Life is about living- slowing down, looking around, seeing myself, others, and all of creation through the eyes of the Creator. I, like most of us, find myself often so consumed with the cares of life (the world) that I don’t really live. Many, like me, don’t fully wake up to that until we’re in the autumn of our lives. I have a story to tell, and it is still unfolding.
Here’s the nickel tour of who I am. I was born in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, in 1955. Named for my dad, Banner Kidd, my family chose to call me “Buddy.” Most people don’t know that, and so I’m known only by my given name, Banner, to people I have a relationship with today. I began life in a little four room house with no indoor plumbing, on Little Mud Creek, in Floyd County, East Kentucky. I started first grade at Spruce Pine School, a small three room schoolhouse that housed First through Eighth grades. Our little home was only about a quarter of a mile from school. I walked to school every day, and the first month or so I used to run back home at recess because I didn’t really want to be there.
My family moved to Kendallville, Indiana in May 1965, just prior to my tenth birthday. I had a traumatic childhood, marked by being sexually molested by an uncle, and a lot of moving around, at times being separated from Mom and Dad. I grew up fearful, and doubtful that anything good could ever really come my way. It was a recipe for some bad choices in my life.
I have been, and continue to be, a professional musician, songwriter, and have been a full time broadcaster on radio. I have written and produced jingles for radio and TV, since 1989, working with a network of professional musicians, writers, engineers, and singers around the nation. At the end of the day, I am just an old hillbilly from East Kentucky that has had some cool opportunities.
I’ve now lived over 66 years and counting. My wife and I have raised four children. Sadly we lost our oldest daughter to cancer in June of 2020. Looking back at my life I can’t say that I did everything right. Likewise, I can’t say that I did everything wrong. I did enough wrong, that I’m grateful to have an opportunity to right some of those wrongs. The one BIG right was choosing to believe in Jesus on November 23rd, 1987. Since that time my life has been one of learning, growing, falling down, and getting up, marked with change.
I believe in Messiah, the Christ, whose shed blood, as the Passover Lamb, gave me new life. Some of my wrongs, that I’m now working on making right, is that not long after I was born again I took a sidetrack and began listening to what men say more that what the Creator has said in His Word. As I began my walk out of the non-scriptural practices of Christianity I began to listen to some in the Hebrew Roots movement. Though I never considered myself a part of that persuasion I still took on many of its tenets and ways. I was a part of leadership in an assembly that became very legalistic and toxic at the leadership level. From a high point of around 600 people in attendance weekly, down to around 50, including children when my wife and I left in 2020, many were hurt and some, the faith was shipwrecked, even to denying Jesus, Yehoshua as Savior. For my part in it, I renounce that, and repent of it. I left that assembly in July of 2020 after being there since August 1993, in leadership since 2003, and the better part of two decades in the delusion of the Hebrew Roots/Torah Observant persuasion. My eyes have been opened to the danger of the Hebrew Roots movement, as it is practiced. Behind it is the spirit of anti-Messiah. It has, and continues to lead people who pursue the shadows in the Torah of Moses, away from Christ and the simplicity of the Gospel.
Here, in a little nutshell, is what I believe. If we are born again it happened through belief in Messiah, the Christ and not because of works of Torah. We, who are born again by the work of the Holy Spirit, also continue to live by the same Spirit who made us alive, and not by works of Torah, as Paul wrote in Galatians Chapter Five. My eyes have been opened to see what is clearly written, but only understood by the power of the Spirit. I have a podcast called Love is Calling, and you can learn more about what I believe by listening to it.
I released an EP, called “Consuming Fire,” in 2013. It is available at Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, KKBox, and others. I continue to write songs, and I’m writing a book entitled “I’m a Hillbilly,” (in progress for a few years) about my life and experiences. But I took a break to write another book called “Laura’s Healing Journey,” about our daughter’s life and fight with cancer, her and and our faith in the journey. It is nearly ready for release. A new album of songs are nearly ready for release, that is a part of this new project, as well other songs as a part of the “I’m a Hillbilly” project. I’m looking for opportunities to share in speaking and singing engagements at churches, small groups, coffee shops, or any other indoor or outdoor venues. I’m available to anyone who has questions or concerns about Hebrew Roots Torah Observant issues. If you have questions, or have an opportunity that you would like to pass my way, please go to my contact page and let’s talk about it. Thank you!