My name is Paul Panak, I grew up in Pentecostal churches as a boy and also attended Christian schools most of my childhood. I can remember my mother teaching me about the baptism of the Holy Ghost when I was only 7 years old, her laying hands upon me to receive and me speaking in tongues…. and have ever since. It was a needed measure of the Lord that I would need later in my teenage and young adult years. I can say at the age of 13 I recognized an audible pull on the inside from the Lord for people, I didn’t know what it was at the time but would later learn it was a calling to 5-fold ministry. The later part of my teens was spent under ministry that had a lot of condemnation in it. I can say it planted the wrong image inside me of what a Minister was and therefore that image assisted me to pull away from the calling that was resident inside me. Looking over my shoulder now I can see how it was the enemy using that tool of condemnation to supress the gifting that God had placed within me, and no longer do I blame people for my decision to head into the lifestyle that I immersed myself in as a young adult. The enemy was working in my life because he saw how it caused me to back up from the Lord whenever that tool (condemnation) was employed upon me by other people.
I soon began to experiment with drugs and alcohol and by my late teens and early 20’s I was in a full blown drug addicted lifestyle. I still had that calling on the inside of me and I was now trying to drown out that call with a lifestyle that was not conducive to serving the Lord. It didn’t work, the farther I ran, the more He would call inside me. It was a terrible wrenching within myself. I suffered several near death experiences in that lifestyle working for a drug importer and I’m happy to say I lived through it all unscathed because of a mother who knew how to pray. My last experience in that lifestyle was having a revolver unloaded upon me only 10ft. away….. not one bullet hit me!
Early in my twenties feeling broken, and beaten up from even more condemnation from the enemy I encountered thoughts of taking my own life and set out to do so on a particular evening. Chambering up a single round in a handgun I placed it upon my head. Before squeezing the trigger I cried out to God, “If your truly real, and you can help me, come now, show me now.” I waited for a moment, saw nothing…. so placed my finger back onto that trigger and began to squeeze it. Before the gun went off I felt a warm, overwhelming saturation of the presence of God. In what I later learned was an open visitation from the Lord, I was held in the arms of a Loving, Gentle God that began to show me future events of His plan for me Pastoring churches, speaking in large auditoriums, and preaching in 3rd world countries. Never once did He mention that I was unqualified for the destiny He had planned for me because of my past, never once did He point His finger at me and shame me for my past. I can say I was completely healed that evening of all the scars that my own past actions placed inside me as a young man and was completely set free from drugs that very day. I had a God encounter.
A few years later I enrolled into Rhema Bible Training Center, Kenneth Hagin Ministries in Tulsa Oklahoma. I graduated there in 1995 holding a Diploma in Pastoral ministry. I also left there with my new wife, Mechelle, who also graduated with me in 1995. We left Tulsa immediately that year upon graduation and have been in full-time ministry together ever since. My first year of ministry was spent evangelizing in churches that my Father-in-law helped place me in. I took my first Senior Pastorate in 1996 and Pastored for one year. I resigned in 1997 to serve under my Father-in-law as his associate minister and administrator of his ministry for the next 5 years. My wife and I resigned from there as the Lord was leading me to my home state of Ohio to Pioneer a new work in my home town. My wife and I started “New Life Christian Center” where the ministry now resides in my hometown of Kinsman, Ohio.
I have seen half of those visions come to pass exactly as I saw when I was held in the arms of the Loving God I now proudly serve. It has been my privilege in ministry over the past 16 years to see God heal people physically, set others free from drugs, remove emotional scars from past mistakes and failures, fill born-again believers with the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tonques, along with teaching the Word of God without a hint of condemnation. I can say without reservation, that God’s plan for “you” NEVER changes and that you should wait no longer to immerse yourself into a relationship with a merciful, loving Saviour who’s name is Jesus Christ. He’s been waiting for you, longing for your acceptance of the price He’s already paid and the future He’s already prepared for you before the foundation of the world was ever laid. I don’t think you should wait one more moment to do so.