Anglican Watch

Interim report: Atlanta Bishop Rob Wright, Ben Day, and the Kennesaw Debacle

Fr. Ben Day, Episcopal priest and sexual abuser

Regular visitors to Anglican Watch may know that we have been researching the hellacious mess involving Marshall Ben Day, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Kennesaw (and former local political candidate), and Atlanta Bishop Wright’s corrupt handling of a Title IV case against Day, otherwise known as the Kennesaw Debacle.

Here’s what we know so far and our conclusions.

Day’s misconduct

Let’s start by unpacking the allegations involving Ben Day.

The most important of the allegations involves an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female parishioner with whom Day had an existing pastoral relationship.

The parishioner, then approximately eight months pregnant with the biological son of Art Blackburn, a long-time parishioner and distinguished military veteran, was not married to Blackburn. But they were in a committed relationship, lived together, and appeared in prior parish directories listed as “Mr. and Mrs.”

Moreover, Blackburn’s significant other had received pastoral care from Day, including:

  • Being received into the parish by Day from another faith tradition.
  • Receiving pastoral counseling from Day in his role as a chaplain with the Kennesaw Police Department.

Long story short, things came to a head when Blackburn discovered Day’s white Ford pickup truck in the home he shared with his significant other. The rest, as they say, is history, although Blackburn’s response was appropriate and gentlemanly.

From there, Day appears to have influenced Blackburn’s significant other to send a cease-and-desist letter to Blackburn and may have pushed her to claim that Blackburn was threatening and abusive.

Disturbingly, when Blackburn’s partner gave birth to his biological son, Day tried to convince hospital staff he was the father.

Flash forward, and Day has moved in with Blackburn’s former partner, whom he has married.

Now, Day is telling local law enforcement and the courts that Blackburn has threatened and harassed him, and Day has filed a misdemeanor criminal complaint against Blackburn, which is pending in Cobb County courts and set for June 27, 2024.

For the record, we do not believe for a hot minute that Blackburn threatened or harassed Day or the latter’s wife. 

Indeed, the case appears to be an unholy alliance between a very troubled, unethical priest, the local police department, and a wink-and-a-nod from corrupt, unethical Bishop Rob Wright and his minions.

Moreover, Blackburn has some serious health issues, likely related to his extended military career. Thus, we believe that Day’s conduct involves an additional layer of corruption entirely inconsistent with the notion that Day is even a Christian, let alone a priest.


As with many things in life, context is key. In this regard, there are myriad issues with Day.

Day’s previous marriage appears to have ended in a heap of acrimony, marked by allegations of child abuse and substance abuse. Court documents don’t come right and make these claims, but public records reviewed by Anglican Watch contain agreements between the parties, including the telling provision that Day would not drive under the influence with kids in the car.


We also note that there is an unexplained criminal conviction in Day’s background. Day has ignored our written request for an explanation, and we are working to obtain details.

Other information relating to Day paints a picture of a manipulative, antisocial personality ill-suited to serve as clergy.

For instance, in his ill-fated campaign for local political office, Day claimed he was the only candidate to run a business, a political consulting firm focused on center-right GOP candidates.

Just one problem: Not only were other candidates running businesses at the time of his claim, but there is zero evidence to support Day’s claim. Specifically:

  • There are no business licenses in any jurisdiction with which Day has ties.
  • We found no tax records to suggest Day has been in business.
  • We identified no campaign records showing payments to Day.
  • In myriad conversations with GOP political consultants, not one had ever heard of Day. (One asked to look at his photo, mulled it over, and replied, “Nasty little weasel, isn’t he?” before denying that Day has ever been a political consultant.)
  • GOP officials outside of Kennesaw have never heard of Day.
  • The only campaign records we located involved a brief stint, most likely as a volunteer, with an unsuccessful local political campaign for Robert Trim.
  • Day’s personal finances appear inconsistent with even a marginally successful consulting business.
  • We see no signs suggesting that Day has paid income tax on his purported consulting income. So, if litigation ensues from Day’s misconduct, plaintiffs are advised to subpoena Day’s tax returns.

In other words, we’re prepared to say with confidence that Day, in his public statements, has violated the Title IV clergy disciplinary canonical strictures against “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” as well as “any conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.”

In addition, Kennesaw officials would be well-advised to tread carefully around Day.

Multiple local residents tell us that Day likes to portray himself not as a rather nerdy Episcopal priest but instead as “working with law enforcement,” and being close to the military. While he stops just short of stating he is a police officer, Day’s blurring of the line carries with it tremendous reputational and legal risk for all involved.

This risk compounds with Day’s use of the Kennesaw Police Department as his personal bouncer. Indeed, criticize Day too harshly, and he quickly refers the matter to local police officials. Thus, Day exploits his relationship with the department to pursue a personal agenda not inherently compatible with the notion that all persons have an equal claim to the services of city officials.

Multiple church members and third parties also report that Day appears to be a facile liar who quickly makes up untruthful statements in order to promote his perceived self-interest. Even more tellingly, no one we interviewed was prepared to say that Day is consistently truthful in his interactions with others. Not one single person.

This paradigm is always a top-level warning sign when dealing with abusive clergy, for it suggests a lack of an ethical reference point indicative of antisocial tendencies. As a result, when we see these issues, we often see a clergyperson unable to fulfill the basic requirements of the calling.

Anglican Watch also has received numerous photos and other documentation of Day’s current wife attending church services with her children prior to her relationship with Day. We will publish these in due course. Again, we remind readers that Day’s present wife was listed in the parish directory prior to the marriage, and as the significant other of another man. Thus, it is indisputable that Day was in a pastoral relationship with his wife.

Thus, while Day claims his current wife was a member of a different parish, and thus was “fair game,” it is indisputable that he was in a pastoral relationship with her, and her children, prior to their intimate relationship, commenced late in her pregnancy with another man’s child.

In other words, we believe it is indisputable that Ben Day engaged in sexual misconduct as prohibited by the Title IV disciplinary canons. There is no scenario under which his intimate activities with his wife, a person under his pastoral care, were acceptable.

The role of Bishop Rob Wright

Things are every bit as bad with Atlanta Episcopal Bishop Rob Wright.

Some time ago, a Title IV case in the matter was filed against Day. We will not say who the complainant was, but suffice it to say they are well aware of the specifics of this situation.

The result?

Defeaning silence. No response, no follow-up, none of the pastoral response mandated by Title IV.

Moreover, Anglican Watch has contacted the Diocese of Atlanta about the situation. The response was even more damning than total silence; the answer was, “We follow Title IV.”

That obviously is a fabrication, as a pastoral response should be the basis of any Title IV case. So DioAtl folks, don’t think we are idiots. We know Title IV when we see it, and we’re not falling for your empty church-babble.

In this instance, we have a long-time combat veteran who loves his children despite severe medical issues. His life allegedly has been turned upside down by Day’s conduct, yet Wright cannot even be bothered to respond to emails? (We hope, in the next several days, to publish these emails.)

That is pathetic, and it’s not the first time we’ve seen Wright or his minions ignore misconduct, with zero pastoral response.

We also note that Wright and the Diocese are well aware of the allegations involving Day, including many of the issues relating to Day’s first marriage.

So where does that leave us?

Anglican Watch has not received a response from Day despite multiple written requests. Thus, we are left to form conclusions based on the information available to us.

In this regard, we believe that Day is likely an addict with serious mental health issues and a track record of abusive behavior. This extends to allegations of criminal conduct.

We also suspect Day is a predator, as in his real goal in marrying his current wife was access to her financial resources, even as he manipulates her to meet his needs. We can’t prove this, but suffice it to say there are myriad warning signs.

While he may be getting professional care for these issues, Day’s seeming lack of an ethical reference point, particularly around his current wife, his false statements to the police, and his suborning perjury by his current wife by allegedly inducing her to make false statements to the police, warrant Day’s immediate suspension as an Episcopal priest.

From there, we believe Day must be defrocked, whether by voluntarily resigning holy orders or removal by the Diocese.

Simple as that.

As to Bishop Wright, it is clear that he is unsuited to serve as presiding bishop, or any other sort of bishop, for that matter, and we anticipate a Title IV proceeding will be filed against him in the next several days for his failure to be subject to the canons and discipline of the church.

Diocese-wise, there are a number of folks complicit in this mess, and they need to be held accountable as well. These include the Reverend Canon Alicia Schuster Weltner, who from where we sit appears utterly lacking in professional integrity. Indeed, if she and others in the Diocese can’t care for others in a situation as fraught with this, they can do us all a favor and find a job in fast food. Just remember—wash your hands, wear gloves, and keep your hair out of the damned food.

Folks, it is time to clean up this hot mess, and change starts at the top. Time to hold Bishop Wright, Reverend Canon Alicia Schuster Weltner, his canon to the ordinary, diocesan communications staff, and of course, Ben Day, accountable.

As for the local courts, Day’s actions are an egregious violation to the judicial process, and we recommend that local courts and prosecutors dismiss charges against Blackburn. We further believe criminal charges against Day are warranted, as well as a civil action for abuse of process.

In the meantime, we’ve got loads of FOIA requests, background reports, emails, photos, and phone records coming our way. So, it’s a bad day to be Ben Day, and we will continue to investigate and publish. And, of course, Ben Day is welcome to respond any time. Or day.

Finally, a word to the inevitable lawyers: In front of every statement in this article, insert the phrase, “This is an allegation.” But note that we find the allegations credible, we like and respect Mr. Blackburn, and we stand with him in this outrageous breakdown of missional integrity.


  1. This comes directly from the Atlanta Safechurch guide. So why is it that no personnel from Christ Episcopal Church in Kennesaw has reported Father Ben Day for sexual exploitation. Their rules are written in black and white.

    “Church Personnel are required to report any suspected or known policy violations to the rector or clergy person in charge of the congregation. When it is suspected that the rector or priest-in-charge has violated a policy, a report should be made to the Canon to the Ordinary…”

  2. From a reader:

    If we had access to all of the live stream YouTube videos of sermons, we would be able to see how often Father Ben brags about his political company (that doesn’t exist). How he admits to having alcohol problems. How he calls his current wife a Mary Magdalene, and that he saved her from her whorish way.

    Christians who attend Christ Episcopal Church in Kennesaw have been afraid to speak out and risk being ostracized. We see how Father Ben doesn’t hesitate to sic the police on parishioners and we don’t want that happening to us. Thank you for providing a safe and anonymous way to share our feelings on this scandal.

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