Grace & Patience as We Grow

Grace & Patience as We Grow

Dear HLPC family,

A couple of weeks ago, Connie and I ran into two of our former students from our days with RUF at Mercer University, Griff and Justine Hogan.  Griff and Justine started their dating relationship as students in the ministry and now have four kids of their own, their oldest being a sophomore at Georgia Tech.  It was so encouraging to see them, to see how well they are doing as a family, and how God is at work in them and through them.  In some ways it was hard to imagine those two as college students, but in the same moment it was hard not to see them as college students.

As I thought of the years that had gone by, I thought of the nature of ministry and the Christian life in general.  It’s no wonder they are both likened to farming in the Scriptures. The gospel is likened to a seed (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8).  Paul speaks of planting and watering yet God giving the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6).  We could go on.

Farming or gardening is something that takes time and patience.  Things don’t sprout up or blossom overnight.  Weeds must be pulled, fertilizer put in place, and water provided.  God’s work in churches, people, and families takes time too.  Sometimes the growth is evident, other times we wait and pray.

Looking at ourselves, the people near us, or even our circumstances may discourage us. We long for immediate change—I know I do.  But God may be up to something we can’t imagine or see.  He’s always at work.  He will build His Church and His kingdom will have no end.

I know many of us are weary of waiting on the Lord.  We’re weary of waiting on Him to answer our prayer.  We may be discouraged at what we perceive to be His lack of work in the world around us.  May God give us His grace to wait, watch, and pray with perseverance.   May He sustain us and give us the joy of seeing what He brings about in His time.   He gave Connie and me a glimpse of His good work in the Hogans, and for that I am thankful.

Your Pastor,


Paul Bankson

Paul was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Auburn that he met his wife, Connie. They were married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and moved to Jackson, MS where he attended Reformed Theological Seminary graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1991. Upon graduation, Paul served as a Campus Minister with RUF, the campus ministry of the PCA, at Tennessee-Martin where the Banksons lived for 5 years. They moved to Macon, GA in 1996 to work with RUF at Mercer University and then Paul joined the pastoral staff at First Presbyterian Church of Macon as an Assistant Pastor in 1999. In 2004, Paul and his family moved to Warner Robins where he served as a church planter and then organizing Pastor of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. In December 2014 Paul completed a Doctor of Ministry degree through Reformed Theological Seminary of Orlando. Paul and Connie have three sons, Andrew (23), Stephen (20), and Matthew (15). Paul enjoys grilling, camping with his family, and Auburn sports (War Eagle!).