JOLIET – A Joliet clergyman has been invited to Israel, along with 25 other U.S. ministers, to show support for the government in its confrontation in the Gaza Strip with Hamas.
The Rev. Warren Dorris Jr., pastor of Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ, was invited on the trip as part of the Rev. John Hagee’s Christians United For Israel ministry.
Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church of San Antonio, is a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Dorris said.
“It’s really amazing,” Dorris said. “It’s to show that U.S. clergy support Israel.”
Dorris, a former Joliet city councilman, said he has visited Israel twice in the past, but primarily as a tourist. This trip will be all business, he said, and with the highest members of the Israeli government.
“I haven’t seen the entire agenda, but we’re in suits the whole time,” Dorris said. “No tours, it’s all meetings.”
The invitation was sudden and unexpected, he said.
“I got the call on Wednesday to come to Israel on Monday,” Dorris said. “We leave for New York on Monday, and then fly on to Tel Aviv.”
The visit comes at a tumultuous time. Israel and Hamas have been fighting since July 7. Israeli forces entered the Gaza Strip, saying their goal was to destroy rocket sites and infiltration tunnels being used to attack the Jewish state.
An internationally-brokered ceasefire between the two warring sides broke down within hours Friday.
“We’ll be dealing with issues going on over there,” Dorris said. “I am in shock. This is a life-changing experience for me.”