Jasmine Hooker has been elected the new President of the Southwestern Diocese Sunday School and Holiness Youth Ministry (S.S. & H.Y.M.). The 37-year-old Houston native has made history within the Church of Christ (Holiness) USA as the first woman to be elected in this role.
Hooker is now responsible for nearly 30 churches in five Districts across Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. As President of the Diocese S.S. & H.Y.M., her duties include attending district and diocese meetings, planning and hosting youth-related events, and communicating with local districts presidents regarding their needs. Her term will last for three years ending in 2024, one-year shy of a normal four-year term. This is due to the Covid-19 pandemic which caused the previous administration to serve an additional term.
Hooker’s love for serving others is motivated by the scripture Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (NIV).
Her journey in youth ministry started at her “home” church, First Church of Christ (Holiness) USA in Houston. While a teen, First Church provided her an opportunity to learn the basic skills and knowledge of administration as an assistant Church Secretary.
Elder Rodney Magee, the Pastor of First Church, has known Hooker for more than 20 years. Throughout the years, Magee says Hooker has served First Church in the Sunday School, the Youth and Young Adult Ministries, as a Youth Bible Quiz Coach, and currently leads the church’s sound and tech ministry for both in-person and virtual services. This year, Magee added Hooker will also serve as co-leader of the Pastor’s Appreciation Program.
“One of the things I admire about Jasmine is that when she is charged with a job, she is self-motivated, she tends to go back behind herself and makes sure she has succeeded in what she does. She is dedicated to completing tasks. She’s also determined to serve at a higher level, [in] whatever she does, she does it well, with excellence. She is forward-thinking; she often talks about the advancement of the church. I admire, for her age, the wisdom she displays through her ideas. She’s very quiet but when she does speak, it’s always on time. We are blessed to have her in our [the church’s] family,” Magee shared.
On the district level, Hooker served as the Assistant Secretary, then she was the Fourth District (Texas) Secretary of the S.S. and H.Y.M. She also served as Assistant Secretary, then Secretary of the Southwestern Diocese, which includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. Elder Fred Taylor, current President of the National S.S. & H.Y.M. Congress, says he knows Hooker will do well in her new role. Taylor is the former president of the Southwestern Diocese S.S. and H.Y.M.
“When I think of Jasmine, I think about her being a very attentive, passionate, diligent, assertive type of leader [which] she is and has been, under my time of serving with her, very open and honest. She has exhibited so many times the spirit of integrity, great in her stewardship, attention, attendance, and very active in her responsibilities. Jasmine doesn’t allow whatever she has going on [personally] to sidetrack her from her responsibility, [when] she has a responsibility she is going to fulfill that job, and that has been one of the highlights of working with her.”
In the national church, Hooker served as the Coordinator for the COCHUSA National Operation Give Back, an annual National S.S. & H.Y.M. event that allows youth and young adults to perform different acts of service within communities across the nation. “We do not want [youth and young adults] to think that being young means they are incapable of helping people,” Hooker said.
In her free time, Hooker enjoys baking. She owns her own business, Sweet November Desserts, where she sells various desserts such as cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, and cake pops. “Anything you can think of, I probably make it at my shop!” Hooker says.
In addition to her work at the church and running her own business, Hooker is an educator at J. Frank Dobie High School where she teaches 9-12th grade courses such as: Introduction to Culinary Arts, Culinary Arts, and Practicum of Culinary Arts. She is currently working toward her Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship. She received a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Houston.
She also participates in monthly acts of service hosted by the high school, focusing on different acts of service each month such as can food drives, organizing and distributing food donations to local shelters in need.
Hooker’s parents, Mary, and late father Jimmie Hooker have inspired her in many ways, but it was her dad who inspired her most to help others.
“Growing up, my dad made sure my brothers and I knew we had to help others. It’s always good to help people, no matter if they have or don’t have because essentially that could be you at some point, and you would want someone to help you if you were in their place,” Hooker shared.