MICHIGAN CITY — Bishop Charles Elijah Dowdell Jr. is the first consecrated auxiliary bishop in the Church of God in Christ in Indiana.
On Sept. 29, an inaugural banquet was held for Dowdell, who is the pastor of Greater Powerhouse Church of God in Christ-Michigan City, district superintendent of Fresh Oil District, and an administrative assistant to Bishop Donald L. Alford Sr. of the Fourth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Indiana North-Central.
The evening began with a red-carpet procession for both the lower and upper dais, populated by longtime ministerial associates, ecclesiastical comrades and admiring well-wishers. When the honorees were seated, Bishop James E. Atterbery Sr., prelate of the Second Jurisdiction of Western Michigan, officiated the program. Banquet attendees listened to heartfelt sentiments from Apostle Al Jones, the reading of a proclamation from Mayor Ron Meer of Michigan City, greetings from Emma Sanders, jurisdictional supervisor of the Fourth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Indiana North-Central, and Bishop Alford Sr.
Attendees were treated to a plated dinner at the hands of the staff of the Orak Shrine.
The honoree thought it most appropriate to invite the one who made it possible for him to explore the depth of his ministry, Bishop Jerry L. Maynard of Nashville, Tennessee, pastor of Cathedral of Praise Church of God in Christ, juridictional prelate of the Fourth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Tennessee and vice chairman of the General Assembly-Church of God in Christ, to speak at the event.
Bishop Maynard formerly pastored Hatchett Temple Church of God in Christ (presently Greater Powerhouse Church of God in Christ) and received Bishop and Lady Dowdell into the congregation when they relocated to Michigan City from Syracuse, New York, in the late 1970s. Bished Maynard spole about the importance of faithfulness and service. He drew a stark contrast to the ideology of job seekers, present day vs. yesteryear.
In his contrast, he said it was once thought longevity on the job meant stability and job understanding. Now people will leave one job and go to another in a short amount of time, seeking “better,” and are received as everyone, employer and employee, desires to stay relevant. However, relevance is evidenced when you are able to flourish where you are planted. During his sermon, Maynard pointed out the steadfastness of Bishop and Mother Dowdell, ardent workers who were faithful to the call of the ministry, serving God and His people.
Bishop Dowdell has pledged to continually serve God and God’s people both near and far.