Adult Ed – History of the Episcopal Church


Wednesdays, January 14, 21, and 28, 7:30 PM in the Library, see Directions & Campus Map


At the end of the Revolutionary War, Anglicans in the new United States had a problem.
No longer members of the Church of England, what would become of Anglican Christians?
The birth of a truly American church, the Protestant Episcopal Church in The United States
of America, the consecration of the first bishop, a new prayer book and church
Constitution, set American Anglicans on a path that diverged significantly from their elder
cousins in England.

The story of our church is fascinating. We will discuss Anglicanism in the colonies before
the Revolutionary War; the establishment of a uniquely American and democratic church
structure; missionary work during the western expansion; the effect of the Civil War on the
Episcopal Church; the role of African Americans and influence of immigrants on the church;
foreign mission work, and the emergence of a strong social gospel mentality.

The twentieth century brought new challenges and changes, culminating in the first “modern” prayer book in the Anglican Communion, and full inclusion of women in the ordained ministries in the church. The turn of the 21st century brought more changes; symbolized by the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, and theological tensions between “First and Second World” Anglicans and the “Global South.”

Our history is an unfinished story. How we got to where we are today tells us a lot about who we are and where we will go from here.


…for a time of learning, fellowship and exploration.

Slider image by Kristin Munday of the interior sanctuary – Trinity Wall Street (Episcopal Church) in NYC, originally founded in 1697. Click on the above link to learn more about its place in the history of the Episcopal Church.

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