Pastor Michael Bannon
About Pastor Michael
My story is not typical. I was once an animator for several TV series including The Flintstones and The New Adventures of Scooby Doo, working from a small studio in Toronto, Canada. When a recession hit in the early 1980s, I moved to Miami FL to work on cruise ships in a rock band. The psalmist writes in Psalm 139, “If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there.” This describes my experience of salvation. I was busily pursuing the lifestyle of a rock musician when I met Christ.
My life was a mess and I sought counseling at a small church in Jupiter FL. The pastor faithfully presented the gospel, God opened my eyes, gave me the gift of faith, and I put my trust in Christ alone. Within a year, I sensed that God was calling me into full-time ministry as a pastor. I had never been involved in a church, so instead of going to a seminary, I stayed at the church in Jupiter to learn about the life of a church. As I matured in the faith, I discovered that God had given me the gift of teaching and I jumped at every opportunity to teach. Four years later, the church brought me on staff in a lay capacity in what is best described as a Swiss-Army-knife position. I was involved in every aspect of the church’s ministry; it was a wonderful education! In 1992, the church recommended me for ordination and for the next 8 years, I served that rapidly growing church as the associate pastor.
In 2000, my wife Teresa and I both sensed God saying it was time for me to get a formal, theological education. We left Jupiter and moved to Illinois where I enrolled in Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This began a season of amazing displays of God’s grace as we watched God supply our needs and, of course, bless me with a rich education. Four years later, I was awarded a Master of Divinity degree with honors.
Teresa and I are not “beach people,” but when I graduated, we responded to God’s call to Naples FL where I became the Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship at CrossRoads Community Church, an Evangelical Free Church (efca.org). This was an opportunity to engage in my commitment to engaging the community with the gospel by making the most of every opportunity to make Christ known. I had the privilege of regularly praying at community events, leading a community Christian men’s group, serving on the board of a local Christian charity, and writing for the local newspaper. God also provided the funding for me to create Life ?uestions with Pastor Michael, a weekly, hour-long radio show that aired for four years on a secular FM station.
In 2016, we sensed God calling us away from Naples and, like he did with Abraham, calling us to something he would show us. We learned from our EFCA district superintendent about 4 families in Navarre FL who were interested in planting a church. I had never wanted to plant a church, had never heard of Navarre, nor did I know any of these people. Yet, God called me to do what I never wanted in a place I’d never heard of with a people I did not know. We are loving this new adventure with these wonderful people in this beautiful community! Come worship with us! You can also find me in the Faith section of the Navarre Press where I write a weekly column and report on what is happening with churches in the area.