Elder Calvin Banks, a Bethune-Cookman grad, dies at age 57

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Elder Calvin Dwayne Banks, a minister and singer, died on Aug 21 in Gainesville.

A public viewing is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Pinkney-Smith Funeral Home in Gainesville with a Homegoing celebration scheduled on Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. at Monteocha Park, 803 NW 192nd Ave., Gainesville. Masks are required.

Elder Banks was born on Aug. 17, 1963, the son of Armond and Tennie Banks. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Cynthia Shorter.

He graduated from Buchholz High School in Gainesville, where he served on the football team and became a member of the concert chorus and another gospel group. He was a recipient of the Unique’s Women’s Club Scholarship.

Sang in Concert Chorale

After high school, he enrolled at Bethune-Cookman College and finished his undergraduate curriculum there. While a student there, he joined the Concert Chorale and traveled around the country.

After his time at Bethune-Cookman, his professional life included working as a cook, counselor, corrections officer and security guard. Most notably during his professional career, he served 15 years as an officer with the Department of Juvenile Justice and nine years as a mental health technician with the North Florida Evaluation Center.

He loved horses and often participated in horse riding and training of horses.

‘Servant at heart’

He also was a licensed elder in the Church of God in Christ.

“Calvin as a minister and preacher of the gospel, did not search for just a ‘convenient’ truth, but was a seeker of The Way, The Truth, and The Life. An upbringing that focused on the holiness of Christian living and the integrity of human conduct afforded him many opportunities to serve others,’’ his family said.

“Calvin was truly a servant at heart and earnest student of the Word of God. He esteemed serving with his hands over lipservice and had an admirable work ethic. His lifelong dream was to sing the gospel and lead many into the worship of Jesus Christ. Overall, he was a living testimony and loving representative of the kingdom of God.’’

He is survived by one daughter, Charna Banks; granddaughter Bellani Richardson; four sisters: Evelyn Banks of Gainesville; Felica West and Dawnette Banks of Laurel, Maryland; and Darlene Collins (Elmo) of Orlando, brothers-in-law: Byron Shorter, Glenn West, Elmo Collins, and a host of nieces and nephews and other relatives.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Banks’ granddaughter’s education fund via the www.calvinbanks.org/education-fund.

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