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Bishop Timothy E. Criss is the seventh of eight children born to Superintendent Robert Criss and the late Evangelist Georgianna Criss. Bishop Criss comes from a family of singers and ministers, and serves faithfully with the United Covenant Churches of Christ, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Eric Daniel Garnes.

At the age of ten, Bishop Timothy Criss accepted Christ as his Savior. He became an ordained minister in July 1979, and has served in several ministerial capacities before accepting Pastoral duties at what is now the Greater City of Refuge Worship Cathedral in Peoria, Illinois on March 19, 1995.

Bishop Criss resides with his loving wife of 38 years, Sherry and is grateful for their two daughters, Timony Criss-Kirkwood and Arienne Criss-Thornton, and their families. He is also a graduate of Bradley University and will complete his Masters of Divinity in 2017 and has completed a community Leadership program through The Harvard School of Divinity. 

His mission throughout every area of ministry is that  of illustrating the love and compassion of Christ for the community by providing Biblically-centered distinctive human care services, which result in improvement, stabilization, family strengthening, business development, and self-empowerment. 

Greater City of Refuge is known as "A Ministry in the Heart of the City, with the City in its Heart". The Ministry purchased a 52,000 square foot facility to accommodate the growing needs of a growing congregation. Since then there has been a continuous effort to keep the congregation Biblically knowledgeable and challenged to grow. As such, our Ministry recently purchased a school facility which measures 66,000 square feet and sits on 3 1/2 acres which is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2017 as the Promise Academy. 

Besides his several duties as a Bishop, Pastor, Husband, Father and Grandfather he is also an author, songwriter and an avid businessman. 

Bishop Timothy Criss has accepted an awesome responsibility in the Body of Christ as a newly consecrated Bishop and the congregation is very excited to have him as their leader. As the horizon expands and his responsibilities grow, they have pledged their support, and are compelled to "run with the vision".

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