imperfect follower of Jesus Christ” and an experienced Bible teacher, backpacker, paddler, climber, college teacher, marathon runner, and wilderness wanderer. This Eagle Scout enjoys being outdoors under a full moon and getting his four adult children to laugh. As a do-it-yourselfer, he finds time for home improvement projects. James has lived in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Barbara, since 1988.

Chelsea Sanchez

Communications Specialist

Chelsea combines 20 years of experience in corporate and church ministry with her passion for writing, to authentically convey the life-changing moments and journeys of those impacted by BENCHMARK. She is a New England native, wife, and mom of two. Chelsea loves to see what happens when nature and adventure create a setting for personal growth toward wholeness in Christ, including her own.

Vacant Position

Operations Coordinator

Read the job description here:

Operations Coordinator

To express interest, email james@benchmark.org


Jon Betts

Board Member

Old Harding Pediatric Associates

Joshua Eidson

Board Member

Handsome Financial Services

Louis Joseph IV

Board Member


Greg McLane

Board Member

Department of Veterans Affairs
TVHS – Nashville VA Medical Center

Kinley Winchester

Board Member

State of Tennessee

Special thanks to BENCHMARK champion Randy Hood for providing these Staff and Board Member headshots. 

Statement of Faith

  1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Statement of Purpose

BENCHMARK Adventure Ministries exists to design intentional discipleship experiences in unique settings calling people to a thoughtful, purposeful Christian life of character, relationship and faith.

BENCHMARK offers opportunity to get your bearings in terms of your life purpose and commitment to Christ. As individual relationships to Christ are strengthened, His work in the world will be strengthened.

BENCHMARK provides seminar sessions, retreats for large and small groups, and extended wilderness expeditions.