Diocese of the Southeast

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Diocese of Southeast
Ecclesiastical province Anglican Church in North America
Parishes 32
Members 2500
Rite Anglican
Current leadership
Bishop Alphonza Gadsden
Diocese of the Southeast Official Website

The Diocese of the Southeast is a Reformed Episcopal Church diocese and as such an Anglican Church in North America founding diocese. The diocese comprises 32 parishes, 30 in South Carolina and 2 in Georgia, in the United States. Its headquarters are located in Summerville, South Carolina. The current Bishop Ordinary is Alphonza Gadsden and the Bishop Suffragan was William White, who become Bishop Coadjutor on 10 January 2014.


The Diocese of the Southeast, previously the Missionary Jurisdiction of the South, origin goes back to 1865, on the aftermath of the Civil War, with the work of Peter Fayssoux Stevens, a former Confederate colonel, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He reunited former parishioners and many black freedmen and started working for the establishment of a new church for the coloured people, that would be Immanuel Church, in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Four years later, he already had organized three large congregations of freedmen.

In December 1874, in a convention held in Pinopolis, with members of four parishes, after the rejection of four black men from the ministry by the Protestant Episcopal Church, it was decided to leave the Diocese of South Carolina and to seek membership with the newly created Reformed Episcopal Church. In the same convention, Frank Crawford Ferguson was elected President and wrote to the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church, George Cummins. In June 1875, he received a letter by Benjamin Johnson, explaining that he had been sent by the General Council of the REC to receive all the black people willing to join the denomination.[1] The new body would be the Missionary Jurisdiction of the South, named Diocese of the Southeast when the division into dioceses was adopted in 1984.

The diocese was a founding jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America, as part of the Reformed Episcopal Church, in 2009.

The Diocese of the Southeast is the home of the Cummins Theological Seminary, in Summerville, South Carolina.


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