Warren named to Illinois African-American Family Commission

Posted: Apr. 3, 2013 12:00 pm Updated: Apr. 17, 2013 12:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Rev. E.L. Warren of Quincy has been named to the 15-member Illinois African-American Family Commission.

The longtime pastor at the Cathedral of Worship was appointed to the IAAFC by Gov. Pat Quinn in an effort to provide the organization with better "downstate representation," Warren said.

The IAAFC is headquartered in Chicago and made up of community leaders, child welfare professionals, ministers, parents, business leaders, educators and community activists "dedicated to enhancing the welfare of children and families."

Warren, 57, said Quinn is "very interested" in having the West-Central and southern portions of the state better represented.

"I'll be a voice for this area, for East St. Louis ... I want to be involved and make sure (those regions) are not left out," Warren said. "After much prayer about this, I said, ‘Yes.' "

Warren's appointment is for one year.

The goal of the IAAFC is to assist various state agencies in an effort to develop, improve and expand existing human services and educational and community development programs for African-Americans.

The IAAFC also monitors existing legislation and programs designed to address the needs of African-Americans in Illinois, plus facilitating the participation of African-Americans in the development, implementation and planning of community-based services.

"I will help bring the crises and the concerns from the downstate areas," said Warren, who is also the presiding bishop over the International Network of Affiliate Ministries (INAM), which has churches and outreaches in 52 sites in both the United States and abroad. INAM is part of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC). The ICCC is a 6,000-church body spread over six continents and headquartered in Cedartown, Ga.

The IAAFC was created by Gov. Jim Edgar in 1994 to assist the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in developing programs relevant to African-American families.

This is not Warren's first involvement with state government. In February 2008, he was asked to help coordinate the faith-based Emergency Preparedness Initiative that brought the Illinois Department of Public Health together with ministers in minority communities to enhance preparedness against major emergencies. Warren was one of 60 pastors from around the state named by then-Gov. Rod Blagoevich to help coordinate the program.

In 2005-06, Warren was part of the "Coming Together" effort in Quincy that planned multi-denominational gatherings designed to ease racial and religious tensions in the area and "bring Quincy closer as a community." Blacks, whites and all denominations met at different local churches over a four-night period in a show of unity. Predominantly black and white churches also exchanged pastors for a week.