Orthodox Anglican Church
The Orthodox Anglican Church (OAC) is the American branch of the Orthodox Anglican Communion. Because of similarities in churchmanship and doctrine, it is usually considered to be part of the Continuing Anglican movement, although the church's origins predate the start of that movement and it was publicly critical of the Continuing Anglican churches when they were founded during the late 1970s.
This church was founded in 1963 as the "Anglican Orthodox Church." Its founders intended to establish a conservative, low church, alternative to the Episcopal Church. Episcopal polity with apostolic succession was maintained with the consecration of Bishop James Parker Dees by bishops of Eastern Orthodox and Old Catholic lineages. The church is enjoined by legal documents to refrain from use of the name Anglican Orthodox Church or of the name of Bishop Dees in in expressions of its history or theology.
In 1999, Bishop Dees' successor, Bishop Robert Godfrey, and a majority of the church's clergy met in committee and determined to align the church more closely with the Continuing Anglican churches in worship style. A name change was also approved. In opposition, lay leaders close to the founding bishop and a minority of the clergy subsequently negotiated a legal settlement to divide the church's property and form a new church with the original beliefs and name (Anglican Orthodox Church).
On April 30, 2000, Bishop Godfrey retired as Presiding Bishop in favor of his suffragan bishop, Scott Earle McLaughlin.
In 2005, the jurisdiction changed its name from the Episcopal Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America to the Orthodox Anglican Church.
Bishop Godfrey and Bishop McLaughlin were signatories to the Bartonville Agreement in 1999. In 2007, Bishop McLaughlin signed a Covenant of Intercommunion between the OAC and the Old Catholic Church in Slovakia, represented by the Most Revd Augustin Bacinsky. The Old Catholic Church of Slovakia had seceded from the Utrecht Union in 2004 because of the Union's approval of women's ordination and same-sex blessings.
On Ash Wednesday 2012, Archbishop McLaughlin announced his retirement and the nomination of the Creighton Jones of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to be his successor. That nomination was confirmed by the General Convention on June 9, 2012. Jones was consecrated as a bishop and enthroned as the Presiding Bishop and Metropolitan Archbishop on July 21, 2012, at the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In 2014, the church will celebrate 50 years as a jurisdiction of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and also mark the 50th anniversary of its incorporation in the state of North Carolina (March 6, 2014).
Cranmer Seminary, the theological educational institution of the church had been dedicated on September 19, 1971, and then incorporated in 1975. The school was renamed Saint Andrew's Theological College and Seminary in 2002. It is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Orthodox Anglican Church's offices are in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In 2013, it reported having 6 parishes or missions in affiliation. The Presiding Bishop of the American church, Creighton Jones, also serves as Metropolitan of the global Orthodox Anglican Communion.