Defying Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold of the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA), Anglican archbishops from Asia and Africa have ordained four former or current Episcopal priests as "missionary bishops" to the United States.

They are part of the fledgling but potentially schismatic Anglican Mission in America (AMIA). With theological liberals in control of the American church, conservatives say they are alienated and their perspectives are ignored by those in power. Leaders of AMIA say that ECUSA has strayed from its biblical and theological moorings.

The June 20 ceremony, attended by an international congregation of more than 1,100, was performed by Emmanuel Musabu Kolini, archbishop of the Episcopal Church in Rwanda, and Datak Yong Ping Chung, archbishop of the Anglican Church in South East Asia.

The four new bishops are Thomas William Johnston of Little Rock, Arkansas; Thaddeus Rockwell Barnum of Pawleys Island, South Carolina; Alexander Maury Greene of Denver; and Douglas Brooks Weiss of Campbell, California.

The three-hour ceremony at Colorado Community Church in Denver brings to six the number of AMIA missionary bishops in the United States. Eighteen months ago, Kolini and the previous archbishop of Singapore, Moses Tay, ordained Charles Murphy and John Rodgers (a CT corresponding editor) as bishops.

"We have become the mission field," Murphy told Religion Today. "In a bold reversal of the missionary actions of the last 500 years, the churches in Africa and Asia have undertaken a labor of love and courage to renew and revitalize the Anglican faith in America." The Anglican Mission in America has 75 clergy, 37 congregations, and approximately 8,000 members, across the United States. Johnston is already working with five other clergy in Missouri and Texas to begin new missions, and another congregation is developing in St. Louis.

Related Elsewhere

Both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Mission in America have official Web sites with information and background.

The Episcopal News Service covered the Episcopal Church reaction to the consecrations. Plus, the site has bios on the four new AmiA bishops.

Classical Anglican Net News regularly covers the AMiA from a more conservative perspective.

The Denver Post reported on the June 20 ceremony and on Alexander Maury Greene, the seventh Colorado priest to leave the diocese within a year. But Colorado Episcopal bishop Jerry Winterrowd isn't worried about the diocese.

Read some the testimonies of people who decided to leave the U.S. Episcopal Church.

Previous Christianity Today articles on this topic include:

Waging Peace | How two Episcopalians—one liberal, one conservative—have learned to say reconciliation. (July 6, 2001)

Identity-Based Conflicts | Father Brian Cox has preached reconciliation in Eastern Europe, Southern California, and now in his own denomination. (July 6, 2001)

Inside CT: Getting Personal | Behind Douglas LeBlanc's story of reconciliation in the Episcopal Church (July 6, 2001)

Conservative Anglicans Defy Episcopal Church | Anglican bishops from abroad launch U.S. ministry for Episcopal reform. (Oct. 5, 2000)

Intercontinental Ballistic Bishops? | Maverick conservatives gain a toehold among Episcopalians. (April 25, 2000)

Episcopal Church on Brink of Ecclesiastical Civil War Over Consecrations | (Feb. 2, 2000)

One Church, Two Faiths | Will the Episcopal Church survive the fight over homosexuality? (July 12, 1999)

Dying Church Bequeaths Sanctuary to Anglicans | (Sept. 7, 1998)

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