POINT PLEASANT — The Point of Faith Church will host its 11tth annual Bill Banks New Year’s Eve Scholarship Service.
It was on Dec. 31, 2006 when the Reverend William E. Banks organized a tag team style preaching service at his church. He extended an invitation to 15 area preachers to each bring a five minute message. Banks opened the service and told the congregation that he got the idea after he witnessed a similar service in Alabama at Camp Meeting earlier that year.
According to a press release about the event, “The attempt proved to be a spiritual blessing as many gathered that memorable New Years Eve. The congregation was uplifted through the word of God being preached and the fellow ministers had an opportunity to encourage and cheer one another on in the Lord! Little did anyone know that God would be calling Brother Bill home just 26 days later.”
Eleven years have passed since that night and those that grew under the leadership of Banks’ ministry have continued to hold a tag team New Year’s Eve service in his honor. In 2009, an anonymous founder set up the Bill Banks Scholarship to be given annually to a incoming college freshman whose intent was to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bill Banks New Year’s Eve Service was changed to the Bill Bank’s New Year’s Eve Scholarship Service and the offerings taken in during this service are added to the scholarship fund.
Banks was born Sept. 12, 1933 in Wilder, Tenn., a son of William R. Banks, who was a coal miner, and Nellie M. Banks. He joined the United States Air Force in 1953, and served in the Aircraft Crash and Rescue Division while stationed in Saudi Arabia until 1957. He married Mildred Peters in Jan. 1954 and they had four sons, Doug Banks, Mark Banks, Troy Banks, and William E. Banks, Jr. Banks surrendered his heart to Jesus Christ on New Year’s Day in 1961. Then in 1974, he answered God’s call to preach.
He faithfully lived his calling, proving by his witness and example that the Christian life is rewarding. Banks faithfully pastored in Point Pleasant for over 33 years and was known to many as a “pastor’s pastor.” He visited jails, hospitals, and shut-ins, always proclaiming the truths in God’s word. He baptized, married, and preached the funerals of many Mason County residents, but his greatest desire and love was to win soul to Christ. Bank’s ministry continues to live on through the testimony of the many lives he touched and impacted.
Information for this article submitted by Denise Bonecutter.