2019 President of the Year had life-changing reversion to his faith
HANK CHRIST OF THE HARRISBURG CHAPTER CREDITS BIBLE STUDY FOR ENLIVING HIS LOVE FOR THE LORD
Legatus’ 2019 National President of the Year is Hank Christ, who in December completed a two-year term as president of the Harrisburg Chapter.
Christ, 69, lives in Wrightsville, Pa., with his wife, Edna. Together they have three grown children, one who lives nearby and two who reside in Chicago. Christ enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife to the Windy City to see their grandchildren.
Christ is also chairman emeritus of McConkey Insurance and Benefits, a company he joined in 1976. He is an active volunteer in his community and in the Harrisburg diocese, for which he helps organize a ministry for young adults. He recently spoke with Legatus magazine.
How does it feel to be named the 2019 National President of the Year?
I’m a team guy. So to me, this is an award for the chapter. We put together a strong board and basically paid attention to things. We set goals, monitored those goals, and had a plan for recruiting new members. When you pay attention to things, good things happen. We have a good team and everybody did a great job.
Our chaplain is Bishop Ronald Gainer. He is an incredibly dynamic man, and we all love him. It’s a big part of our success. We’ve been awarded for growth each year.
How did you get acquainted with Legatus?
I got a letter from the bishop back when they wanted to start the Chapter about four years ago. He asked me to come up for a dinner and a meeting, and when the bishop asks you to come, you come. Afterward he asked me if I would like to belong to Legatus, and I said, “Yes, I would.”
Has the Catholic faith always been an important part of your life?
I never faded away from the Church, but my relationship with the Church and the Lord changed in the early 1990s. I had a conversion experience. I started studying the Bible, and it had an impact on me. A friend of mine encouraged me to study The Bible Timeline by Jeff Cavins, which is a 24-week program on the story of salvation history. Basically, you learn the story of salvation through reading 14 books of the Bible. If you take it seriously, it’s life-changing. It’s quite a commitment, but it’s worth it.
How did that program change your life?
I used to go to Mass on Sunday to get my ticket punched. That program made me want to go and have a relationship with the Lord. So it started getting me into things like cultivating more of a prayer life, going to daily Mass several times a week, and going to adoration at least once a week.
How has your deepening faith impacted your professional life?
Our company has about 100 employees. Everyone knows I’m a Catholic. Every one of my customers knows I’m a Catholic because I talk about the faith. I let them take from those conversations what they want.
What you like to do in your free time?
We’re involved in the Harrisburg diocese’s Theology on Tap program, which is for young adults in their 20s and 30s. We get together, have dinner and a speaker. I work out the details with the restaurants. I book the speakers. I get the marketing data together and advertise the program through Facebook. We basically try to stay behind the scenes when the meeting occurs. The young adults who go to it have started their own Bible study programs, are going to Mass together, and are forming good Catholic relationships. We’re privileged to be involved in that.