Covenant member Cheryl Banks was awarded the Honorary Life Membership in Presbyterian Women at the PW annual kick-off luncheon on Aug. 28. This honor goes to a woman whose life exemplifies faithful service and/or leadership in the work of the church. 

Since joining Covenant in 2001, Cheryl – a pediatrician – has been a church leader in many areas, most significantly in Manos, mission and music. She has been teaching Manos ESL (English as a Second Language) classes for several years, leading that group and encouraging others to join. In fact, with her daughter Emily, she served as a babysitter for ESL classes enabling more clients to participate. She supports Manos in other ways – organizing Back-to-School activities and tamales sales, and serving as Manos Board Chairman.

Cheryl’s involvement with mission goes beyond Manos and the city of Austin. She has made numerous trips to Zambia as a member of the medical mission team. She has also worked with Zambian missionaries to create “kid’s clubs,” bringing a new evangelism strategy to southern Africa: reaching out to the youngest people in the village to teach them about the love of Jesus and His Holy Father. Cheryl highlighted this work when she spoke at the country-wide Synod of Zambia women’s conference. Cheryl has also been a part of the Cuba Mission trip in 2013.

Cheryl is musical. She sings in the Sanctuary choir and plays handbells in the Pro Musica group. She also helps with the children’s handbell choir, teaching skills and filling in where needed.  She has been a strong supporter of Journey Youth Choir, planning and chaperoning Journey choir tours, helping with musicals and concerts, and getting the choir more involved with mission and outreach. 

In 2012, Cheryl was awarded the Valiant Woman Award by Church Women United. Cheryl recently completed a three-year term as an elder and chaired the stewardship committee. 

Throughout this time, Cheryl has been a member of the Sarah Elizabeth Circle, serving as lesson leader, circle co-chair served as PW Moderator. She has also been involved with Lamplighters.

“Whatever Cheryl does, she does well, and that confidence comes through her reliance on God—always turning first to prayer and encouraging others to do the same,” said her Covenant member and friend Suzanne McFarlane.