The Anglican Orthodox Church was founded on 16 November 1963 by the Most Rev'd James Parker Dees, A.B., B.D., D.D. (1915 to 1990), a former PECUSA presbyter in North Carolina, USA, who left that church body over issues of liberalism and sacerdotalism. The word "Anglican" in the title of the denomination showed that it intended to continue in an Anglican ethos and the word "Orthodox" was to stress the Church was to follow "sound Reformation doctrine" and not to be confused with following the traditions relating to the Orthodoxy of the ancient churches of Eastern Europe and Asia. The headquarters of the new church was established in Statesville, NC. On 15 March 1964 Dr. Dees received episcopal succession when he was consecrated by Bishop Wasyl Sawyna of the Holy Ukranian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of North and South America, assisted by Bishop Orlando Jacques Woodward of the United Episcopal Church (1945) Anglican/Celtic Rite.
When a new jurisdiction is being established it takes time to establish how the Church is to be organised, hence there can be some coming and going of people. In June of 1965 the parish of All Saints in Nashville, Tennessee left the AOC when its rector the Rev'd Burnice Hoyle Webster (1910 to 1990) was consecrated by the bishops of the United Episcopal Church (1945) Anglican/Celtic Rite and incorporated the Southern Episcopal Church. In March of 1968 several parishes left the Anglican Orthodox Church and formed the American Episcopal Church which is now known as the Anglican Province of America. While the Anglican Orthodox Church was experiencing these losses in the United States, by 1969 the AOC had developed Internationally and in time Dr. Dees had ordained presbyters and or consecrated, or had received from other jurisdictions, bishops for the countries of England, Pakistan, South India, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, the Philippines, Fiji Islands, Rhodesia, Madagascar, and Columbia. Dr. Dees remained the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church until his death in December of 1990. His successors in office were: The Most Rev'd George C. Schneller (1921 to 2000) from 1991 to 1994; the Standing Committee of the Church from 1994 to 1995; the Most Rev'd Robert J. Godfrey (born 1937) from 1995 to 1998; the Standing Committee of the Church from August 1998 to October 2003; and the Most Rev'd Jerry L. Ogles since 19 October 2003.
Dr. Schneller was ordained to the presbyterate following the completion of his Bachelor of Divinity degree at Cranmer Seminary (in 1973) and served as rector of Holy Cross Anglican Orthodox Church in St. Louis, Missouri, until his consecration as Presiding Bishop in 1991 by the Rt. Rev'd Laione Q. Vuki of the Anglican Orthodox Church of Polynesia. However, in 1994 he resigned as Presiding Bishop due to ill health. Bishop Schneller died on 8 June 2000 at the age of 79 years in St. Louis.
Between May and August of 1998 a split occurred in the AOC over actions of the then Presiding Bishop Dr. Godfrey to move the Church into close working relationships with other traditional Anglican groups. It was feared by most of the church membership that the founding principles of the AOC would be lost in such relationships as most of the traditional or continuing Anglican bodies were in the Anglo-Catholic wing of Anglicanism. A division of church property was effected between the two factions and most of the church membership and all bishops of the Church, except the Presiding Bishop and the AOC Bishop of Kenya Dr. Hesbon O. Njera, remained with the original body. Dr. Godfrey then formed the Episcopal Orthodox Church and made his headquarters in Winston-Salem, NC. On 30 April 2000 he retired as Presiding Bishop of the EOC in favour of his suffragan bishop, Dr. Scott Earle McLaughlin whom he had consecrated in the previous year (on 1 May 1999) assisted by Dr. Herbert M. Groce of the Anglican Rite Church and others.
For some two years the church in the USA functioned without a resident bishop. On 22 October 2000 in St. Peter's Anglican Orthodox Church in Statesville, NC, the Rev'd Jerry Levon Ogles (born 1943) was consecrated Bishop for the USA and the Rev'd Ernest Jacob was consecrated Bishop for Pakistan by the Rt. Rev'd Thomas Karikkuzhy the Bishop of the Diocese of Maramon in southern India and by the Rt. Rev'd Dr. Isaac P.B. Mokoena the Bishop of South Africa. Bishop Ogles was originally ordained a presbyter in the AOC in 1981 and is the rector of St. Andrew's Anglican Orthodox Parish, Enterprise, AL, USA (parish formed on 17 November 2000). In February of 2003 he travelled to Kenya where he consecrated the Rev'd Eric Ojuki Achola as the new AOC bishop for the Kenyan branch of the Church. During the 2003 Convention of the AOC held in Statesville from 17 to 19 October of that year, Bishop Ogles was installed as Presiding Bishop and Metropolitan of the International Anglican Orthodox Church.
On Sunday the 5 May 2002 the Anglican Orthodox Church officially came to Canada when in Toronto, Ontario the Rt. Rev'd Jerry L. Ogles ordained the Dr. Joshua Raj to the presbyterate. Dr. Raj formed The AOC Fellowship, Toronto with himself and his wife and three children as its first members. In 2005 the Rev'd Lewis H. How, BA, MA, BEd, MDiv and the Parish of St. George in New Minas, Nova Scotia were received into the Anglican Orthodox Church in Canada from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada. The Rev'd Mr How was originally ordained an Anglican Church of Canada priest for the Diocese of Nova Scotia. In 1992 he helped established St. George Parish as part of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada as its first and to date only rector. St. George's congregation meets for Sunday Services at 2 PM in the Seventh Day Adventist Church building, 9509 Commerical Street, New Minas, NS.
In the summer of 2006 the Rev'd Garth Richard Neel, B.A., M.Div. was received into the Anglican Orthodox Church from the Anglican Church of Canada. He was originally ordained as an Anglican minister in 1987 and served in Anglican Church of Canada parishes in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan until July of 2006. During these years he also was involved in Anglican mission work in South America which prepared him to accept the position of bishop-elect on 13 August 2007 for the new Anglican Orthodox Church Diocese of Latin America. On 2 February 2008 in St. Francis at the Point Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church, Point Clear, Alabama, USA, the Rev'd Mr. Neel was consecrated by Bishop Ogles, assisted by the bishops of the TPEC, namely the Rt. Rev'd Charles Edward Morley (Presiding Bishop) and the Rt. Rev'd Delbert N. Murray, Jr. (Suffragan Bishop) to the episcopate. Also consecrated that day was the Rev'd R(obert) Dennis Campbell of Powhattan, Virginia, who became the Bishop Coadjutor of the AOC. Bishop Neel, who resides with his family at the Village of Kendal, Saskatchewan, carries on with his work as Bishop for Latin America, travelling to AOC missions in that Continent and also engages in mission work at various points in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
As a point of information, Bishop Charles Edward Morley was consecrated on 2 December 1984 at Pt. Clear, Alabama by Bishop Richard Colburn Acker, assisted by +Edward Harris Marshall, and +Orlando Jacques Woodward (with Archbishop Robert Theodore Shepherd of the Anglican Church of North America by letter giving his consent to this consecration). Bishop Delbert N. Murray was consecrated on 16 June 2007 at All Saints Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church in Sylacauga, Alabama by +Morley assisted by +Ogles. (All Saints' then presbyter-in-charge was Bishop Murray at the time of his consecration and he would travel to Sylacauga every Sunday to conduct worship services from his home in Pensacola, Florida.) In February of 2009 Bishop Murray left the TPEC and founded The Reformed Church of England in the United States, Incorporated of which he is the presiding bishop.
In 2008 two more ministers were received into the Canadian branch of the Church, namely the Rev'd Dr. Gordon D. McNulty of British Columbia and the Rev'd David Lilly of Alberta. Dr. McNulty was originally ordained as a minister with Southwest Evangelical Ministries. The Rev'd Mr. Lilly was a presbyter with the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches before being received into the AOC. He now is vicar of Grace Reformed Anglican Church (AOC) in Three Hills, Alberta.
The doctrinal basis of the Anglican Orthodox Church is to preserve the basic tenets of Anglicanism, namely, The Biblical Faith, The Book of Common Prayer, The Thirty-Nine Articles, The Homilies, the doctrines of the Anglican Reformers, and Biblical Morality, and to build up a Christian nation by exposing evil and preaching the Gospel.
The Episcopal Succession of the Anglican Orthodox Church includes Anglican, Old Catholic, Armenian-Uniate, Russian Orthodox, Syrian-Malabar, and other lines. The Anglican succession of Bishop Ogles is given as follows:
William Montgomery Brown, retired PECUSA bishop of Arkansas who became an Old Catholic in 1925, cons. on 2 January 1927
Wallace David de Ortega, who exchanged cons. on 23 August 1945 with
Antoine Joseph Aneed, who cons. on 18 December 1949
Nicholas Urbanovitch, who cons. on 7 May 1955
Eugene de Baczna-Batchinsky, who cons. on 19 December 1959
Wasyl Sawyna, who cons. on 15 March 1964
James Parker Dees, who cons. on 5 May 1966
Vattapara John Stephen, who cons. in 1982
Paulose K. Markose, who cons.
Thomas Karikkuzhy (or Karikuzhy/Karrikudhy), who cons. on 22 October 2000
Jerry Levon Ogles.
The Old Catholic (Syrian-Malabar) Succession in the Anglican Orthodox Church is as below:
Joseph Rene Villatte (1854 to 1929) who cons. on 29 December 1915
Frederick Ebenezer John Lloyd (1859 to 1933) who cons. on 22 January 1923
Franciszek Viktor Maximillian Kanski (1870 to 1952) who cons. on 1 May 1943
Denver Scott Swain (1905 to 1948) who cons. in November of 1945
William Henry Schneider (1905 to 1976) who cons. in 1948
James Edward Burns (1914 to 1983) who cons. on 31 August 1958
Orlando Jacques Woodward (1921 to 1990)
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