A member of Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, Hanke serves as general secretary of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. He is a former president of the commission.
Hanke is a member of the Texas Annual Conference Episcopal, Missions, and Nominations Committees. He has been a delegate from the Texas Conference to the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 General Conferences. In 1996, he served on the legislative committee that approved a proposal to create the General Commission on United Methodist Men, and he presented the resolution to the Denver assembly.
Hanke is a graduate of Lynchburg College of Virginia with a baccalaureate degree in speech and drama, and the Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University, San Marcos) with a master’s degree in speech pathology and special education.
He is a former adjunct faculty member of Stephen F. Austin State University, and manager of speech pathology for the Nacogdoches Medical Center where he was responsible for all inpatient and outpatient speech/language pathology and dysphasia services. He has held both positions since 1993.
He has written several professional articles, and he has made presentations at 75 local, state, regional, and national meetings in the areas of speech-language pathology, mental retardation, autism, and swallowing disorders.
Hanke has combined his professional career with his service in the United Methodist Church to lead over 30 mission trips to Haiti, eight trips to Costa Rica, and one trip to Tomsk, Siberia. The primary focus of these trips has been to provide assistance and training for children with hearing impairments and other handicapping conditions which affect communication and swallowing. Through contacts with the church, his profession and Rotary International, he and other team members provided training, equipment, and over 1,000 hearing aids to Haitian children and adults.
Hanke grew up in Dulin United Methodist Church, Falls Church, Va., where his mother was minister of music and his father, chairman of the Official Board, introduced Hanke to Methodist Men. He has two brothers, Myron, an award winning physics teacher in Loudon County, Virginia, and Jay, a retired United Methodist pastor and district superintendent living in Winchester, Va. Hanke is named after his grandfather, Gilbert C. Meyer, who was a pastor in the Kansas East Conference.
Following his 1972 enlistment in the U.S. Army, Hanke served as an instructor in the Psychiatric Nursing Branch, Behavioral Science Division of the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Following his 1977 graduation from Southwest Texas State University, he served as senior speech/language pathologist for Brenham (Texas) State School. In 1980 he served as director of Habilitation in the Therapies Department of Mexia (Texas) State School and in 1981, he entered into private practice to provide speech and language services in Nacogdoches.
Hanke was named a fellow in the John Wesley Society of the United Methodist Men Foundation in 1996. In 2009, he was certified as a men's ministry specialist by GCUMM.