Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
Office of the Presiding Bishop
16 November 2023, Anno Domini
Sixtieth Anniversary of the Anglican Orthodox Church
Sixty years ago today on 16 November 1963, James Parker Dees, a courageous man of God, withdrew from the Protestant Episcopal Church over issues of that Church over infidelity to Holy Writ, to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, a declining reverence in worship practices, and a low regard for the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. He did so consistent with the biblical admonition:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
The Anglican Orthodox Church is a Church who can be best described as Christian. We believe nothing which cannot be proved by “certain warrant of Holy Scripture” as one of our Articles of Religion puts it. We are Christians following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the perspective of the Anglican Tradition.
As the sun set on the British Empire, churches around the world changed names, mostly adopting the Anglican label. In the 1960s an insidious virus took hold of the Episcopal Church of the United States. People who did not believe in God, let alone the Bible, whose loyalty was not to the One True God, but rather to good feelings or perhaps the Devil took over. The church became a home for anti-establishment, anti-Christ pro-homosexual priests, then bishops. In 1979, a new prayer book was adopted, claiming to be a Book of Common Prayer with modernized language. It was not, it was actually the first attempt by the non-believers to change the Church from within. Since that time, the Episcopal Church has lost over eighty percent of its members. The declining numbers show that those who believe in everything believe in nothing and do not need to go to church to find out they are okay.
In 1963, Bishop James Parker Dees saw all this coming and founded the Anglican Orthodox Church on 17 November 1963 – the first religious body to withdraw from the Episcopal Church in the modern era. Many other clergy came out with Bishop Dees at that time, but later fell by the wayside under the heat of social persecution. Under the care of Presiding Bishop Jerry L. Ogles the Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide communion now has churches across the United States and in 22 countries around the world. These include Pakistan, Indonesia, Serbia, France, Canada, India, Liberia, Madagascar, Myanmar, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Haiti, the Philippines, Fiji, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and the Solomon Islands.
The Anglican Orthodox Church is rooted in the Bible. Our separation from the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Canterbury Communion is larger than denominational preference. It is a matter of biblical faith. We will never abandon the Bible as the rule of faith and embrace homosexual marriage and the centrality of Jesus Christ as a means of our salvation as the Episcopal Church openly has done? We teach our members the importance of biblical faith and not man-made faith.
The Anglican Orthodox Church recognizes only the Bible as our Rule of Faith; we denounce homosexual marriage which demeans the biblical marriage which exists between one man and one woman. To accept any corruption of the marriage institution is to deny Jesus Christ as the Bride of the Church.
Rooted in the mists of the past, planning for a bright future, the Anglican Orthodox Church OC forms a radiant bridge. While our service can be very traditional with organ music and all, there can also be pre-service contemporary Christian guitar accompanied singing! The wording of our worship service is directly from the King James Bible and its predecessor the Coverdale Bible, though slightly modified. It was designed not to be in the common everyday language of the people but rather to be set in a linguistic style to do justice to the Glory of God, while still easy to read and comprehend. While we know some people feel the words are archaic, other people say they are the most beautiful prayers they have ever heard.
The Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide will never merge with another group; there are no other jurisdictions that hold the same standards and values across the board. We recognize many other jurisdictions and groups have changed from their avowed standards and left their people behind. We will accept into our communion parishes, diocese and national churches who will accept completely our principles and standards.
We ask God’s guidance, that we might do His Will as a beacon of faithfulness to Him.
I remain yours, in Christ,
Office of the Presiding Bishop
Anglican Orthodox Church Communion Worldwide