Bishop William E. Dickerson, II was born in Virginia and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Boston Latin School. After graduating from Boston Latin, he went on to complete Bible school. Furthering his education, he also earned an undergraduate degree in Business Management.
Dickerson also earned a Masters degree in Education (M.Ed.) from Cambridge College and a Master of Arts degree in Urban Ministry (MA) from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He also studied at Harvard University. He is a certified HIV/AIDS educator and has obtained training certificates in health education. Dickerson also holds an honorary Doctorate.
He was raised in a God-fearing family. His dad, the late William, Sr., taught him to be a responsible man and a productive citizen. Dickerson’s mom, the late Evangelist Alma Dickerson, taught him about living a life of sanctification and holiness. As a child, he would often go places with his mother to do ministry such as feeding the homeless. Although he was saved at the tender age of eight, he strayed during his teen years but later rededicated his life back to the Lord during his senior year in high school.
Dickerson was a very good athlete in track, football and basketball. As a senior at Boston Latin, he earned a basketball scholarship to college.
Due to the influence of his mother who was a foster parent for many years, Dickerson and his wife also were foster parents for several years.
He received his formal start in ministry at Good Shepherd Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Roxbury, MA under the leadership of Bishop Samuel B. Hogan, Sr. He preached his initial sermon in 1981 at Good Shepherd Church. He was licensed as a minister in 1983 and ordained an elder in 1985 all under the COGIC organization.
While at Good Shepherd, he served in ministry in various capacities, including as a van driver, youth minister, prison volunteer, street evangelist, pastoral support team member and senior associate minister.
Dickerson is the founding pastor of Greater Love Tabernacle, the president of Restoration Ministries, Inc., an organization designed to train twenty-first century pastors and five-fold ministry leaders. He is also the president of Greater Love Community Cares, Inc., a non-profit, philanthropic agency that helps economically marginalized individuals and families.
During Boston's most violent and turbulent times in the 1980s and beyond Dickerson has led groups of men to walk through Boston's inner-city tough areas now known today as hot spots. They have ministered to teens and men and provide resources and information which at times led to job training or employment. In prior planning for Boston's most recent renaissance under the administration of the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Dickerson served on the federal advisory board for the Enhanced Enterprise Zone in Boston.
For over 20 years Dickerson has served as a volunteer on the board of directors of the Charitable Trust for the Inhabitants of Boston, a quasi-city philanthropic agency. He is now the chairperson and president of the board.
Currently he serves on the board of directors for the Carney Hospital in Dorchester, MA. He continues volunteering time with various civic and religious groups such as the Massachusetts Six, a prison advocacy group and Ministers in Action, an ad hoc clergy group. Dickerson has been trained in trauma response and psychological first aid. Therefore, he is very prepared to touch the lives of those who have been traumatized by violence, natural disasters, suicides and homicides.
For years Dickerson has taught and counseled troubled youth and adults. He has spoken frequently at schools, and in jails and prisons. He is a former Boston Public School teacher and a former adjunct college instructor. He is a former chaplain for the Boston Police Department and a former member of the National Chaplains’ Association.
Dickerson and his wife of thirty-nine years, Luella, founded Greater Love Tabernacle in 1989. Over his twenty-seven years of pastoring, he has assisted in the establishment of other churches and ministries.
Since 2001 he has served as an overseer for other pastors and ministry leaders under Restoration Ministries.
Dickerson has always been a very civic minded and socially active spiritual leader within the Greater Boston community. He served on a transition team for the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. He served on a transition team for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Under the Patrick administration, he served on an anti-violence council. Moreover, he is a former reentry consultant for the Department of Corrections (DOC).
While working with the DOC prison system, Dickerson became more of an advocate for prisoners due to the conditions that the prisoners were enduring. During that time, he worked with prison inmates to develop programs, such as the Behind the Walls video project; dialogues with the inmates and he spoke to various African heritage groups.
Always being health conscious, Dickerson was a founding member of Churches Organized to Save Tomorrow (C.O.S.T) under the pastoral leadership of the late Bishop Hessie L. Harris who was a dear mentor, father figure and friend. C.O.S.T made a very profound impact upon the lives of many individuals, families and churches.
In 1995 Dickerson led Greater Love Tabernacle to establish the Family Conference which to date has reached thousands of individuals and families. This conference has been a catalyst that has brought together churches; hospitals; health agencies and social-service agencies under one roof to deal with the spiritual, social and health disparities within and among the local communities surrounding GLT and beyond. He also is a book author; a counselor to church and political leaders and an advocate for many throughout the Massachusetts court system.
Bishop Dickerson has received numerous awards and commendations. Below is a partial list:
As a high school student, he received the Ujima Award for outstanding academic and civic achievement from Lena Park.
As an adult leader, he accepted the National Night Out Award from Lena Park for Spiritual leadership to end hand gun violence.
In 1994 he received recognition for his community outreach through the Channel 56 Independent Spirit award.
In 1998 he received another Outstanding Award for Volunteerism and Leadership from the Boston Housing Authority.
In 2005, the Boston Celtics’ Heroes Among Us Award.
In 2011, the Renaissance Charter School Champion for Children Award.
For years, Bishop Dickerson has been the featured speaker at various revivals and conferences throughout the United States and abroad. He and Lady Dickerson have been used greatly by the Lord to minister to married couples and families in workshops and retreats. The Dickersons have been married since 1980. They are the parents of three adult children: William III; Kyanna and Latia, and are the grandparents of five grandchildren; Mekhi; Tavaj; Tairih; Za'nyah, and Gracie Marabella.