Twice a week, a small room at the Knox County Jail is made a little brighter by the words of Pastor Gary Bane.
The pastor has been volunteering with a faith based addict`s reform program in Galesburg for the last 10 years. It’s his attempt at making a difference
“There is a little verse over in the little book of Jude in the bible that says ‘having compassion, making a difference’, the pastor recited. “M – A – D, so our job is to make a difference in people’s lives.”
And is a job he is doing well. He makes the inmates feel comfortable and at home which allowing his message to transcend the cell walls.
He is not paid for his work but says it’s all about the little things he gets in return.
“When a little kid runs up to you and says thank you for helping my daddy in jail,” Pastor Bane explains that’s what it’s all about.
More than a dozen people wrote in nominating Pastor Bane for the pay it forward award, one of those was Gunny Wells. Wells recently became a member of Prairie Land Baptist - the Galesburg church of Pastor Bane.
“I have been to four different churches besides this one and no one teaches the bible the way you can understand it,” Gunny explains. “He is just one of a kind.”
The surprise and money couldn`t have come at a better time for the pastor and his family. After 18 years, the church has had to close and a recent stroke has slowed the pastor down.
“I am just trusting the Lord to take care of my needs,” Pastor tells us. “I have some bills that this can help pay so the Lord provided. Praise the Lord.”
The recent struggle hasn`t stopped him. He will be moving to Florida with his wife to run a Reformers’ Unanimous program.
So Galesburg will lose a true gem. But as Florida gains one, the cycle of changing lives and paying it forward will continue.