Honaker keeps hobby over years

Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
Most people can associate pastors with miracles, but pastors and magic are a little unusual. But Brewton Church of Christ preacher Ron Honaker can hold your attention with his sermon or with his bag of tricks, although he frowns on the word “trick.”
And magic it is, whether it be on a big stage or for one audience member at a time. In fact, Honaker seems to prefer the one-on-one interaction.
Honaker was born in Huntington, W.Va., and there began his interest in magic. A local magician who came to his school to perform for the students first inspired Honaker's hobby. When the magician moved out of town, he sold some of his magic.
The man who bought it was not only rich, he was also the father of a little girl that Honaker was sweet on.
Honaker begged the girl to share some of the magic with him, but she said she had vowed never to divulge the secrets of the magic. After that, Honaker determined that he was someday going to learn the tricks of the trade.
In the years that followed, Honaker grew up, went to college and entered the military. He received his bachelor's degree in secondary education. He taught eighth-grade history for a while and received his first master's degree in Bible study from Regions in Montgomery in 1988. He received his second master's degree in counseling and human development.
Honaker, who began preaching in 1956, decided with his wife, Sandra, in the last few years that it was time to slow down a little.
The couple heard that Brewton Church of Christ members were searching for someone to fill their pulpit. He came down from Montgomery and was the guest speaker on several occasions before taking the position he now holds.
But amid his teaching and preaching, Honaker never lost his wonderment and joy for the practice of magic.
In 1960, while he was in Dallas, Texas, Honaker spotted a magic store and purchased his first magic trick. In 1961 he did his first professional show in Young Dong Po, Korea, for GIs stationed there.
He joined the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1965 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and became a charter member of the Hawaiian Magic Society. In 1973 he was the founder of the Great Jarvis Ring in his hometown of Huntington. He is now a member of the newly formed ring in Montgomery, and he has performed at the Alabama Shakespeare Theater in Montgomery.
But with all the fancy illusions, he prefers the simple magic.
That trick is one Honaker has taken across the globe.
Honaker has performed, literally, on land, on sea and in the air. He has done television commercials with magic, lectured and taught young men and performed with his own three children - Ronda, Tonya and Aaron - under the name of Honaker and Company. He is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians and the Magic Circle in London, England.
Now that Honaker has come to Brewton, he hasn't done any magic, but he is ready and willing. His last performance was in the Alabama Shakespeare Theater, where he was a roving performer of magic. Honaker said he is available for hire for parties or functions in Brewton.