Stephen Jecko was born on January 15, 1940 in Washington, D.C. He learned to fly at an early age, unofficially soloed at 13 and was granted a private pilot's license at the minimum required age of 16. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, married his wife, Joan and the couple had two sons, Sean and Bryan. Jecko was called to the ministry while working as a draftsman. His workspace was near a window that looked down on a church altar with a painting of Jesus, which was his inspiration to join the clergy.
In 1967, the General Theological Seminary granted Jecko a Master of Divinity degree and he began serving in Binghamton, New York as curate at Christ Church. Two years later, he moved to Plainview, New York at St. Margaret's Church for five years as priest-in-charge. He was then hired by St. James' Episcopal Church in Warrenton, Virginia as associate rector for three years, followed by eight years as rector at Zion Church in Rome, New York. During his time there, he finished his dissertation and was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1982 from Virginia Theological Seminary.
Reverend Jecko was called to be rector St. Michael's Church in Gainesville, Florida in 1984 and served there until he was named Assistant to Bishop Cerveny in 1990. When Bishop Cerveny announced his plans to retire, Reverend Jecko was elected Coadjutor bishop on December 11, 1993 and consecrated on May 7, 1994 as the 7th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida. Soon after his consecration as bishop, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary, then a third D.D. from Sewanee: The University of the South less than a year later.
During his 10 years as bishop of Florida, Bishop Jecko served as board chairman for Episcopal Children's Services Inc., board member for Episcopal High School of Jacksonville and Trustee at University of the South, the official seminary of the Episcopal Church, USA. He supported Christian Healing Ministries, created by Doctors Francis and Judith MacNutt in 1981, which was nurtured by his predecessor, Bishop Cerveny.
The bishop has an obligation to visit every parish in the diocese each year. He used his pilot's license to help fulfill that duty by flying to distant parishes. Bishop Jecko was a member of the Order of the Holy Cross serving as a priest associate, and the International Order of St. Luke the Physician, volunteering as a chaplain.
The election and consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest in the Episcopal church, was controversial, resulting in heated debate and intense feelings throughout the Episcopal Church in the United States. Bishop Jecko conducted a series of discussions and meetings for clergy, vestries and parishioners in an attempt to resolve the issue that was dividing conservative and liberal Christians. Privately, he was opposed the church’s position on the issue, and decided to leave the diocese rather than enforce the will of the national church.
In 2004, he "retired" as Bishop of Florida and moved to Plano, Texas where he accepted an offer to be Assistant Bishop at the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund named Bishop Jecko as their Clerical Trustee. He was also a member of the National Advisory Board for Christian Healing Ministries and assisted the American Anglican Council by acting as liaison for congregations wanting to break away from the Episcopal Church and Global South Anglican bishops offering to provide oversight. Bishop Jecko was also a leader in the creation of the Anglican Communion Network in 2004.
Bishop Jecko was diagnosed with cancer in early 2007, and the treatments appeared to be successful. However, complications developed quickly and he died on June 7, 2007 at Baylor Regional Medical Center.