The Rt. Rev. Walter Banek was consecrated a Suffragan Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) on August 23, 2017. He will assist the Most Rev. Ray R. Sutton with Episcopal responsibilities in the Diocese of Mid-America.
Bishop Banek grew up in Chicago, Illinois, the son of immigrants who came to the United States from Germany following World War II. He studied Architecture for two years at the University of Illinois before deciding to transfer to Moody Bible Institute, where he received his BA in Bible Theology. He received his M.Div from Cummins Theological Seminary in Summerville, South Carolina in 2000.
While attending Moody, Bishop Banek met his wife, Nelda, and they were married in 1975. They moved from Chicago to Oklahoma where they became active in the church ministry (1975-1981). In 1981, they moved to Tyler, Texas and joined Good Shepherd Reformed Episcopal Church, where Walter began serving in the capacity of Headmaster of the parish school. He was ordained a priest in 1993 and was installed as Rector of Good Shepherd. He was unanimously elected as Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Mid-America by the College of Bishops in June, 2017.
Bishop Banek and his wife Nelda have four children, as well as three adopted sons from Russia. They have seventeen grandchildren.