By Paul Black
SPRINGFIELD -- Bishop Frank J. Beard has announced that Rev. Dr. Rose Booker-Jones has requested retirement, effective Dec. 31.
Booker-Jones, the current Mississippi River District Superintendent, is currently convalescing following complications from medical procedures this summer.
"Rev. Dr. Rose Booker-Jones has served the church with distinction. She is a dedicated leader that has worked tirelessly to promote the cause of Christ, Beard said.. "She is noted for being a woman of deep faith and of prayer."
Booker-Jones has been a conference superintendent since 2014 when she was assigned by Bishop Jonathan Keaton to the Iroquois River District. In July 2017, she began her fourth year of superintendency assigned to the Mississippi River District. A pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 11 years, she transferred to the former Kansas West Conference of The United Methodist Church where her orders were recognized and where she served for 10 years before coming to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference in 2003. Prior to being appointed to the Cabinet, she served the Metro East Parish, East St. Louis Trinity and Trinity Outreach Center; and Peoria Bethel UMC.
"Rose has been successful in a variety of ministry settings. She has served across our denomination and is valued as a healer and promoter of reconciliation," Beard added. "I have watched her deal with high tension situations and am impressed with her non-anxious presence. She respects each individual and is still able to hold folks accountable while being extremely grace-filled. She is a great team player and a valued colleague. I am hopeful that Rose will enjoy her retirement but I am confident God has something unique and special for her to tackle.'.
Beard also announced that Rev. Roger Russell, who retired in June and has been interim district superintendent since July, will continue in his role until June 30, at which time a new superintendent will be named.
"Roger Russell's leadership and experience allows us to keep on track without bringing addition changes to too many clergy and lay families across the Conference," Beard said.."Roger and Carol’s love for the church and their commitment to ministry excellence allows us to fill a much-needed ministry vacuum created by Rose’s early retirement, without missing a beat or compromising the ministry needs of the Mississippi River District."