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Florise J. Newton: Mission Finance Chair and Prominent United Methodist Woman Dies at 65

New York, NY, November 13, 2007 -- Florise M. Jackson Newton, 65, chair of the finance committee of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and a long-time national figure in United Methodist Women, died on November 12 at a hospital in New Jersey.

A native of the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Ms. Newton was a member of the Covenant United Methodist Church of the Plainfields, and lived in nearby Piscataway, NJ. She died of a heart attack.

The Celebration of Life Service for Florise J. Newton will be in December 2007 at Covenant United Methodist Church, 631 East Front Street, Plainfield, NJ 07060. The exact date and time will be announced soon. No flowers please. Memorial gifts can be sent to Covenant UMC.

Offers of sympathy can be directed to: The Newton Family 410 Oxford Street Piscataway, NJ 08854

"Florise Jackson Newton was a faithful witness to Christ and a devoted servant of God's mission," said Bishop Joel N. Martinez of San Antonio, president of the General Board of Global Ministries, the international mission agency of The United Methodist Church. "Her integrity, her love for the church, and her service to this board were an inspiration to me. I will miss Florise and her gifted leadership very much."

Bishop Felton E. May, interim general secretary of the board, paid tribute to Ms. Newton in staff worship on November 13. "She gave herself so completely to the work of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ," he said. In a statement, Bishop May called Ms. Newton the "epitome of what it means to be a Christian and a United Methodist Woman."

Harriett Olson, deputy general secretary for United Methodist Women, said, "Florise Jackson Newton was not only a woman of strong faith and deep commitments, she was a sister and a companion along the way to an enormous number of people involved in United Methodist Women in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and at the national level.She blessed us by listening, by caring and by speaking her mind.We are stronger because she is a part of us." The Women's Division of the mission board is the corporate expression of United Methodist Women.

Ms. Newton was a school nurse for 20 years, a profession in which she was able to put her Christian compassion to work with young people. She was a full-time United Methodist and member of United Methodist Women, serving her congregation, her district, her annual conference, and the general denomination.

At the time of her death, Ms. Newton was a director of the General Board of Global Ministries, chair of its finance committee, a director of the Women's Division, and also chair of the International Ministries Committee of Women's Division. She also sat on the committee that oversees the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), a unit of the mission agency.

She once described herself as "being very detailed and thorough," a quality that brought her into positions such as chair of the Women's Division Investment Committee and chair of the Global Ministries' finance committee.

Ms. Newton was a registered nurse who received her training at the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing in New York City. For 20 years she was school nurse at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, NJ, and at other times worked as a dialysis nurse in medical facilities in New Jersey.

She held many roles in Covenant Church and its United Methodist Women's organization. She was also a certified lay speaker of The United Methodist Church. Within her annual conference she served on many boards and councils, including the Board of Laity, the Episcopacy Committee, the Council on Ministry.

Ms. Newton held many offices in the local and conference organizations of United Methodist Women, including local president. She was deeply involved in the Upper Atlantic Region School of Missions, a training program in mission education.

While Ms. Newton proudly described herself as a "Caribbean American," she enjoyed working with people of all backgrounds and cultures, especially young people.

The oldest girl in a family of four children, Florise Jackson Newton is survived by her mother, several nieces and nephews, including Raissa A.J. Rodriguez, a niece whom she raised as her own child.

Date posted: Nov 13, 2007

Last Updated: 02/04/2013

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