- Anglican Orthodox Church
The Anglican Orthodox Church (AOC) is one of the older conservative Anglican denominations in the United States (founded in 1963) that is not in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Church of England due to the perceived abandonment of Reformation doctrine by that church. Its founding bishop was James Parker Dees, who left the Episcopal Church due to what he believed were its immoral policies and doctrinal errors. He served as Presiding Bishop of the AOC until his death on December 25, 1990.
The Anglican Orthodox Church reorganized in 2001 due to a legal agreement with a group which had attempted to undermine the low-church stance of the AOC and remove her long-standing facilities. The agreement also granted the church the use of the name "Anglican Orthodox Church" as well as sole claim to the name of her founder, Bishop James Parker Dees. The AOC is the only church with the sole legal basis to claim Bishop Dees as its founder.[clarification needed] The late Most Rev James Parker Dees previously served as priest of the Episcopal Church but left that church over his concern that it had become steadily more politically and theologically liberal. In so doing, he acted about a decade and a half before a larger number of conservative Episcopalians separated from the Episcopal Church following the decision of its General Convention to approve the ordination of women priests. The AOC today claims national church affiliates in 22 countries around the world.
Beliefs and structure
The Anglican Orthodox Church today firmly holds to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the use of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, the Homilies, and the King James Version of the Bible. The Bible is believed by the AOC to be the divinely inspired word of God and to contain all that is necessary for salvation. Additionally, the church preaches the importance of biblical morality both in an individual's life and as public policy. The AOC strongly identifies itself as being in the Anglican Low Church tradition and rejects the use of the title "Father" for its clergy, many of the priestly vestments commonly used in other Anglican jurisdictions, and any veneration of the saints. The church has been led by the Most Reverend Jerry L. Ogles of Enterprise, Alabama since 22 October 2000. He is the Bishop of the United States and the Metropolitan of the Anglican Orthodox Church's worldwide communion.
In 2008, the AOC reported fourteen parishes in the USA and Canada, plus bishops and churches in other countries. These include Canada, India, Liberia, Madagascar, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Haiti, the Philippines, Fiji, Peru, Argentina, and the Solomon Islands. In 2011, Bishop Morley requested that he and the Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church be admitted into the Anglican Orthodox Church as the Diocese of the Advent.
The church holds a biennial convention at St. Peter's Anglican Orthodox Church in even-numbered calendar years. The headquarters of the Anglican Orthodox Church remain in the church's traditional facilities in Statesville, North Carolina along with Bishop Dees' home parish, St. Peter's Anglican Orthodox Church.
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