In honor of Father’s Day (June 18), I am pleased to recognize Apostle Ron Banks. Apostle Banks has not only been my pastor for the past twenty years, but he became my second father the day he married my mother on June 25, 1994. Initially when he became a member of our family, I wasn’t very receptive, and not because of anything he did wrong.

Let me explain……

For several years, it had just been the three of us: Mom, my brother BJ and me. Prior to that, our dad was married to our mother. So, seeing Mom get remarried and share her life with a different man was not an easy adjustment for me.

Nevertheless, Apostle (as I like to call him) demonstrated nothing but patience and understanding. When I was cold and distant, he remained the same—-kind and loving. He didn’t stoop to my young, immature level. Instead, he took the high road and allowed me time to come around. I now love and appreciate him for that. Apostle is a good example for anyone who plans to marry someone with children. Demonstrating love and patience is vital.

Apostle was born the third of seven children, to Lorin and Bertha Banks in Avonmore, Pennsylvania, where he also grew up. If you’re not familiar with Avonmore, it’s a small town outside of Pittsburgh. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the army.

Although Apostle was raised in church, he acknowledges that he ran from Christianity and the call of God on his life for over twenty years. During that period in his life, he spent a lot of time in the streets and became addicted to alcohol and drugs. Fortunately, he had a praying mother who NEVER gave up on him.

Proverbs 22:6 says:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

In the early 1990s, Apostle surrendered his life to the Lord when he began attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio, where several of our family members also attended. Once Apostle gave His life back to Jesus, he began growing by leaps and bounds. I know this to be true because I saw it with my own eyes. He said GOODBYE to the streets, the alcohol and the drugs! He was now driven to learn all he could about God and to be used for His glory. He was in every Sunday school class, every church service, and every Bible study. He became an armor bearer for the pastor, a minister, and a member of the deliverance team. He was a willing worker, even if it meant cleaning the toilets, laying down carpet or driving the church van. It was evident that he had a passion for God and people. Apostle’s heart had truly been changed, and he was now dedicated to doing the work of the Lord.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring Apostle Ron Banks)

With unwavering faith and passion, Apostle and my mother established Power and Faith Ministries in 1997. Apostle had then, and still has now, a burning desire to follow the example of Jesus, including healing the sick and casting out demons. Through Power and Faith Ministries, many individuals have been saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, delivered, and healed from cancer and other diseases. Apostle has openly declared that Power and Faith Ministries is a “cancer-free zone”. As a matter of fact, an individual doesn’t have to be in a church service or even in the city, to receive healing. God has anointed and assigned Apostle to bless those who are in need of healing and deliverance with prayer cloths that he personally anoints with oil and prays over.

I have personally mailed and delivered in person some of these prayer cloths. The testimonies are astounding! For example, two of my former high school students were healed after they each received a prayer cloth. One was healed from cancer, while the other was healed from near-blindness. Today, I follow both of them on Facebook and am happy to say that they are STILL doing well!

As a team, Apostle and my mother “address concerns, tackle problems, build character, bring management back to those who have been mismanaged and, through God’s guidance, perform whatever tasks necessary to positively affect people, as they touch and change the world, one family at a time.”

God has and continues to do so much through Apostle, not because he’s superman or perfect, but because he’s a willing vessel who has a heart for people. It’s that same heart that makes him a great father. A great father prays for and with His children, leads them, provides for them, protects them, teaches them, gives them sound advice, listens to them, and, most importantly, loves them. Apostle encompasses all those attributes, which is what also makes him a great pastor.

If and when any of his spiritual children walk away from the ministry or from God, like the father in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), Apostle welcomes them back with open arms. I have witnessed Apostle offer unconditional love, even when the love wasn’t always returned.

Apostle often testifies about how God never gave up on Him, even when he was out in the streets doing anything and everything he felt he was big and bad enough to do. Despite all that, God honored his mother’s prayers and kept His hands on him. Parents, it’s important that you continue to pray for your children, no matter the circumstances!

When Apostle finally made the decision to stop running and surrender to God, without hesitation God welcomed him home. And God is ready to do the same for you! Aren’t you tired of running? Aren’t you tired of fighting? Then I encourage you to stop and surrender to God.

Once Apostle accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was the beginning of a brand new and better life for him. You, too, can experience the same! Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you’re ready to experience a brand new life like Apostle Ron Banks, all you have to do is pray the following prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!”


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