The new pastor in town is excited to be in the area.
Roland S. Banks, First Presbyterian Church pastor, has been at the church since the first week in October. His installment ceremony is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.
The pastor took a winding road to Hinesville. Banks — who was born in Texas but raised in Miami and Tallahassee — worked as a geologist for 20 years in Florida and has been in the ministry for 17 years. He attended Austin (Texas) Presbyterian Theological Seminary, earned a master’s in divinity and pastored at First Presbyterian Church in Norwood, N.C., and Windermere Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, N.C.
He also visited Israel and meditated while on the trip.
“I am happy to be a part of the Hinesville community. The word of God inspires me and I am blessed to be able to proclaim it. The people at Hinesville First Presbyterian are very warm, gracious and welcoming,” he said.
His vision for Hinesville First Presbyterian is to reach out to the youth and military.
“We currently have the First Presbyterian Christian Academy and about six military families. I hope to grow ministry in both areas,” he said.
He also said he has a heart for discipling men.
Banks said First Presbyterian is involved in mission outreach with Midway Presbyterian Church for the food pantry. This group boxes food on the fourth Tuesday of each month and gives to families on the fourth Thursday starting at 9 a.m. at Midway First Presbyterian Church.
He and his wife, Jan, a self-employed artist, also have a puppet ministry. Banks said Jan is good a ventriloquist, and he writes the skits and sometimes uses a puppet.
Banks said his mentors are his wife, Dr. Kenneth E. Bailey and Dr. Bill Bennett.
“My wife keeps me honest,” he said. “Dr. Bailey taught me to appreciate the New Testament and understand it better. Dr. Bill Bennett is my mentor, and he taught me how to be disciplined for Godliness.”
He advises pastors to know that Jesus is the head of the church, not them.
“This keeps you humble,” he said.
Banks said Hinesville First Presbyterian has worship services at 11 a.m. Sunday and dinner at
6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by Bible study at 6:45 p.m.
First Presbyterian is at 320 E. Memorial Drive. For more information, call the church at 876-3670 or go to www.fpc-hinesville.org.