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Congressman Bobby Rush remarries

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and his new wife, the Rev. Paulette Holloway. | Vivienne McDaniel photo

Veteran Congressman Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill., who lost his wife Carolyn Rush to congestive heart failure in March 2017, has remarried, the Sun-Times has learned.

Rush, 71, who is pastor of Beloved Community Christian Church of God in Christ in Englewood, married a fellow minister, the Rev. Paulette Holloway, on June 30 in a small ceremony at Springfield Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

The widower congressman writes that after being in a devoted marriage for 36 years, he asked God to send him another wife after his wife passed.

In a synopsis of their love story written by the two for their friends, Rush said he “very specifically asked for a Godly woman … he could present to his church as a first lady … and left the rest up to God.”

Holloway is a minister who travels the world as a missionary, and author of Christian books who worked full-time and also was a full-time caregiver to her elderly mother when the two met.

She writes in the same synopsis that she “had been living single for 22 years … living the best years of her life.” Holloway confessed that she “had always had a secret desire for one good Godly marriage … but figured at this stage of her life, that train had left the station.”

A Congressional staff member of more than 20 years introduced the two after Carolyn Rush died, and the congressman, who has served in the U.S. House for 25 years, shared with the staffer his prayer for another wife.

Rush said he popped the question on Oct. 31, 2017, five months after the couple’s first date in June.

Carolyn Rush died on March 13, 2017, at the University of Chicago Medical Center; her husband and children were at her bedside. Her health declined following open heart surgery, other surgeries and multiple serious health issues, Rush had said publicly. Her bouts of illness had led to Rush spending significant time away from the nation’s capital in 2013 and 2014 to be with her.

Carolyn Rush had also served as her husband’s longtime political adviser. Rush represents the South Side 1st Congressional District, elected to Congress for the first time in 1992; before that, he was the alderman from the 2nd Ward, first elected to City Hall in 1983. At the time of her death, the couple had six surviving children and 11 grandchildren.

Rush, who had his own health scare in 2008, when he was diagnosed with salivary cancer and required jaw surgery, now appears to be in better health. He said he can’t imagine life now without Holloway.

“After an almost audible voice in both their ears, they knew that not only was this an earthly attraction, but a Kingdom purposed one,” the couple write, adding that they “are looking toward an awesome life of love, ministry, adventure and yes, fun!”

The couple’s wedding registry was at Macy’s, and the two received guests in the church’s lower auditorium immediately after the noon wedding ceremony. Notable guests included: Rep. Butterfield, Rep. Cleaver, Rep. David McKinley, Rep. Joe Barton, and House Chaplin Father Conroy.

The couple plans to host a wedding reception in Chicago on Sept. 9.