Rev. Jean Cooley
Rev. Jean and her husband, Rev. Bill, began worshiping at Good Samaritan in 2013 when they retired and moved back to Pinellas County. Their congregation, in Lakeland, FL, had been inspired and nurtured by Good Samaritan when it became the second congregation in the Presbytery of Tampa Bay to become a More Light Congregation.
Jean and Bill met and graduated from Eckerd College, 1968. After earning an MSW from the University of Chicago they returned to Florida where both their sons, Rodger and David, were born. Jean was one of the first women to be ordained as an Elder in the Presbytery. When Bill's call to ministry became too strong to ignore they moved to Richmond, VA where Bill got his D.Min. and Jean got her MA in religious education. Jean's call to ministry came in 1987 when she returned to seminary and received her M.Div. While Bill was pastoring a multi-racial congregation in Richmond Jean was called to be Dean of Students at Union Theological Seminary.
They returned to Florida in 1999 to be closer to widowed mothers and extended family. While co-pastors they led their congregations in international mission, justice ministry, and immigration advocacy.
It is a privilege to be part of the Good Samaritan beloved community. The congregation's commitment to sharing God's love with neighbors and working for justice for all people is inspiring. As Parish Associate Jean supports Pastor Jen and the mercy and justice ministries of the congregation.