A familiar face to many Abilenians is returning in May to become rector of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest.

David Romanik was curate and associate rector at Heavenly Rest when he left in 2014 to become associate rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He and his family, wife, Sarah Beth and daughters Cecilia, 4, and Elizabeth, 18 months, will move to Abilene in May.


David and Sara Beth Romanik hold their two daughters, Cecilia, 4, and Elizabeth, 18 months. Contributed photo

Announcement of Romanik’s acceptance of the call to be the new rector at Heavenly Rest was made Sunday by the search committee.

“We believe David shares our mission and vision as a Christian community, possessing precisely the gifts and experience sought by the parish,” the announcement stated. “We fully believe, therefore, that he is an ideal match for Heavenly Rest.”

The announcement carried with it a letter to the search committee from Romanik. He said in the letter that the more he and his wife discussed the possibility of returning to Heavenly Rest, the more they realized Heavenly Rest was where God was calling them.

“I am deeply grateful and incredibly humbled that the search committee and the vestry agree,” Romanik wrote,” and have called me to be the next rector of the Church of the Heavenly Rest.”

Romanik will replace Luke Back, who was rector at Heavenly Rest when Romanik was curate and associate rector. Back and his family moved about a year ago to become rector of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois. The Rev. Bob Hennagin is serving Heavenly Rest as interim rector.

Romanik, a native of Connecticut,  graduated from Boston University in 2007 with a bachelor of arts degree in American Studies and Religion. He earned a master of divinity degree in 2011 from Virginia Theological Seminary. After graduating, he was ordained a curate at Heavenly Rest and then named associate rector in September 2013.


  • This is indeed good news David. You have been missed in the Abilene Association of Congregations. Heavenly Rest has continued to be a faithful member and you have missed a lot of construction at your church here.


  • So excited that the Romanik’s are returning to Abilene. They will be great assets to Heavenly Rest and to Abilene.


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