Local News

Warren Dorris to be named bishop in South America

Virtual Watch Service of consecration ceremony being held in Joliet on Wednesday

Rev. Warren Dorris Jr., a Joliet pastor and former city councilman, will be named a bishop on Wednesday for the Venezuela jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.

Dorris said he will remain pastor of the Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ in Joliet as he takes on his new assignment.

A consecration ceremony for Dorris and other bishops is being held Wednesday in Memphis, the location of the Church of God in Christ World Headquarters.

A virtual watch service for the ceremony will be held in Joliet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ at 500 Stryker Ave. in Joliet. Dorris said the general public is welcome to the watch service.

Dorris said Church of God in Christ is the largest African-American church in the world with a presence in 40 countries. The Venezuela jurisdiction has 42 churches ranging in size from 55 members to 1,200.

Church membership in Venezuela is largely Hispanic, Dorris said. While Church of God in Christ considers itself the largest African-American church, its membership is diverse, he said.

“When you are in 40 different countries, you have people from all different walks of life and all different races,” he said.

Dorris said he will be able to remain in Joliet while serving as bishop. Currently, he cannot enter Venezuela because of a political situation in which outsiders are denied visas, Dorris said. But he plans to begin spending time in neighboring Colombia later this summer.

“I’m still going to be based in Joliet, but I’m going to be spending a lot of time in Bogota and then in Venezuela as soon as it opens up,” Dorris said.

Among his goals, Dorris said, is to develop Venezuelan leadership in the church so that the next bishop will be a Venezuelan.

Dorris ran unsuccessfully for one of the three at-large spots on the Joliet City Council that were up for election in April.

He previously served six terms on the council before running for mayor in 2011 and finishing second in that election to Thomas Giarrante.

He also worked in management for the Caterpillar Inc. plant in Joliet for 36 years before retiring in 2009 and later becoming pastor of the Joliet church.

Dorris’s father, Warren Dorris Sr., was the second pastor of the Prayer Tower Chuch of God in Christ in Joliet. His late uncle, Robert Dorris, founded the church in 1952.