The Reverend John Stafford Banks, Chaplain, LTC, USA Retired, died peacefully in his home on October 10th, 2020. He was born in Richmond, VA and the only child of Allison Herbert Banks and Ruby Lee Pyron Banks. He grew up in Charlotte, NC. He attended the public schools there, graduating from Thomasboro High School in 1948.
After graduation John worked as a tent boy for Evangelist Oliver Green. Feeling the call to the gospel ministry he entered Columbia Bible College, Columbia, SC where he met Jeanne Johnson from Portsmouth, VA. John graduated in 1952 with a BA degree. John and Jeanne wed on August 30th, 1952.
In September he entered Erskine Seminary in Due West, SC. He completed his studies and received his MDIV in 1955 and was licensed and ordained by the First Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. From 1955 until 1966 John pastored three ARP Churches in McCormick, SC, Chester County, SC and Little Rock, AR. In 1966 he answered his country’s call and joined the US Army becoming the third generation of his family to serve. His assignments took him and his family to Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, New York, Germany, and Washington D. C. He also had assignments in Korea and Viet Nam making 9 of his 20 years spent overseas. During his service John earned an MA in Human Relations from the University of OK and an MA in Sociology from Long Island University NY. He also had a year of Clinical Pastoral Education at Yale New Haven Hospital in CT. His service decorations included the Bronze Star, The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, The Army of Occupation Medal (Berlin), and The Legion of Merit. He retired in 1986 after four remarkable years in West Berlin. Upon retirement John and family moved to Augusta, GA where he served an ARP Church for over 5 years. He retired from the pastoral ministry in 1992 and moved to Suffolk. He supplied the pulpit of several Presbyterian Churches in VA including 6 years at Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore.
Moving to Suffolk was John and Jeanne’s 27th move. Having “paid up and prayed up” after 90 years and 6 months on this earth, he was read to “go up” for his final move to Glory!
He was pre-deceased by his first daughter Mary Alice. He is survived by the love of his life Jeanne; 5 children: John David (Nancy Barton) of Tucson, AZ, Thaddeus Lee of Carrollton, VA, Timothy Charles (Sue) of Libertyville, IL, Sarah Jean Bowen (Paul) of Carrollton, VA and Deborah Jane of Suffolk, 3 grandchildren: Kyle (Vanessa), Emily Smith (Chris), and Sean, and 3 great grandchildren. He leaves a sister Cynthia Cook (Barry) of Charleston, SC, a brother Cyrus Lemmond (Candi) of Orcas, WA, and sister Paula Chandler (Mike) of Richmond.