Apostle Willie Earl Rookard is a man of integrity, distinction and great faith. He received the baptism of the Holy Ghost at the tender age of 9, and as a young teenager began his ministry in 1966 when ordained under the pastorate of the late Bishop Randolph “Hurricane” Jackson; and has held faithful to preaching for 52 years. His commitment to the Word of God has taken him to places which he says he never dreamed of going. His wisdom and prophetic ministry has spoken words of encouragement and hope to many.
Apostle Rookard has been a member at Greater Bible Way Tabernacle Miracle Temple, in Inman South Carolina since its beginning in 1960. He was installed there as pastor in 1998 after serving 23 years as Assistant Pastor, working tirelessly in many capacities. His dedication to God, his wife (of 49 years), family, and church is remarkable! He received his formal education in his hometown of Inman, South Carolina where he attended Mary McCloud Bethune High School and studied Mechanical Engineering at Greenville Technical College.
He became connected to the Bible Way Churches World Wide under the prelate of Bishop Smallwood E. Williams in 1960. His gifts have made room for him with many elevations within the organization of the International Bible Way Church of Jesus Christ, Inc. Over an extended period of time, Apostle Rookard has served in the capacities as an Auxiliary Bishop over the International Youth Department, the Women’s Auxiliary, the Sunday School Department and currently serves as Auxiliary Bishop over the National District Elders, a member of the Executive Board of Bishops, International Board of Trustees and serves on the Constitution and By-Laws Committee. He has remained steadfast and has received numerous awards and recognitions.
He is a man whose personable, humble spirit renders him accessible to his colleagues and laity. Many Pastors in the area come to him seeking prayer, his wise counsel and requesting that he become their spiritual covering. He is referred to as a Pastor’s Pastor in that he speaks wisdom and encouragement to the men and women of God who constantly give of themselves to ministry. He embraces everybody with the love of Christ and greets all he meets as, “my friend”.
The blessings of the Lord have been with Apostle Rookard, as he humbled himself before the Lord, and in 2003 was installed as Diocesan over the Western North Carolina Diocese with churches located in both the Carolinas. Under his watchful care, vision and leadership, he has developed new procedures within his Diocese that enables all churches to make annual representations to the International Organization.
Although this august man of God is an anointed vocalist, his greatest gift and fulfillment comes with preaching the word of God and seeing people get deliverance. Apostle Rookard is married to Lady Gerri Rookard and they have two children and five beautiful grandchildren. He lives by the Word of God and operates under the unction of the Holy Ghost.
Because of his unwavering faithfulness, God has elevated him phenomenally.
1959 Filled with the Holy Ghost
1966 Called into the Ministry
1972 Became a Licensed Minister
1974 Ordained Elder
1980 Appointed District Elder (SC, West Virginia & Tennessee Diocese)
1998 Installed as Pastor of Greater Bible Way Tabernacle Miracle Temple
1999 Appointed District Elder over the Western District of South Carolina Diocese
2000 Promoted to Bishop Elect
2001 Consecrated as Bishop in Akron, Ohio
2002 New Diocese named Western North Carolina Diocese
2003 Installed as Diocesan Bishop (Western North Carolina Diocese)
2006 Elected to serve on the Executive Board of Bishops
2014 Elected to serve as Second Vice-Presider of International Bible Way Church
2018 Elected to serve as First Vice Presider International Bible Way Church
2019 Began serving as Presiding Bishop of International Bible Way Church after the passing of Chief Apostle Floyd E. Nelson