OUR HISTORY

Founded December 2, 1873

The Reformed Episcopal Church was founded in what would become the geographical Diocese of Northeast & Mid-Atlantic by low-church Protestant Episcopalians.  Eight clergymen and 20 laymen established the Church in New York City in 1873.  The founding Bishop was George David Cummins who had resigned as the Assistant Bishop of Kentucky.

Bishop Cummins expressed his vision for the church’s founding in his letter of resignation,

I have an earnest hope and confidence that a basis for the union of all Evangelical Christendom can be found in a communion which shall retain or restore a primitive Episcopacy and a pure scriptural liturgy, with a fidelity to the doctrine of justification by faith only… 

The goal was to establish a church that would restore the old paths of evangelical and catholic Anglicanism. 

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Bishop George David Cummins (1822-1876)

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First church building: 551 Madison Avenue (1877-1920)

This Church holds the faith as once delivered to the saints and as transmitted through the Church of England; especially as articulated in her Reformation heritage, the range of her Anglican divines, and as deposited in the founding principles of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.  Furthermore, this Church receives Holy Scripture as the inspired Word of God. We affirm the three ancient creeds, commonly known as the Nicene, Apostles' and Creed of Athanasius, the dogmatic definitions of the first four ecumenical councils of the undivided church and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion in their 1801 form. 

 

From its humble beginnings, the church has grown within the United States and Canada and is divided into four geographical regions with each region governed by a Bishop Ordinary and a Standing Committee. These geographical regions (called Dioceses) are:

  • The Diocese of the Northeast & MidAtlantic with the
    Convocation of Eastern Canada

  • The Diocese of the Southeast

  • The Diocese of the Central States

  • The Diocese of Mid-America with the Convocation
    of the West & Western Canada

In addition, the Reformed Episcopal Church has three oversees Dioceses located in Croatia, Cuba, and Germany.

The Reformed Episcopal Church takes seriously her call and responsibility to train succeeding generations for ministry within the church.  Almost since her founding in 1873, the Church has had at least one theological seminary to fulfill this responsibility.  Currently, there are three theological institutions of the Church within the United States and two in Europe:

  • Reformed Episcopal Seminary (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Cummins Theological Seminary (Summerville, SC) 

  • Cranmer Theological House (Houston/Dallas, TX)

  • Michael Starin Theological Seminary (Croatia)

  • St. Benedict Theological Seminary (Germany)

The Reformed Episcopal Church is a sub-jurisdiction and founding member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).  The ACNA unites Anglicans in more than 1000 congregations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  On April 16, 2009 it was recognized as a province of the global Anglican Communion, by the Primates of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON).  In addition, the Church shares a common Episcopate with the Free Church of England, otherwise known as the Reformed Episcopal Church in England.

The Reformed Episcopal Church has remained faithful to the revealed Word of God, powerfully proclaiming the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ, and worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth using the time-honored Book of Common Prayer.  The REC100 initiative to plant 100 churches in the next 10 years will bring others into the fold of this worshipping community.

For more information about the Diocese of the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic and the Reformed Episcopal Church, please connect with us.

“God has brought the Reformed Episcopal Church into being for

the purpose of revivifying the Anglican Communion.”

 

- The Rev. Joseph Dawson Wilson
7th General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church
1879