Head pastor of Roselle United Methodist Church moving to Naperville congregation
The Rev. Dr. Zaki L. Zaki will step down as the senior pastor of Roselle United Methodist Church on Sunday, a position he has held for three years.
As he moves to the Wheatland Salem Church in Naperville, the Roselle church will host a service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the church, 206 S. Rush St., with the reception at 11:30 a.m.
"I will always remember that at Roselle UMC, I met many who are among the kindest, most devoted, most inspiring, most gifted and most beautiful people I have ever met in my entire life," Zaki said. "I will never be the same because I have been here."
Previously, Zaki was district superintendent of the Chicago Northwestern District located in Glenview, where he led more than 60 congregations with 9,000 members. Zaki specializes in serving the needs of refugees and immigrants, including African, Asian and Middle Eastern communities. He has made several medical mission trips to serve refugees in Greece, Germany, his native Egypt and other countries.
He lives in Roselle with his wife, the Rev. Ayla Samson, pastor of Faith United Methodist Church of Lombard, and their children Khalid, Nura, Mariam, Isis and Myra.
Roselle Mayor David Pileski spoke fondly of Zaki.
"Rev. Zaki is a strong community advocate who brought his global perspective to our local community," Pileski said. "I wish him the best in his next role."
In Naperville, Zaki is set to step into the role now held by Senior Pastor Jen Wilson. In Roselle, Zaki's successor is Lemont UMC senior pastor Hyo Sun Oh, according to Roselle UMC Community Food Pantry Executive Director Vicki Johnson.