912 18th Avenue Southwest, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404, United States

The Sanctuary Church & worship Center

John & Deb Hankins

My name is John H. Hankins pastor of The Sanctuary I am 46 years old and very fortunate that God has rescued me from me. I would love to share a little about who I was and who I am.

As a young man I grew up in Church and had a very intimate and real relationship with God and wanted nothing more than to serve Him in my life. From 14 to 16 He showed me direction and portions of my life in very memorable visions.


At the age of seventeen I joined the US Army in order to gain an education to asset in my calling. However somehow along the way I lost sight of the calling on my life. I soon got caught up in the things of the world and started spiraling down a road of self destruction and carelessness along the way. Drinking and drugs soon became a major part of my life. I was married and divorced twice.

At forty one years of age I found myself in a most peculiar place. I had nothing, I was nothing and I hated living my life as me. Nothing and no one had any value to me. I no longer could stand the person that I had become. I had backed myself into a corner and knew that something had to change immediately. I was soon faced with only two options, the coward’s way out or total submission to God.


 I did not feel worthy to talk to God much less ask forgiveness for the life that I was living and had lived. He however did touch my life and welcome me home again. His gentleness and grace over the first four months was simply amazing. As I wept for months He held me tight and close to His heart. I could not even lift my head up to heaven until one day He told me “look up and know who you are, you are my child”. He was loving and soft with me even when I was not with myself.


That was in 2008. The last few years of my life have been overwhelming. God has restored me and all that I have destroyed in my life. The impossible has become possible. He took me a broken man and made me whole again.

God has restored my marriage after six years of divorce. We are both Christians now and serving God as best as we can with our sixteen year old son. He has shown us all great favor in this new life that He has given us. He has sent me to Haiti four times on missions (a vision that I had seen at fourteen). He has blessed me with an education for the ministry (which I set out to do as a teen). Over the last few years He has given my wife and son the gift of music (also part of what He showed me). This list could go on and on how he has blessed my life in just a few years. A couple of bonus blessings are He has replaced many of my desires with His and He has put His Word back in my life and taught me how to love once again.

           I could talk for days about the blessing that I have received over the last few years of my life. I think about my entire life and it is but a fog except for the time that I have spent with God in these last few years. My life is now full and in vivid color. Now I’m living life and living it free.

Blessings to all….<><

John H. Hankins