Reverend Elaine Smith Banks was born September 6, 1937, to the late James and Cleophus Smith in Newark, New Jersey. Elaine passed from time to eternity on May 28, 2020, peacefully at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
Elaine’s education began in the New Jersey public school system. She went on to graduate from Pine Forge Academy. Then, she attended Oakwood College where her love for writing and public speaking began. Elaine was known for her short stories, completing the Washington Post Sunday puzzle, as well as her love of playing the piano and writing music.
In December of 1980, Elaine married her devoted husband, Nathaniel M. Bank, Jr. and moved to Maryland. Together, they shared a home there for the past 37 years.
Reverend Banks was ordained as a minister of the Gospel at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, in Rockville, Maryland. It was there, she began her faithful service as an Assistant Pastor under the leadership of Reverend Leon Grant. Reverend Banks’ final ministry service was as the Associate Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Bethesda, Maryland under the leadership of Reverend Sterling King. She served there for the past 28 years. Most will remember Reverend Banks for the numerous marriage ceremonies, many of which she officiated in the Bank’s home. Elaine also had the gift of being a great cook. She will be greatly missed.
Reverend Elaine S. Banks leaves to honor her legacy, her husband Nathaniel M. Banks, Jr., her daughter, Patricia S. Williams (Clarence); son, Charles L. Cheatham, II (Skip) and his wife Tifany; her stepfather, Eugene Mason Sr. (Genevieve); brother, Eugene Mason Jr. (Ann); sisters, Audrey S. Branham (Herbert); and Natelka M. Frye (Ross); five grandchildren, Kindra W. Horn (Tarik), Amber M. Cheatham, Phyllicia N. Williams, Charles L. Cheatham III (Trey) and Taylor J. Cheatham; and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In addition to her relatives, Elaine leaves behind an extended family of lives she touched as a wise, “Auntie Laine”, a compassionate minister of the Gospel.
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