Pastor Violet Johnicker was honored to be appointed to Brooke Road UMC in June of 2018 and loves living in Rockford. She has a heart for neighborhood development work and is enjoying getting to know folks who live and work in the Brooke Road neighborhood. She would love to take you out for a coffee and learn more about what spiritual journey has been like and what you're looking for in a church.
jkViolet holds a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary and a Master of Public Policy degree from Adler University. She has been involved with faith-based policy advocacy and social justice work ever since her undergraduate internship at the General Board of Church and Society, the United Methodist agency devoted to working for policies that live our faith, seek justice, and pursue peace. She began her undergraduate studies in political science at George Washington University, later transferring to North Park University in Chicago, where she earned a bachelor's degree in nonprofit management.
Prior to attending graduate school, Violet served as Executive Director of Waukegan Main Street and later as Director of Downtown Kenosha Inc, two community and economic development nonprofits dedicated to neighborhood revitalization. She holds certificates from the International Economic Development Council in strategic planning, finance programs, credit analysis, and business retention & expansion and is passionate about the role of churhes in community development. Most recently she has worked as a chaplain at Northwestern Hospital, administrator of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Chicago, and as a teaching assistant during seminary.
Violet grew up in the United Methodist church and discerned her call to ministry over time, feeling affirmed in church leadership and loving to write and preach sermons. Today as she works toward ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church. Violet's theology of radical inclusion centers on the belief that the teachings of Jesus and John Wesley continue to have new meaning in our context, welcoming all people to God's table and working to build the Kingdom together. She is an advocate for LGBTQ affirmation in the United Methodist Church, believing that GOd places no limits on who GOd calls into ministry and marriage.
Violet is proud to be involved in many programs of the Northern Illinois Conference of the UMC, including serving on the Board of Trustees, the United Methodist Foundation, the Accessibilty Committee where she focuses on mental health awareness, and the Annual Conference Worship Committee. In 2018 she served as Minister of Community Engagement while interning at Transformation Community United Methodist Church in Harvey, where she was able to learn about church revitalization from attending events sponsored by Black Methodists for Church Renewal, and was a member of Urban Village Church in Chicago.
Violet, 34 is married to her best friend, Kyle Johnicker, 37. In writing their marriage ceremony, they chose to create a new last name together just as many in scripture were blessed with new names when they began a new phase of life. Kyle's given last name was Johnson, and Violet's given last name was Ricker, which they combined into Johnicker (pronouced John-ick-er). Kyle's dad is an elder in the United Methodist Church in Indiana, so Kyle is well-prepared for a life of ministry with Violet. He was raised on pancake breakfasts with United Methodist Men's groups and jokes that if had a nickle for every church folding chair and table he's moved, he'd be a very rich man.
Professionally, Kyle is a hospital pharmacist in Dekalb. In his free time, Kyle is an avid bowler, enjoys playing golf badly, watch movies, and playing video games. He is not afraid to let hi geek flag fly. He likes sports and roots for teams from his home state (Pacers, Colts) and his alma mater, Butler University; and is now a ROckford Icehogs fan! Violet enjoys fishing and boating, playing guitar, baking bread, and especially loves reading. Feel free to send her a book recommendation anytime!Together they have a son named Lincoln, who was born in July of 2019 and enjoys church music and sleeping through sermons.