The Anglican Church in North America celebrated the consecrations of the Ven. Julian Dobbs and the Rev’d Canon Dr. Felix Orji as Suffragan Bishops in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, consecrated both men on Sunday, September 25 at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church in Lagos, Nigeria. Four additional Church of Nigeria bishops were also consecrated at the same worship service.
“It is a joy to join with CANA and the Church of Nigeria to celebrate the new bishops who will support our common ministry. We have already been extremely blessed not only by our relationship with the Church of Nigeria, but by the significant role that Felix and Julian have played in our North American story so far. I know both will be a light for the whole church as they demonstrate servant leadership and work to share the Good News of Christ,” said the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America.
Both new bishops will continue in their support roles for CANA, the Anglican Church in North America and Anglican 1000’s church planting efforts. Bishop Dobbs will be the primary pastoral contact for CANA congregations in the eastern states, while Bishop Orji will serve in that role for congregations in the western states.
According to the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, founding Missionary Bishop of CANA, “Bishop Julian and Bishop Felix are gifted men with wonderful families who have already proven themselves to be great assets to our work in CANA and the Anglican Church in North America. I have talked on different occasions about my commitment to the next generation of leaders and these men will definitely help move us into the future.”
Bishop Dobbs has assisted CANA with clergy and congregational development along with equipping churches to engage with the challenges of Islam through the Church and Islam project. He previously served as executive director of the Barnabas Fund and worked in six continents to minister to persecuted Christians. Dobbs is also a member of the Anglican Church in North America’s Executive Committee and serves as chair of the province’s task force on Islam. Dobbs and his wife, Brenda, are natives of New Zealand and live in Reston, Virginia with their children.
“It was an incredible opportunity and a humbling experience to be among 1,500 people who worshiped the Living God during the service. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of all Nigeria presided at the service amidst a worship experience which was truly heavenly. Bishop Felix and I will now serve alongside the other CANA bishops and will also serve as bishops within the Anglican Church in North America,” said Bishop Julian Dobbs.
“Pray that the Living God would equip and enable us to be servant leaders and the Almighty God would be glorified in and through our lives and ministries,” continued Dobbs.
Bishop Orji was born in Abia State, Nigeria and currently serves as rector of St. Francis Church in El Paso, Texas. Orji has earned four graduate degrees from the University of Lagos, Regent College, Vancouver School of Theology, and a doctorate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has served in various leadership roles and was part of the Anglican Communion Network leadership group. Orji, his wife, Lilian, and their children live in El Paso.
Bishop Orji expressed, “Our consecration in Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral Church in Lagos, Nigeria by His Grace Nicholas Okoh, was a glorious experience! I am humbled by God’s gracious calling on my life to serve him as a bishop in his church, especially in CANA, the Anglican Church in North America, and in the Anglican Communion, in a time such as this. It is a glorious privilege to be part of those called by God to lead and oversee the church’s ministry of worship, teaching, societal engagement, and of the proclamation and defense of the faith revealed in Holy Scripture. Pray for me, as well as for my fellow bishops, to be wise, faithful, caring, and courageous in our episcopal ministry.”
Please join us in prayer for these leaders:
Almighty Father, we thank you for raising up among us faithful servants for the ministry of Your Word and Sacraments. We pray that Bishop Dobbs and Bishop Orji may be to us an effective example in word and action, in love and patience, in holiness of life, and fidelity to Your son and our Lord’s gospel. Grant that we, with them, may serve you now, and always rejoice in Your glory; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Photo caption: Bishops Orji and Dobbs along with four Church of Nigeria Bishops on retreat in preparation for consecration on Sunday, September 25 in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo credit: Convocation of Anglicans in North America).