FAITH ALIVE: Rev. Tony Banks, pastor, Life Changing Missionary Baptist Church

Ledger-EnquirerJuly 11, 2009 

What’s the history of the church? The church will be five years old the 1st of August. I was called from Canaan Baptist Church and from there started at the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge on Sixth Avenue.

How long were you there?

Ten months. Then we were able to purchase this property.

What was it? Columbus Primitive Baptist Church.

When were you called to the ministry? One day I was sitting at home in the kitchen. I was a deacon at Canaan and I was reading that part in the Bible where Paul said: “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe unto me, if I preach not the gospel.” That was about 10 years ago. I was a deacon about 1½ years.

Who’s in your family? My wife is Kimberly and our son is Jonathan.

What’s your favorite part of ministry? People. I love people. Ministry is kind of easy for me. Sometimes people make the mistake of trying to change others rather than accept them where they are. … We have about 400 people here.

Where’s your hometown?

I’m from the big city of Hurtsboro, Ala. Sometimes in the city, (pastors) get too highfallutin,’ with body guards. But they become disconnected from the people. We’re just a country church. I graduated in 1986 from Chavala High School, which is now Russell County High. Then I went into the Marines and spent four years. In 1990, I went to Troy and got my bachelor’s and then got my M.S. in administration.

Then what? I started a financial planning business. I have a building on Warm Springs Road. I’ve had the business for 15 years.

Does your wife work outside the home? Yes, at TSYS. She’s been there 11 years. … We want to start our own academy here at the church. We bought a house next to the church, and the house next to it. First we’ll build a gymnasium or life center.

How many grades will you have? We plan to go through the fourth grade. We have some wonderful people in place to help with this.

Your church is celebrating your 10th year in the ministry. When is that? It’s 10 o’clock (today). I’m excited about it. We’ll have the worship service and then lunch after.

Were you raised in the church? Yes, at a place called Ross Chapel in Hurtsboro. I began there.

What’s unique about Life Changing? The service starts at 10 and we’re done by 11:15, which is abnormal. We don’t see how fast we can do it, but we remove some of the foolishness. We encourage people to spend the rest of the day with their family.

What do you do in your spare time? I have a music studio on Warm Springs Road; and I spend a lot of time with my son. I also love to shop

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