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Daddy came back from the dead

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God bless you.
My faith that God will completely heal me from brain cancer, prostate cancer and end-stage congestive heart failure owes some of its support to my daddy, the late Rev. Anderson Douglas Banks, Sr.
In 1951, daddy, then 40, was driving through a rain storm from our hometown, Indianapolis, Ind., on U.S. highway 24, on his way to Nashville, Tenn., for a board meeting of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Incorp.
When he came across two women trying to push their bogged-down car out of roadside mud, just outside of Paducah, Ky., the Christian and gentleman in him refused to let him pass by on the other side. So he stopped and ran across the road to help.
Thanks to his 5-9, 230-pound frame, daddy succeeded in pushing the car sufficiently forward to gain traction and spin its tires out of the mud. The women went on their way. His good deed done, daddy says he then pushed his luck and tried to run back across the highway to his car. But the rain and an apparent bend in the road blinded him from seeing a pickup truck that hit him and propelled him some 25 feet through the air.
When daddy landed and would-be rescuers came to him, he lay unconscious on the ground, bleeding profusely from compound fractures of both legs. Unable to feel his pulse, the rescuers concluded he was dead and called an ambulance to take him to the nearest funeral home.
But during the slow trip to the mortuary, one of the ambulance attendants saw him move a finger, examined him, found a pulse and had the driver to turn on the siren and change his destination from the funeral home and speed to the nearest hospital.
After hours of emergency surgery and pints of blood transfusions, daddy's life was saved.
When the news of his accident reached home within hours, my mama, the late Sarah Loraine Sanders-Banks, announced its arrival with a ear-piercing scream that woke up her four sons and two daughters.
I awake to find her standing in the frame of our opened front door, looking up to the gray, rainy, early-morning sky, crying and praying in epileptic anguish.
"Your daddy's been in a bad accident and they don't think he'll live," mama said. "We all gotta pray."
We joined her in tears and prayers as my older sisters Maude Lee and Lue Kuicious hugged and consoled her.
Within a couple of days, daddy regained consciousness, but remained in critical condition. When his condition was stabilized and ungraded and he was transferred to Indianapolis, he says his chief doctor gave him a grave prognosis.
"You're lucky to be alive because you had been severely injured," the doctor said, "had lost a lot of blood and your heart had stopped beating temporarily. You'll live. But it will take a miracle for you to ever walk again. And if you do, it will be with the aid of crutches or a walking cane."
I was eight years old at the time and I remember the great jubilation when they brought daddy home and camped him in a hospital bed in the dinning room, so that he could better receive visitors. My mama and we children waited on him and bathed him in prayers around the clock. It was doing that time that I was called to preach at the age of nine.
Within six months of his return home, daddy recovered well enough to return to the pulpit at the Mt. Carmel Baptist church, where he was pastor. But he preached from a wheel chair with both his legs in casks. Members shouted for joy each time he preached.
A few months later, he preached, aided by crutches. Members shouted even more vociferously.
A few months later, daddy would shed his casks and preached with the aid of a walking cane. The shouting grew more madly with mama leading the joyful wrecking crew.
A few months later, daddy was able to stand flat-footed, preach with even more power and no tear glands of true believers could withstand seeing and hearing him without unleashing torrential praise.
Thereafter, for the remaining 20 years of his life, that miraculous recovery was the principal testimony that daddy used to close his sermons until he died from a stroke in 1974 at the age of 63.
That testimony was branded into the hearts, minds and souls of me and my siblings. Again, at the time of his convalescence, I was called to preach. Daddy and I then became a tag team, preaching and fighting the devil bare-handed, slaying satanic dragons and combing Mississippi cotton fields for sinners after daddy had lost his pastorage in Mississippi and moved his family back to Lyon, Miss., to live in the same house where I had been born with the aid of a midwife.
Life was hard at times in those days as daddy pastored four churches, that held services once a month. Plus, we sharecropped 15 acres of cotton for a couple of years to make ends meet. Daddy pastored the poor, who paid him with farm produce and game when they could not pay him money.
Mama died at the age of 42 from blood poisoning after unknowingly carrying a dead fetus, her 13th child, in her womb for a couple of weeks. Daddy greeted the news of her death by sitting on the steps of the front porch of our house (the church parsonage) in Lyon and unleashed a crying scream I'd never heard before, have never heard since and don't want to. Death had parted him from his loving wife of 23 years.
Mama never lived long enough to see one of her eight surviving children get married or have one of us to take her out, or invite her over, for dinner. To this very day, I cry when I recall how mama--an old-schooled housewife who could cook, iron, wash (with scrub board), sew, keep house, make the most beautiful quilts--lived so little and died so young.
After her funeral, her brothers and sisters wanted to parcel out her children because they didn't think a traveling preacher like daddy could do a good job of raising us. But daddy refused to break us up. He had promised mama that he would keep us all together.
"There's not a step child in the bunch," he'd often say.
In 1956, daddy left the Liberty Baptist Church in Lyon to become pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. There, as liberated refugees from the Mississippi cotton fields and the ruthless racism of the South, my sisters and brothers and I found new hope and great opportunity to upgrade our lives north of the Mason-Dixon line.
But the testimony of how the Lord raised my daddy from the dead and healed him of crippling injuries, suffered while playing good Samaritan on a rain-drenched Kentucky highway, has remained, for me, an abiding anthem of my faith. And it is from that miracle that I draw confidence that the same God who delivered him will deliver me for all the world to see.
I'm ready to accept whatever God's final decision is. In the interim, I want Him to get glory out of my aches and pains, my losses and gains. I am a healing in progress. The brain cancer has been ruled benign. The prostate cancer, despite resultant incidents of painful and embarrassing incontinence, is being effectively treated with radioactive seeds. And my heart is strong enough to no longer warrant an emergency heart transplant.
God bless you!
Praise the Lord.
Thank you Jesus!

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Good Morning Rev,

You see this is why I follow this blog. This is why I tell my friends and loved ones to visit your blog and read what you have to say about life. What an inspiring story! It is my belief that when we are going through our 'valley' experiences that we remember what God has done for us in the past. I always say...if He did that......He can do this now. If He did this for her/him He can do the same for me. Our healings, deliverances, breakthroughs come on the heels of our FAITH. Our answered prayers come on the ability of us to not DOUBT. We, your fellow bloggers, are standing in the gap for you on this Rev. Stay encouraged and keep inspiring us. Also, congratulations on being honored by the NABJ. Stella mentioned it in her column yesterday. You are so deserving of it.

Be Blessed,


Banks' response: Yes, Donna, it was exceedingly sweet of Stella to mention me in her distinguished column. She is doing an outstanding job of extending the lush legacy of Irv Kupcinet, the column's originator, and is now making her own magnificent mark. She was Kup's chief operating officer and info gatherer during his prestigious, legendary run. She really gets out and networks well to keep her column a must-read for inquiring minds who want to keep up with what's happening. As such, she is also a pioneer in her own right. She is a sensational soul sister of unequaled charm, grace, majesty and beauty. And her wit is exceeded only by her grit, and her eloquence only by her elegance. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Stella, the stellar one.


Boy you are so gifted. Just as the psalmist says, "I see you in the future and you are looking better and walking in prosperity" ". I enjoy reading your "testimonies" although the journalistic term is different. Thanks for sharing what happened to Daddy - wonder whatever happened to the women that he helped and if they knew/know what occurred to the man who helped them. WOW! - Just what God did for Daddy and others....he is doing for you.

I pray dear brother that you continuously stand upon and confidently speak God's Word over your body. Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of his peace was upon Him and "with His stripes, we are healed!" Regardless of the tests, meds, procedures remember God's word will contend with the enemy. God is still doing a great work in you.......How awesome, wonderful, mighty and just plain GOOD He is.

Your baby sister,

Banks' response: Of course, daddy's accident happened before you were born and mama's death occurred when you were but three years old. It pains me every time I remember that you and Hansel, our youngest brother, who died three years ago, were so young when mama died and never really were able to know her well enough to remember much. We all wish that mama could have been equally favored with a life-saving miracle. Every one of her children outlived her. Mama was the dearest of her breed. She loved you and Hansel so tenderly and worked endlessly to take care of all her children. Although daddy sang some, our singing talent really came from mama, a heavenly hummingbird whose voice and fervor were the stuff of angels. If even were to ever show its face in heaven, it would probably visit the angels when mama sang. Give me regards to my praying sisters and brothers of the household of faith in Grand Rapids.

Dear Lacy,
It is impossible to read your blog without being inspired. You really have a knack for tugging on our emotions. The story of your parents moved me to tears…and they continue flow hearing that your healing is taking place. I think our ability to believe is the most important gift we are given. Nothing is possible unless you believe. You are a living tribute to that statement. I know your healing will continue. Our prayers are with you. God bless you!!!!

Banks' response: The bible teaches us that faith, the substance is things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, is the most powerful human force in existence. Without it, we can not please God. Without it, we can not be saved. Without it, we can do nothing. With it, we can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens us. But the power of our faith is directly proportional to its purity. So we should all pray for and strive toward pure faith, nothing wavering, nothing abating, nothing that is double-minded and half-hearted. Rather, we should strive toward and pray for pure, concentrated, unadulterated faith. Thank you so very much for your comment in praise of faith. I think God that in my petitioning Him for complete recovery, I have in my company the faithful likes of you, Vera, Donna, Deacon Jimmy Coleman, my preaching brothers, my wife and children and so many friends touching and agreeing with me in prayer. In due season, we shall reap what we faith for if we dare not faint or feign in our faith. I know that faith is a noun. But the Spirit compels me to use it in the form of a verb right now. So, faith on, Stan. Faith on for the harvest of what you are faithing for.

What a blessing to have witnessed God's healing power at such an early age. For many of us, we had to "keep on living," as our elders would say. What I have come to know is that if you believe in God and pay attention, you will see His works EVERYWHERE. And, thank you for allowing us to see Him in you. Noted the item in Stella's column and thought of all the honors you have probably received over the years. Then I thought about how wonderful your robes and crown awaiting you must be. Continuing to pray for your health and strength and your family.

Banks' response: Exposure in Stella's column may yet bless me to ascend into the highest firmament of stardom. More and more people are calling me, emailing me and stopping me on the street to tell me that--yes--that they saw I made Stella's column. I just grin gratitude and--bless that wonder woman's heart--try to act both proud and humble at the same time. By the way, if I may be so bold as to ask you (but at the same time you're one of my devout regulars), what does Igwenmurphy stand for?

Leona Gwendolyn Murphy. My friends call me Gwen and you may as well. I first heard you preach at Morning Star when the late Rev. Percy C. Slaughter was pastor. You caused even some our "dead" members to rise. The Holy Spirit just sort of hit the walls north to south, east to west and everything and everybody in between just got whacked upside the head and heart. Praise the Lord! I can't thank you enough for sharing this journey with us. God is still on the throne.

Banks' response: Thank you so much Gwen for remembering my participation in those glorious services and the fact that it was your dear pastor, the late Rev. Percy C. Slaughter, who invited me there to share. Since them, Dec. Chuck Posey has continued that tradition and I always enjoy preaching at Morning Star behind those soul-stirring devotions presented by your venerable deacon in the ol' time way. Many churches, especially the new, non-denominational brands, have replaced those great, powerful elders and their devotions with praise teams that draw their power more from an experience than from a committed, time-honored life in Christ. Another thing I enjoy about preaching at Morning Star is its great involvement of men, and I mean seasoned men, in its worship, a growing rarity in black baptist churches. I too many of our congregations, the women make up 90 percent of the active members and 99 percent of the real givers and workers who sustain our faith and function in the world in general and the family in particular.


I met you several years ago in my late father's office Reverand Percy C. Slaughter. I hope all is well with you and your family.

Best regards,
Byron C. Slaughter

Banks' response: Thanks Byron for reading my blog and for extending best

wishes to my family and me. Your father was a prince among pastors and friends.

I pray that a lot of him lives on in you because the world will be better for it. As you

probably know, I preached the Men's Day sermon there a couple of Sundays ago.

It is because of your father that I am still appreciated and welcomed there. Thank

God that you have a wonder interim pastor now in Rev. C. L. Brookins, a venerable

vessel in God's gospel ministry,

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on July 17, 2008 7:33 PM.

Best wishes from high school classmates was the previous entry in this blog.

Randy Pausch gave dying a happy face is the next entry in this blog.

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