Introducing Zach Hood

Introducing Zach Hood

Hello HLPC!

My name is Zach Hood, I am the new Pastoral Intern for Student Ministries, and I am very excited to be serving alongside you all here at Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. We have only been here for a month, and we have felt so welcomed and loved as new members of this church community. So, I wanted to let you all know that we are grateful to all of you who have loved us so well throughout our short time here. 

Throughout the years, I have grown to love student ministry. Student ministry, both youth and college, have been such an important part of my life. I did not grow up in the church and the consequence of that was not knowing the Lord. There were various people that the Lord used to bring me to faith, but one of the most important instruments was youth ministry. It was the ministry of friends and leaders at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church that played a vital role in my coming to faith in Jesus. Student ministry was the place where I first heard the Gospel articulated to me. It was the time in my life that God used to open my eyes to His Word. It was the time in my life where I experienced a healthy community of friends that kept pointing me back to Jesus. It was youth ministry that God used to show me Himself.

And I am beyond grateful for those faithful leaders who just kept showing up and pointing me to Jesus. That is why I am so excited for the opportunity to come and serve in this position at HLPC. It is such an honor to carry on God’s faithfulness in my life and use it to carry on the work He is already doing in the life of these students.

We come to you all from Memphis, Tennessee,  where I served as the Director of College Ministry at Independent Presbyterian Church. I had served in that role for a little over 3 years. Before my time in college ministry, I also served in the youth ministry. In my role as the College Director, I ministered to both our local students and covenant children who grew up in our church. It was such a joy to serve alongside RUF Memphis and RUF Rhodes, where I worked to support their ministry that so many of our students were a part of. Serving in that role allowed me to access my call as a pastor, and the role created a space for me to grow in vocational ministry.

Since 2018, I have also been a student at Reformed Theological Seminary pursuing my Master of Divinity. I have about 2-3 years left in the program, and hopefully, after my degree, I will be able to pursue ordination in our denomination. You all at HLPC have been kind enough to invest in me, not only as a staff member of this church but also as a student. I am very thankful for your partnership and generous financial support for my seminary education.

I am married to my wife, Olivia. We have a one-year-old son named Coleman, who just celebrated a birthday not too long ago. We as a family like to eat a lot of food, drink a lot of coffee, enjoy watching movies, and go on spontaneous trips, and of course, we love our Georgia Bulldogs! We would love to get to know you! If you want to learn more about me, feel free to email me at zhood@houstonlakepres.org. I would love to get lunch, coffee, or watch a Georgia game with you.

It is exciting to see how God is at work here at HLPC, forming us as new people. Our family is so excited to be a part of God’s work in the life of this church. Please continue to pray as God moves in our midst for his glory!

In the grip of God’s grace,

Zach Hood

Paul Bankson
pbankson@gmail.com

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!).