As featured on KSDK News Channel 5 on February 21, 2017
KSDK - Five on Your Side is introducing you to a local man who has been on a quite a journey.
Paul Perkins a bank president in Steelville, Missouri. who says he came back from the dead. And not just once, he claims it's happened twice.
Now, this man is sharing his story with the world.
Perkins may not be the person you would think of when you hear about so-called near death experiences. He is a bank president, a father, and a doting grandfather. But he feels compelled to tell his story in this new book.
Perkins firmly believes he's been to the place that comes after this world and thinks you should know about it.
With a large loving family, on a big piece of land in Steelville, Perkins has a lot to live for. So you might be surprised to hear he has zero fear of death.
"I absolutely do not fear death at all because I know where I'm going," Perkins told Five on Your Side. "I've been there, done that."
His incredible story is detailed in a new book, 'Death Defied, Life Defined' by local author Anita Agers Brooks.
"One of the doctors said Paul died at least two medically confirmed times," said Anita Agers Brooks.
Perkins first experience happened here in St. Louis in 2001, while getting treatment for a failing heart.
"I did not know when I slipped from the real world into the spiritual world," Perkins told Pat McGonigle.
Perkins heart stopped beating and says what happened next was the most euphoric experience he's ever had.
"I was with my parents again and there I was with my grandmother and grandparents and my mom and dad."
"It was just like it was so real."
Perkins is convinced he went to the other side and came back.
What makes his story even more remarkable is that Perkins claims it happened a second time in 2014.
"I heard them say he's not gonna make it, this and that, and I would talk back with them and I would tell them, 'No! I'm going to make it!'"
Perkins describes an out-of-body experience during a heart and kidney transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He believes he passed away again and somehow witnessed his own funeral, an experience rich with details that he will never forget.
"I think I was in a different world, a spiritual world, in fact I know I was," he said.
"We discovered there are many faith bases that believe that when death occurs, time ceases to exist," said Agers Brooks. "So it's very possible that someone could experience something that hasn't yet happened."
Perkins has dealt with skeptics, and people who doubt his story.
He's the president and CEO of First Community National Bank, he says he's not interested in cashing in. Perkins also insists he's not looking for attention.
"People want to know. People need to be comforted," Perkins said.
He's only now sharing his story because he believes the world needs to hear it.
"I'm not going to deliberately kill myself but I'm certainly not afraid. Because I know. I have no fear at all about dying.
Perkins is donating all of the proceeds from his book to heart research and organ donor programs.
(© 2017 KSDK)
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On March 16, 1906, the Bank of Leasburg was established with a capital stock of $10,000 subscribed by L.A. Evans, Elliott Davis, Leo A. Fisher, John R. King, J.W. Waller, James N. Smith, Daniel Foster, Thomas Hogg, Justin Perrigue, A.J. Barnett, Wm. Fitzgerald, C.M. Fitzgerald, Edward L. Perrigue, Mark H. Kelly, James A. McInnis, J.C. West and E.L. West. The first board of directors consisted of J.W. Waller, E.L. West, Leo A. Fisher, J.C. West, and James N. Smith. The bank’s motto was: “Safety, Service and Security”. The first cashier of the Bank of Leasburg was James N. Smith; Luther A. Evans became cashier in October 1906 and served for several years.
For a few years after the financial crisis of 1929, the Crawford County seat of Steelville, Missouri did not have a bank of its own. The citizens of the town soon realized that for a community to grow and prosper, it needed a bank of its own. On October 2, 1934, the Bank was moved to Steelville, Missouri, and the name changed to Community Bank. C.M. Fitzgerald became the President of the new Community Bank. Following Mr. Fitzgerald was W.A. McInnis who served as President from the mid 1940s to 1956.
In 1960, the Community Bank built a new banking facility on Main Street in Steelville under the leadership of E.W. Gravatt, who was Director and President from 1956 to 1961. In 1961, the role of President was turned over to L.J. “Tick” Perkins. Mr. Perkins remained the CEO & President until 1976 when the family operation was turned over to his son, Paul E. Perkins. In 1979, the Community Bank moved down the street to its current location at 402 W. Main Street in Steelville.
On February 1, 1983, the bank’s name changed to First Community National Bank of Crawford County as a result of the plans to open a second location in Cuba, Missouri. At that time, the bank also changed from a state chartered bank to a national chartered bank. In 1984, the Cuba Financial Center was opened and then remodeled and expanded in 2005.
With further expansion, the bank’s name changed to First Community National Bank when they acquired the Boatmen’s Community Federal in Sullivan and opened the Sullivan Financial Center in 1991. In 1997, the Vienna Financial Center was opened followed by the Rolla North Financial Center in 2002. In 2005, First Community National Bank opened its sixth location in Eureka, Missouri. The construction of a new, permanent facility was completed in July 2009. FCNB's seventh location, a second branch in Rolla, opened in 2007.
Under the leadership of Chairman of the Board Paul E. Perkins, the family operations have now expanded to the third generation. Currently, Scott Perkins serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of FCNB and Julie Perkins Settles serves as the President of FCNB Insurance Services, Inc. and FCNB Financial Services, Inc. Today, First Community National Bank remains a strong and progressive independent, community bank serving the communities of Steelville, Cuba, Sullivan, Vienna, Rolla, and Eureka.
Paul Perkins - Chairman of the Board
Paul became the President and CEO of First Community National Bank in 1976 after his father L.J. "Tick" Perkins stepped down from the family operations. In 2015, Paul turned over the daily operations of the bank to his children, Mark, Scott and Julie. Paul still plays an active part of the strategic operations of the bank, serving as Chairman of the Board. After graduating from Steelville High School, Paul served as a Commissioned Officer in the US Army during the Vietnam conflict. Paul received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance from Missouri State University in 1970 and his MBA in Finance from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 1971. In 1979, he received a Graduate Degree in Banking from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is currently serving as the President of Gibbs Care Center and as an Elder of Steelville Presbyterian Church. He has been the past Treasurer of the Missouri Bankers Association, past President of the Steelville Area Chamber of Commerce and along with his wife Linda, received the 2009 Steelville Chamber Citizens of the Year Award. During his fifty year career with FCNB, he served as President and CEO for thirty years, expanding the bank locations to seven markets, organized the inception of FCNB Insurance in 2003, which is now in 14 locations throughout Missouri, and steered the bank through vast regulatory, technological and economic changes through the years. Today, Paul owns and operates Perkins Cattle Farms and is an avid supporter of the Steelville Arts Council and the Steelville Booster Club. Paul resides in Steelville with his wife, Linda. Together, they have three grown children, Mark, Scott and Julie, and nine grandchildren, Naomi, James, Marli, Aiden, John, Emeri, Claire, Adalei. and Madelyn.
Scott Perkins - President & CEO
Scott is the President and Chief Executive Officer of First Community National Bank and the Vice-Chairman of Steelville Community Banc-shares, Inc. Scott is a 1999 graduate of Maryville University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Administration with an emphasis in Management. Scott also graduated in 2002 from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. In addition to being a member of the Board of Directors, Scott is currently a member of the Missouri Independent Bankers Association Board of Directors, a Board Member of the Steelville R-3 School District, the President of the Steelville Arts Council, a Board Member of the Steelville Scholarship Foundation, a member of the Steelville Area Chamber of Commerce and a past Board Member of the Missouri Bankers Association Young Bankers Leadership Division. Scott is also the proud coach of the third-grade girls basketball team. Scott resides in Steelville with his wife, Dawn and four daughters: Naomi, Marli, Emeri and Adalei.
Kem Schwieder became a member of the FCNB Board of Directors in 1997 and joined the FCNB staff in 2010. He currently serves as Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Workout Officer for FCNB. His community service includes serving as President of the Steelville Industrial Development Authority, President of the Volenetz Charitable Foundation, President of the Community Foundation of Steelville, and Elder of the Steelville Presbyterian Church. In 2006, Kem retired after 30 years as the Ford Dealer in Steelville. He continues to reside in Steelville and has one daughter, Alexandra.
James D. Cottrell
Jim became a FCNB Board of Directors member in 1999 representing the Steelville and Cherryville area. Jim serves as the President of the Crawford Electric Cooperative, a Director of Show Me Power and as President of the Ozark Trail Blazers Association. He also owns and operates Cottrell Farms. Jim resides in Cherryville with his wife, Joyce. They have two children, Lance Cottrell and Shannon Harmon, two granddaughters and one grandson.
Herbert J. Baumann
Herbert became a FCNB Board of Directors member in 2005 representing the Eureka, St. Louis and surrounding areas. Herbert is the President of Baumann Property Company, Inc, a company that he founded 28 years ago specializing in real estate investment and management. He is also owner of West County Contracting and Maintenance, as well as several real estate investments in St. Louis and Southern Illinois. Herbert resides in Ballwin and has two grown children and two grandsons.
John became a FCNB Board of Directors member in 2009 representing the Cuba and Sullivan communities. John was raised in Cuba and graduated from Cuba High School in 1979. He attended East Central College in Union and was a member of the basketball team. After marrying Lynne Medows, the couple moved to St. Louis while John attended the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. After graduating, they returned to Cuba and purchased Towne Pharmacy from Larry Davis in 1987. In 1994, John and his partners started Mid-Missouri Infusion, a home medical equipment company. In 1995, the business was purchased by Rotech Medical and John remained on staff, managing eleven locations. In 2001, he returned to Towne Pharmacy and later purchased the Medicine Cabinet Pharmacy in Sullivan in 2009. In 2013, he sold Towne Pharmacy to the Sinks Pharmacy Group and then sold the Medicine Cabinet to the Clarks Pharmacy Group in 2014. John is currently an investor in the Sullivan Country Club. John and his wife, Lynne, reside in Sullivan and have four children and nine grandchildren. John and Lynne attend Temple Baptist Church in Sullivan.
Scott became a FCNB Board of Directors member in 2012 representing the western region of FCNB with a focus on the communities of St. James and Rolla. Scott owns and operates three trucking companies; St. James Transports LLC, Central Missouri Transports LLC and Central Missouri Transfer LLC. Scott also owns Gahr Truck & Equipment, Inc., an International Truck and Engine Corporation and Cummins Diesel Dealership. Scott is a past Board Member of the Missouri Trucking Association and a member of the First Church of God, serving as the past Chairman of the Church Council. Scott has also served two three-year terms as a school board member for the St. James R-1 School District. Scott resides in St. James with his wife Barb. Together, they have five children and twelve grandchildren.
Julie is the President of FCNB Insurance Services, Inc. and FCNB Financial Services, Inc. She was elected to the FCNB Board of Directors in 2014. In 2002, Julie graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky. With over fourteen years of experience in the financial and insurance industries, Julie currently holds a Series 7 and 63 license and Property & Casualty, Life and Health insurance licenses. Julie is an active member of the Steelville Presbyterian Church, the Steelville Chamber of Commerce, the Steelville Arts Council and the Tri-C Club. She resides in Steelville with her husband Alex and their three children, Aiden, Claire, and Madelyn.
Bruce W. Wiley
Bruce was elected to the FCNB Board of Directors in 2015. He also provides consulting services to the bank for strategic planning, leadership development and operational efficiencies. With over thirty years of diversified experience with leadership roles in consulting and community banking, Bruce has held executive positions with Citizens Bank & Trust in Kansas City, Missouri, Texas Independent Bank in Dallas, Texas and served as a National Bank Examiner with the Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C. Currently, he is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Family Farm Group, LLC located in Brighton, Illinois, which provides consulting services to large, complex agricultural operations. Bruce received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Central Arkansas and graduated from Stonier Graduate School of Banking – University of Delaware. Bruce and his wife Nancy reside in Jefferson City with their three children, Dean, Tess and Tory. He has been actively involved in the community through various charitable and religious organizations including the Missouri State and Jefferson City Chambers of Commerce, YMCA, Council for Drug Free Youth, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Regents.
John W. Perkins
John was elected to the FCNB Board of Directors in 2015. He is a 1966 graduate of the University of Missouri – Rolla (Missouri S&T) and is a Vietnam War veteran. Following his military service, John had a lengthy career as an intelligence officer and served in many overseas locations. After retiring from his governmental duties, he worked as an executive director for Northrup Grumman Corporation and is currently a Vice-President for MELE Associates in Rockville, MD. Together with his wife Robbie, they have three grown children and six grandchildren. John and Robbie will be returning to live in Rolla, MO later this year.