Emily Eveld Bannister follows in the footsteps of her brother and husband by serving the Church.
Bannister, 24, is the director of faith formation and evangelization at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Barling. She inherited the position of youth minister from her husband Garrett when he began law school and expanded her role in the parish this summer when Jeff Hines became the assistant faith formation director for the diocese.
“I had taught PRE when Garrett was our youth minister,” Bannister said. “We moved to Fayetteville when he started law school. I commuted to Barling once or twice a week and telecommuted and Zoomed on the other days. During the pandemic, working online became the norm, but we are hoping to get back to normal.”
Kelly Eveld, grandmother to the Bannisters’ 18-month-old daughter Adelaide, is happy to provide childcare while Bannister works.
Bannister grew up in Paris, Warren and Charleston and completed eighth grade at St. Joseph School in Paris. During high school, she was active in her youth group and diocesan events through Sacred Heart Church in Charleston, along with her two brothers and two sisters. Her older brother Cody is a seminarian in Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, looking toward being ordained a priest for the diocese in 2024.
Bannister’s faith was nurtured by nightly family prayer and Sunday Masses. She attended St. Gregory University in Oklahoma for two years, and after it closed, finished her bachelor’s degree in communications at Arkansas State University online.
“I’ve appreciated our volunteers and catechists at Sacred Heart of Mary and really enjoy working with the youth group,” Bannister said. “Nothing I do here would be possible without them.”
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