Lower Methodist Church welcomes new pastor
Rev. Ileana Rosario is the new pastor at Lower United Methodist Church in Hartfield.
She was born in Puerto Rico where she was an active member of the United Methodist Church since her childhood. She received her BA in communications from the University of Puerto Rico and worked as an assistant to the president of the Senate.
In 1991, she arrived in Virginia with her family and obtained her M. Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1999. That same year, she was ordained as probationary member and appointed as associate pastor at Culmore UMC. There she created and founded GRACE Ministries, a community outreach program which now serves 1,500 people a month and empowers them to become leaders in their communities. In 2001 she started a new Hispanic church in the Arlington District.
Rev. Rosario’s efforts were recognized by President George Bush who invited her to a Christmas reception at the White House on December 12, 2001, as part of the faith-based initiative. She has also received an award from the Daughters of the Covenant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston.
She was consecrated as elder in June 2004, making history as the first Latino pastor elected as delegate for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. She was elected member of the Commission of the General Conference where she represented the Virginia Conference until 2012.
In January 2007, she was appointed as the new Director of Hispanic/Latino Ministries in the Virginia Conference. She was also the Latino Faith Communities Coordinator for the Alexandria-Arlington Districts until 2009.
During the 2009 Annual Conference, Rev. Rosario was appointed to the Elizabeth River District where she happily served Wesley Chapel UMC in the village of Chuckatuck in Suffolk.
“She was recently appointed to Lower Church in Hartfield, where among many new and caring friends, she obeys the call that has defined her life: to praise God, reach to others in love and serve the world in Jesus name,” said a Lower Church spokesperson.
She is very proud of her three daughters: Ileana, who graduated from UCLA and works in San Diego, Cal.; Ruth, who lives with her husband in Salinas, Cal.; and Julianne, who is now living in Hartfield.