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New Bishops Elected for North America


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Bishops-elect Include The Ven. Julian Dobbs and The Rev’d Canon Dr. Felix Orji

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (March 5, 2011) – Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) had the pleasure today of announcing the election of the Ven. Julian Dobbs and the Rev’d Canon Dr. Felix Orji as suffragan bishops. These bishops-elect will serve the ACNA and its member jurisdiction the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), which was founded by the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.

Earlier, Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA had called Archbishop Duncan from Nigeria to consult on the Church of Nigeria’s House of Bishops’ prayerful deliberations to elect these new leaders. Archbishop Duncan remarked, “I am glad to congratulate our good partners in CANA and the Church of Nigeria on their wise selection of new bishops for our common ministry here in the ACNA. Godly and faithful leadership is vital to who we are as Anglicans, and I have no doubt that Bishops-elect Julian Dobbs and Felix Orji will be great servant-leaders for the ACNA and the church at large.”

The episcopal elections on Friday, March 4, 2011, capped a week of missional work by the Church of Nigeria’s Standing Committee, led by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh.  Archbishop Duncan commented, “The ACNA is truly indebted to Archbishop Okoh and to the Church of Nigeria. They’ve been strong leaders in GAFCON and the Global South, and they’ve stood by us here in the Anglican Church in North America.  The bishops they’ve already given us have been invaluable to the ACNA. I know that Julian and Felix will help us to continue to go from strength to strength as a Province in North America.”

In addition to the election of Julian Dobbs and Felix Orji, the Church of Nigeria announced that it would receive the Rt. Rev’d Derek Jones as a suffragan bishop. Bishop Jones is already a suffragan bishop in the ACNA College of Bishops.

Bishop Minns noted, “Both of the bishops-elect and Bishop Jones – all three are gifted men with wonderful families who have already proven to be great assets to our work in CANA and the ACNA. They also move us into the next generation of leaders.” Dobbs is 42, Orji is 48, and Jones is 49. It is expected that the consecrations and reception will take place later this year in Nigeria.

Bishop-elect Julian Dobbs currently serves as an archdeacon and missioner in CANA.  He and Brenda, his wife, and their three children are natives of New Zealand and have resided in the U.S. since 2006. He was ordained in 1991 and went on to plant three congregations and served as the rector of the fastest growing congregation in New Zealand. Amongst his public outreach ministries, he hosted a weekly 60-minute television program.

From 2004 to 2008, Dobbs served as the Executive Director of the Barnabas Fund in New Zealand and in the U.S. While serving the Barnabas Fund, he worked in six continents to minister to persecuted Christians and to bring relief in times of natural disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami when he ministered in Aceh, Indonesia. In addition to his current duties of assisting CANA’s episcopate with pastoral issues and congregational development, Dobbs is one of 12 members of the ACNA’s Executive Committee and serves as chair of the ACNA’s task force on Islam.

Bishop-elect Felix Orji is rector of St. Francis on the Hill in El Paso, Texas, and a canon for CANA. He and Lillian, his wife, have four children. Dr. Orji typifies the cosmopolitan citizen, having had the privilege of making his home in three different nations: Nigeria, Canada, and the U.S. He has earned four graduate degrees from the University of Lagos, Regent College, Vancouver School of Theology, and a doctorate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Orji was ordained in 1996 and served churches in Canada until 2004 when he moved to the U.S. From 2004 to 2008, he held various pastoral and diocesan leadership positions in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. He began serving St. Francis on the Hill in 2005. He served as a CANA delegate to the ACNA’s inaugural convention in 2009, and will be a CANA delegate to a meeting of ACNA jurisdictional leaders in Pittsburgh later this month.

Bishop Derek Jones’s reception by the Church of Nigeria regularizes his already well-established ministry in the ACNA and CANA of leading the Chaplains Deanery, which supports chaplains in the U.S. military, the Veterans Administration, in vocational settings such as police and fire departments, in hospitals and hospice, and in varied marketplace ministries and volunteer opportunities. 

Bishop Jones is a former U.S. Air Force combat fighter pilot, and retired as a Lt. Col. He was ordained in 2001, and went on to help the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC) develop its administrative infrastructure and plant churches in Liberia.  He quickly rose through the ranks to be consecrated a bishop in 2007, and was received by the ACNA in 2010. He and Connie, his wife, have two children, and live in their home state of Alabama.

The Anglican Church in North America (http://www.anglicanchurch.net) unites some 100,000 Anglicans in nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States and Canada. The Anglican Church is a Province-in-formation in the global Anglican Communion. The Most Rev. Robert Duncan is the archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America and bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

To schedule an interview with an Anglican Church in North America representative, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Caitlin Manaois at (703) 683-5004, ext. 119.