Anglican Mission in the Americas

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Anglican Mission in the Americas
Anglican Mission in the Americas Logo.jpg
Classification Anglican
Orientation mostly Anglican Charismatics and other Evangelicals, but some Anglo-Catholics
Polity Episcopal
Leader Philip Jones
Associations National Association of Evangelicals,
Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas
Region Canada and United States
Origin 2000
Separated from Episcopal Church in the USA
Branched from Church of the Province of Rwanda
Congregations 54[1]
Official website

The Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) or The Anglican Mission (AM), formerly Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), is a Christian missionary organization active in the United States and Canada which emphasizes church planting. It was established as a missionary outreach of the Anglican Church of the Province of Rwanda in 2000. It was affiliated to the Anglican Church in North America, since their inception on June 2009, initially as a full member, changing his status to ministry partner in 2010, which it was until December 2011. In 2012, the AMiA became a "Society of Mission and Apostolic Works". The AMiA sought oversight from another Anglican Communion province, after temporary affiliation with the Anglican Church of the Congo. The AMiA has currently eleven mission partner bishops from eleven Anglican dioceses in several countries of Africa.[2]

The Anglican Mission is divided into three organizations: the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), the Anglican Coalition in Canada (ACiC) and the Anglican Coalition in America (ACiA). Its Mission Center is located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The AM was led by Bishop Chuck Murphy from 2000 to 2013.[3] He stepped down on December 2013, being replaced by Philip Jones.[4]

The AMiA was formed in response to the perceived theological liberalism of the Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), the North American branches of the Anglican Communion. Anglican Mission members have criticized numerous actions, policies and doctrines of ECUSA as being in conflict with the traditional Christian understanding of the Bible.


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The origin of the Anglican Mission was the First Promise Movement.[5] In 1997, 30 priests, led by Chuck Murphy, released a document called The First Promise which "declared the authority of the Episcopal Church to be 'fundamentally impaired' because they no longer upheld the 'truth of the gospel'".[6] The following year, St. Andrews Church of Little Rock, Arkansas, became one of the first in North America to come under the oversight of the Global South provinces.[7] The continued controversy in the Anglican Communion led Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and Moses Tay of South East Asia to consecrate Chuck Murphy and John Rodgers as bishops at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore, on January 29, 2000. The Anglican Mission was officially established later in August in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The intervention of foreign Anglican primates into the provinces of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada was and continues to be highly controversial within the Anglican Communion as it violated the traditional Episcopal principles territoriality.

In January 2005, the Anglican Coalition in Canada came under the AMiA's oversight. The following year the Mission was restructured as the Anglican Mission in the Americas. This new structure included within it the AMiA, ACiC, and the ACiA.

The Anglican Mission was a founding member of the Common Cause Partnership and of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The Anglican Mission's relationship with the Anglican Church in North America was defined by protocol between the AM, the Province of Rwanda, and the ACNA.[8] According to the protocol, the AM was under the authority of the ACNA's constitution and canons except where those documents conflict with the AM's charter. On May 18, 2010, however, it was announced that the AM would seek "ministry partner" status with the ACNA and remain fully a part of the Province of Rwanda.[9]

The Anglican Mission remained under the oversight of the Church of the Province of Rwanda, a member church of the Anglican Communion, and as a ministry partner of the ACNA through 2011. On December 5, 2011 Bishop Murphy and most of the bishops of the AM announced to the Province of Rwanda that the Anglican Mission would shortly be severing its relationship with the Rwandan Church.[10] The two bishops who did not resign from the Rwandan church's House of Bishops were appointed by the Archbishop of Rwanda to oversee the parishes and clergy in the USA that remained in affiliation with the Province of Rwanda through a new jurisdiction known as PEARUSA. All clergy had been ordained under the supervision of the Archbishop of Rwanda and other participating Anglican Primates and Rwandan bishops. Clergy were not sent from Rwanda but were drawn from North America and were often former TEC or ACC priests.


The Anglican Mission includes three organizations within its umbrella: the Anglican Mission in America, the Anglican Coalition of Canada and the Anglican Coalition in America. The division into three groups allows the AM to operate in both Canada and the U.S., and it accommodates two different positions on the ordination of women. The AMiA only ordains women as deacons while both the ACiC and the ACiA open the priesthood to women.[11][12]

The structure of the Anglican Mission is defined in its charter.[13] The Anglican Mission has been led by a Primatial Vicar who is the presiding ecclesiastical authority. The vicar was a member of the Provincial Council's executive committee and sat in the Rwandan House of Bishops. In Bishop Murphy's withdrawal letter, he noted that the formal connection between the Anglican Mission and the Province of Rwanda was confined to his own standing as the Primatial Vicar.

The Council of Missionary Bishops assisted the vicar in ecclesiastical leadership. When episcopal vacancies occurred, the House of Bishops of the Province of Rwanda appointed replacements from among candidates nominated by the council. Unlike most other Anglican bodies, the AM does not have dioceses. The Board of Directors, with the Primatial Vicar as chairman, is charged with conducting the Mission's secular business. The Executive Director manages daily administrative affairs and heads the staff of the Mission Center.

The AMiA planted 268 churches during his first eleven years of existence, according to Bishop Chuck Murphy final address on 27 February 2013, but lost two thirds of them to other jurisdictions after their severe of relations with the Anglican Church of Rwanda, in December 2011. The number of remaining churches, according to him, was around 69. He expressed his belief that the AMiA should continue his work as a missionary society in North America.[14]

The number of AMiA churches currently given is 54, in 18 American states and 3 Canadian provinces.[15]

Status with regard to the Anglican Communion[edit]

The AMiA claim that it remained part of the worldwide Anglican Communion through the Province of Rwanda was recognized by many Anglican primates, including George Carey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury (head of the Anglican Communion) at the time of the formation of AMiA.

Archbishop Carey's comments from his final address to the Anglican Consultative Council in 2002 were:

I have been clear in my condemnation of the schism created by AMiA and the actions of those Primates and other bishops who consecrated the six bishops. Sadly, I see little sign of willingness on the part of some bishops in the Communion to play their part in discouraging teaching or action that leads some conscientious clergy to conclude that they have no option other than to leave us for AMiA.[16]

Many in the AM took issue with the above statements, holding that they were very much a part of the Anglican Communion through the oversight of the Church of the Province of Rwanda. Nonetheless, the AM was not formally in communion with the Church of England or recognized as being in communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion by any of its four instruments of communion. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams didn't invite any Anglican Mission bishop or representative to the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Bishops Consecrated by the Anglican Mission in the Americas[edit]

The following Bishops have been consecrated by Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini for the AMiA, from 2000 to 2009:

  • The Rt. Rev. Charles Hurt "Chuck" Murphy III;
  • The Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers, Jr. (both consecrated on January 29, 2000);
  • The Rt. Rev. Thaddeus Rockwell Barnum;
  • The Rt. Rev. Alexander "Sandy" Maury Greene;
  • The Rt. Rev. Thomas William Johnston, Jr.;
  • The Rt. Rev. Douglas Brooks Weiss (all consecrated on June 24, 2001);
  • The Rt. Rev. Terrell Lyles Glenn, Jr.;
  • The Rt. Rev. John Engle Miller III;
  • The Rt. Rev. Philip Hill Jones (all consecrated on January 26, 2008);
  • The Rt. Rev. Todd Dean Hunter;
  • The Rt. Rev. David "Doc" Loomis;
  • The Rt. Rev. Silas Tak Yin Ng (all consecrated on September 9, 2009).

See also[edit]


External links[edit]