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Transcript of African Orthodox
Latin Old Roman Catholic Church of Flanders © 2006 – 2008 Right Rev. Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th., D.D. (Belgium)
African Orthodox Church
Its General History
Compiled by Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster, B.Th., DD.
Publishers Eucharist and Devotion © 1993 – 2008 Right Rev. Philippe L. De Coster
The African Orthodox Church
“In Tenebris Lumen”
The African Orthodox Church 1 is a primarily African-American Church in the Anglican tradition, founded in the United States in 1919. It has approximately 15 parishes and 5,000 members. Faith and Order Summarised The AOC holds to the historic three-fold ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons, and lays strong emphasis on apostolic succession. The church celebrates the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. Its worship is liturgical, blending elements of Eastern and Western rites. The Nicene, Apostles', and Athanasian creeds are affirmed.2
Archbishop Joseph René Vilatte Brief History The African Orthodox Church (AOC) was founded in the belief that black Episcopalians should have a denomination of their own. Episcopal rector George Alexander McGuire was
1 Arthur C. Thompson's The History of the African Orthodox Church (1956), Byron Rushing's A Note on the Origin of the African Orthodox Church (JNH, Jan. 1972), and Gavin White's Patriarch McGuire and the Episcopal Church. 2 Mead, Frank S., Handbook of Denominations in the United States, 10th edition, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995, pp. 128-129.
consecrated a bishop on September 28th, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, by Archbishop Joseph Rene Vilatte, assisted by Bishop Carl A. Nybladh who had been consecrated by Vilatte. This placed Bishop McGuire in apostolic succession, which was something he had greatly desired.3
The new denomination was originally called the Independent Episcopal Church, but at its first Conclave, or House of Bishops, meeting on September 10, 1924, the denomination was formally organized as the African Orthodox Church. Bishop McGuire was unanimously elected Archbishop and enthroned with the title of "Archbishop Alexander".
McGuire served for several years as Chaplain of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA), founded and led by Marcus Garvey. When Garvey decided in 1924 to relocate UNIA headquarters to the West Indies, McGuire left the UNIA and began to devote himself to the development and extension of his church. Soon Endick Theological Seminary was founded, as well as an order of deaconesses, and the Negro Churchman magazine began publication, with McGuire as its editor.
The African Orthodox church originally attracted mostly Anglican West Indian immigrants. It spread to the South in 1925 when McGuire started a parish in West Palm Beach, Florida. Two years later he consecrated an African as Metropolitan William Daniel Alexander of South Africa and central and southern Africa. At this time McGuire was elected as Patriarch with the title of Alexander I. The church then spread to Uganda where it grew to about 10,000. Its greatest strength, however, was in New York City where on Nov 8, 1931, McGuire dedicated Holy Cross Pro-Cathedral, a remodeled house purchased by McGuire from funds obtained by mortgaging his own home.
McGuire died on November 10 1934. He was survived by his wife, Ada Robert McGuire, a native of Antigua, and a daughter. At the time of his death the church had about 30,000 members, about fifty clergy, and thirty churches located in the United States, Africa, Cuba, Antigua and Venezuela.
The Apostolic Succession of the First Bishop of the African Orthodox Church
Believing that Blacks should have a Church of their own, a PECUSA priest (the Rev'd Dr. George Alexander McGuire, an immigrant from the West Indies), withdrew from that jurisdiction to establish independent Black congregations in the United States. This new movement was first called the Independent Episcopal Church, but a few years later (on 2 September 1921) in The Church of the Good Shepherd in New York City the name was changed to "The African Orthodox Church." This meeting became the first General Synod of the new jurisdiction, which also elected Fr. McGuire as its first Bishop.
Negotiations were immediately initiated with The Russian Orthodox Church in America in order to obtain valid Apostolic Orders for the newly elected Bishop. With the un-canonical actions of other national Orthodox groups in the United States, taking advantage of the confusion and disorganization caused by the Communist Revolution in Russia, the Russians 3 Mead, Frank S., Handbook of Denominations in the United States, 10th edition, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995, pp. 128-129.
were hesitant to assist the formation of yet another "independent" jurisdiction. They made it clear that they were willing to talk, but in the end they intended to fully control this Black jurisdiction.
Such an arrangement was totally unacceptable to Fr. McGuire and the other leaders of this new jurisdiction. Other Orthodox groups in the U.S.A. expressed the same willingness and intent as the Russians, however. The African Orthodox Church finally entered into negotiations with Archbishop Joseph Rene Vilatte and The American Catholic Church.
Bishop-elect George Alexander McGuire was finally consecrated on 28 September 1921 by Archbishop Vilatte (who took his episcopal orders from the West Syrian Church of Antioch) and Bishop Carl A. Nybladh (of The Swedish Orthodox Church) in The Church of Our Lady of Good Death in Chicago, Illinois.
The African Orthodox Church lays strong emphasis upon the Apostolic Succession, a valid priesthood and upon the historic Mysteries and Rites of The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It holds the original seven Sacraments of the Western Church; its worship is a blending of Western and Eastern liturgies and it espouses the three traditional and historic Catholic Creeds (i.e., Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian)..
Polity is, of course, Episcopal; bishops are in charge of dioceses or jurisdictions. Groups of dioceses form a Province, which is led by an Archbishop. The Primate Archbishop Metropolitan is general overseer of all the work of the Church, which now extends over the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Union of South Africa. All baptized are considered members of the Church.
Antioch Orthodox Succession Table of succession of the Patriarchate of Antioch showing its western development. This patriarchate has never ceased to elect and consecrate her own Patriarch and has preserved the Apostolic Succession unbroken. It was the first Gentile Church founded by St. Peter in 35 A.D. according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and it was here that the followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians. Name of the Patriarch from: 1. Peter the Apostle 35 A.D. 2. Eyodius 44 3. Ignatius (Martyr) 68 4. Earon 107 5. Cornelius 137 6. Eados 142 7. Theophilus 157 8. Maximus 171 9. Seraphim 179 10. Asclepiades (Martyr) 189 11. Philip 210 12. Zebinus 219 13. Babylos (Martyr) 237
14. F'abius 250 15. Demeirius 251 16. Paul I 259 17. Domnus I 270 18. Timotheus 281 19. Cyrilus 291 20. Tyrantus 296 21. Vitalius 301 22. Philogonius 318 23. Eustachius 323 24. Paulinus 338 25. Philabianus 383 26. Evagrius 386 27. Phosporius 416 28. Alexander 418 29. John I 428 30. Theodotus 431 31. Domnus II 442 32. Maximus 450 33. Accacius 454 34. Martyrius 457 35. Peter II 464 36. Phiadius 500 37. Serverius the Great 509 38. Sergius 544 39. Domnus III 547 40. Anastasius 560 41. Gregory I 564 42. Paul II 567 43. Patra 571 44. Domnus IV 586 45. Julianus 591 46. Athanasius I 595 47. John II 636 48. Theodorus I 649 49. Severus 668 50. Athanasius II 684 51. Julianus II 687 52. Elias I 709 53. Athanasius III 724 54. Evanius I 740 55. Gervasius I 759 56. Joseph 790 57. Cyriacus 793 58. Dionsius I 818 59. John III 847 60. Ignatius II 877 61. Theodosius 887 62. Dinousius II 897 63. John IV 910
64. Evanius 922 65. John V 936 66. Evanius II 954 67. Dionysius 958 68. Abraham I 962 69. John VI 965 70. Athanasius IV 987 71. John VII 1004 72. Dionysius III 1032 73. Theodorus II 1042 74. Athanasius V 1058 75. John VII 1064 76. Basilius II 1074 77. Abdoone 1076 78. Dionysius V 1077 79. Evanius III 1080 80. Dionysius VI 1088 81. Athanasias VI 1091 82. John IX 1131 83. Athanasius VI 1139 84. Michael I (the Great) 1167 85. Athanasius VIII 1200 86. Michael II 1207 87. JohnX 1208 88. Ignatius III 1223 89. Dionysius VII 1253 90. John XI 1253 91. Ignatius IV 1264 92. Philanus 1283 93. Ignatius Baruhid 1293 94. Ignatius Ishmael 1333 95. Ignatius Basilius III 1366 96. Ignatius Abraham II 1382 97. Ignatius Basilius IV 1412 98. Ignatius Bahanam I 1415 99. Ignatius l~aIejih 1455 100. Ignatius John XII 1483 101. Ignatius Noah 1492 102. Ignatius Jesus I 1509 103. Ignatius Jacob I 1510 104. Ignatius David I 1519 105. Ignatius Abdullah 1520 106. Ignatius Naamathalak 1557 107. Ignatius David II 1576 108. Ignatius Philathus 1591 109. Ignatius Abdullah II 1597 110. Ignatius Cadhal 1598 111. Ignatius Simeon 1640 112. Ignatius Jesus II 1653
113. Ignatius A. Massiah I 1661 114. Ignatius Cabeed 1686 115. Ignatius Gervasius III 1687 116. Ignatius Gervasius IV 1708 117. Ignatius Siccarablak 1722 118. Ignatius Qervasius III 1746 119. Ignatius Gervasius IV 1768 120. Ignatius Mathias 1781 121. Ignatius Bahanam II 1810 122. Ignatius Jonas 1817 123. Ignatius Gervasius V 1818 124. Ignatius Elias II 1839 125. Ignatius Jacob II 1847 126. Ignatius Peter III 1872
1. Ignatius Peter III, Patriarch of Antioch and the East, assisted by two other bishops, 1877, consecrated Paul Athanasius.
2. PAUL Athanasius, assisted by Bishop Gregorius and Paul Evanius, 1889, consecrated Archbishop ALVAREZ.
3. Archbishop ALVAREZ of Ceylon, in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Death, assisted by Bishop George Gregorius and Bishop Paul Athanasius, by Bull issued by Patriarch IGNATIUS PETER III of Antioch, consecrated ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH RENE VILATTE, MAY 29, 1892.
4. ARCHBISHOP VILATTE, Exarch and Metropolitan of the American Catholic Church4, assisted by Bishop Carl A. Nydbladh, Primate of the Swedish American
4 The Apostolic Succession of Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster as from the American Catholic Church: Archbishop Joseph René Vilatte American Catholic Church, consecrates December 29, 1915 in Chicago: Frederick-Ebenezer J. Lloyd, Bishop of Illinois, succeeded Archbishop Joseph René Vilatte, as Primate of the American Catholic Church (non-papal), and consecrated September 29, 1929: Harold-Percival Nicholson, who consecrated on April 14, 1952: Philip Charles Stuart Singer, who consecrates on November 14, 1954: Charles E. Brearley, who consecrated on May 14, 1968: André Barbeau, who consecrated on July 31, 1973: Joseph Paul Fernand Dupuis (Victor Solis II), who on November 6, 1973, consecrates “under condition” (sub conditione), at Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer (France): Roger Caro (Pierre Phoebus, later called also Stephanos), who consecrates on June 7, 1974: Philippe Laurent De Coster (Philippus-Laurentius), Archbishop of the Latin Old Roman Catholic Church of Flanders (non-papal). (See, “Successions Apostoliques Oecuméniques de Monseigneur Philippe Laurent De Coster, B.Th., D.D.)
Apostolic Succession from The Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch
As from France
Moran Mar Ignatius Yacob II (Ighnatiyus Ya'qub II), Patriarch of Antioch and All The East, consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate: Joseph Mar Dionysios V (Joseph Pulikottil, 1832 - 7/11/1909), as Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church on 12 February 1865 in Omeed (Deyarbekir), Turkey. He took the ecclesiastical name of Joseph Mar Dionysios V. Mar Dionysios consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate: Mar Julius I (Antonio Francisco Xavier Alvarez, 1837-1923), in the chapel of the Syrian seminary in Kottayam as Archbishop of Ceylon, Goa and India on 29 July 1889, assisted by Paulose Mar Athanasius (Paulose Kadavil Kooran), Paulose Mar Ivanios (Paulose Murimatton), and Geevarghese Mar Gregorios (Geevarghese Pallathitta Chaturuthil), all Bishops of The Malankar Orthodox Syrian Church. He took the ecclesiastical name of Mar Julius I. Mar Julius consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate: Mar Timotheus I (Joseph Rene Vilatte, 1/24/1854 - 7/8/1929), in Ceylon (nor Sri Lanka) as Archbishop-Exarch of North America for The American Catholic Church on 29 May 1892, assisted by Paulose Mar Athanasius (Paulose Kadavil Kooran) and Geevarghese Mar Gregorios (Geevarghese Pallathitta Chaturuthil), Bishops of The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, in accordance with the Patriarchal Bull of Moran Mor Ignatius Peter III dated 29 December 1891 at Mardin. Mar Timotheus I consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate: Paul Miraglia Gulotti, from the Catholic Italian Church, who consecrates December 4, 1904: Jules Houssaye (l’Abbé Julio), Archbishop of the Catholic French Church (Gallican), who in Geneva (Switzerland), consecrates on June 21, 1911: Louis François Giraud, Patriarch of the Gallican Catholic Church, who consecrates on July 21, 1913: Jean Bricaud (Tau Jean II), who consecrates May 5, 1918: Victor Blanchard (Tau Targelius), who consecrates January 7, 1945: Roger Menard (Tau EON II), who consecrates on June 10, 1946: Robert Ambelain (Tau Robert-Jean III), who consecrates May 31, 1959: Roger Deschamps (Tau Jean Rudiger), who consecrates June 1, 1963: Armand Toussaint (Tau Raymond Panagion), who consecrates June 10, 1972: Roger Caro (Pierre Phoebus, later Stephanos), who consecrates June 7, 1974, assisted by the co-consecrators Jean-Paul Charlet (Jethro), and Maurice Auberger (Theophoreonai), and all bishops present at the Synod same day (see “Apostolic Successions” on PDF on this website):
Church (himself consecrated by Archbishop Vilatte) consecrated Bishop George Alexander McGuire, Primate of The African Orthodox Church, on September 28th, 1921, in the Church of Our Lady of Good death in Chicago, Illinois:
5. Bishop George Alexander McGuire (03/26/1866 - 11/10/1934) as Bishop of The African Orthodox Church in The Church of Our Lady of Good Death in Chicago, Illinois. Bp. McGuire becoming Primate in 1924 and taking the title of Patriarch Alexander I. Bishop McGuire, assisted by Bp. Frederick Ebenezer John Lloyd (Primate of The American Catholic Church), consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate:
6. Bishop William Ernest James Robertson (02/29/1875 - 1962) as Bishop of The African Orthodox Church in The Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd in New York City on 18 November 1923. Bp. Robertson became Primate of The African Orthodox Church in 1934 and took the title of Mar James I. Bishop Robertson, assisted by Abp. Richard Grant Robinson (Abp. of Philadelphia), Bp. Clement John Cyril Sherwood, Bp. Collins Gordon Wolcott, and four other Bishops, consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate:
7. Bishop William Russell Miller (03/02/1900 - ?) as Bishop of The African Orthodox Church on 6 August 1950 and as African Orthodox Rector in Brooklyn, N.Y. Bp. Miller became Primate of The African Orthodox Church in 1976. Ptr. Miller, assisted by Bp. George. Duncan Hinkson, consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate:
8. Bishop Richard Thomas McFarland as Bishop of The African Orthodox Church on 31 October 1976. Bp. McFarland, assisted by Bp. Leonard J. Curreri (Tridentine Catholic Church), consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate:
9. Bishop Peter Paul Brennan as Bishop in Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church, Long Island, N.Y. on 10 June 1978. Bishop Peter Paul Brennan consecrated at the Holy Angels Chapel in Glendale, California, March 14, 1987 the two following bishops:
10. Bishop Ernest Forest Barber, and Bishop Paul, Christian Schultz G.W. Jr. It was a mutual consecration of five bishops. Bishop Peter Paul Brennan was the first consecrated, and then Bishop Paul, Christian Schultz G.W. Jr., followed by Bishop Ernest Barber, Bishop Daniel Nelson McCarty, and Bishop Jürgen Bless.
11. Archbishop Nils, Bertil Alexander Persson was consecrated sub conditione on June 14, 1987, by Forest Ernest Barber of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church in the Philippines, assisted by Emile Federico Rodrigues y Fairfield and Paul G.W. Schultz.
12. Archbishop Nils, Bertil Alexander Persson, with co-consecrators, Bishops Hans Dieter Sauerlandt, and George Boyer, June 25, 1995:
13. Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster, of the Latin Old Roman Catholic Church of Flanders (Non-Papal).
Philippe Laurent De Coster (Philippus-Laurentius), Archbishop of the Latin Old Roman Catholic Church of Flanders (non-papal). To obtain all other Apostolic Lines of Roger Caro, because of his many re-consecrations in France and Canada (André Barbeau through Joseph Paul Fernand Dupuis (Victor Solis II); André Barbeau through Georges Bellemare; Robert Schuyler Zeiger through Rainer Laufers and George Bellemare, etc.), he was consecrated a second time by Roger Caro, together with same co-consecrators and bishops present at Synod on June 30, 1979; and, on June 25, 1995 by Nils Bertil Persson and co-consecrators Hans D. Sauerlandt and George Boyer in London (UK).
The American Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Succession (Walter Myron Propheta)
Through the African Orthodox Church (George Alexander McGuire).
14. Ignatius Peter III, Patriarch of Antioch and the East, assisted by two other bishops, 1877, consecrated Paul Athanasius.
15. PAUL Athanasius, assisted by Bishop Gregorius and Paul Evanius, 1889, consecrated Archbishop ALVAREZ.
16. Archbishop ALVAREZ of Ceylon, in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Death, assisted by Bishop George Gregorius and Bishop Paul Athanasius, by Bull issued by Patriarch IGNATIUS PETER III of Antioch, consecrated ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH RENE VILATTE, MAY 29, 1892.
17. ARCHBISHOP VILATTE, Exarch and Metropolitan of the American Catholic Church, assisted by Bishop Carl A. Nydbladh, Primate of the Swedish American Church (himself consecrated by Archbishop Vilatte) consecrated Bishop George Alexander McGuire, Primate of The African Orthodox Church, on September 28th, 1921, in the Church of Our Lady of Good death in Chicago, Illinois:
18. Bishop George Alexander McGuire (03/26/1866 - 11/10/1934) as Bishop of The African Orthodox Church in The Church of Our Lady of Good Death in Chicago, Illinois. Bp. McGuire becoming Primate in 1924 and taking the title of Patriarch Alexander I. Bishop McGuire, assisted by Edmund Robert Bennett and Harry Frederick van Trump, consecrated “sub conditione” on May 18, 1932.
19. Bishop John Cyril Sherwood.5 Bishop Joseph Klimovicz of the American Holy Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church, assisted by Peter A. Zhurawetsky, Jozef Zielonka, and John Cyril Sherwood6 of the African Orthodox Church, consecrated on June 2, 1951 in Springfield, Massachusetts:
20. Bishop Joachim, on October 3, 1964, assisted by Bishops Peter Zhurawetsky and Theodotus DeWitow, consecrated Bishop Walter Myron Propheta
21. Bishop Walter Myron Propheta (Patriarch Woldymyr I), elected on March 21, 1971, and consecrated the same year 1971, assisted by Bishops John Christian Chiasson, Lawrence Pierre, and James Rogers, Bishop La Von Miguel Haithman (Gabre Mikael Kristos).
22. Bishop La Von Miguel Haithman (Gabre Mikael Kristos), on November 18, 1972, assisted by Bishops Francis Ryan, James Edward Burns, and Anthony Everhart, consecrated Bishop Jeremiah David Worley.
23. Bishop Jeremiah David Worley (Gabre Kristos Medhim Jeremiah), on March 13, 2004 and with Bishop Michael Frost, consecrated Bishop Mark Pultorak, (+Samuel)
5 Bishop Clement Sherwood was First consecrated in St.Peter’s Chapel, New York City, on May 18, 1930, by William F. Tyarks of the African Orthodox Church. Bishop Sherwoord took the title of Clement 1. Bishop McGuire, assisted by Edmund Robert Bennett and Harry Frederick van Trump, consecrated “sub conditione” on May 18, 1932. For the rest of his life he considered the last consecration as the true one. 6 An assistant bishop, acting as co-consecrator, lays on hands, and therefore transmits its own lineage(s).
Bishop La Von Miguel Haithman (Gabre Mikael Kristos) of the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church of North and South America, assisted by Bishops Jeremiah David Worley (Gabre Kristos Medhim Jeremiah) and Lennard Lares (Abba Marcos Kristos), consecrated on February 16, 1982, Philip Lewis. He was assigned as Metropolitan-Archbishop of Great Britain, Canada, Guyana, and other Missionary Dependencies.
Archbishop Philip Lewis consecrated under condition (sub conditione) October 13, 1990, Archbishop Nils Bertil Persson, Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Universal Church (the Apostolic Episcopal Church Worldwide).
Archbishop Nils Bertil Alexander Persson, who consecrated on June 25, 1995 in London (UK), with co-consecrators, Bishops Hans Dieter Sauerlandt, and George Boyer:
Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster, of the Latin Old Roman Catholic Church of Flanders.
His Beatitude Patriarch George Alexander McGuire, Primate of “The African Orthodox Church”.
The African Orthodox Church was founded in South Africa in 1924 by priests from the independent African Church. These priests were dissatisfied with the administration of the African Church and believed that they could establish and run an independent church for Black Christians that would be more responsive to their own needs and to the needs of their parishioners. One of the priests in this group was Daniel William Alexander whose leadership abilities were recognized by the others. At the very same meeting in which the priests decided to resign from the African Church and to form their own independent church, they also elected Alexander to the position of bishop.
Alexander was born in South Africa on December 23, 1882. His mother is believed to have been a native South African and his father is known to have emigrated to South Africa from the West Indies. Alexander was baptized in the Anglican Church of the Province of South Africa and according to his own account of his life, he attended Roman Catholic schools until 1895. Shortly before the Anglo-Boer War broke out Alexander married Maria Horsely. During the war Alexander was commandeered into service and Maria died in his absence. At the war's end he took up service in the Church of the Province of South Africa and later in the Ethiopian Catholic Church in Zion before joining the African Church. Although it appears
that Alexander's formal education ended at the age of thirteen he was quite literate. It was supposedly he who read of the African Orthodox Church in America and brought news of its existence to the attention of his colleagues.
The church in America of which Alexander had read had been established in 1921 by George Alexander McGuire. McGuire was an emigrant to the United States from Antigua and served as a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church until 1918. McGuire's experience in the Episcopal Church had been tainted with incidents of discrimination against himself and his fellow Black clergy. He severed his ties with the Church and decided that only in a denomination of Blacks with a Black administration would equality and spiritual freedom be attained. McGuire's search for Black equality led him to Marcus Garvey and to Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. Garvey reinforced McGuire's notion of a Black denomination and once McGuire founded the African Orthodox Church, Garvey used his periodical entitled the Nero World to disseminate the news throughout Africa. The periodical also carried the story of McGuire's consecration by a white man named Joseph Rene Vilatte. Vilatte's religious background and consecration were dubious but his credentials satisfied McGuire and strongly impressed the priests in Africa. They wrote to McGuire requesting permission to affiliate with the African Orthodox Church and to send their bishop to be consecrated by McGuire.
McGuire's response to the South Africans' proposals was a request for information on the group and the church that they were forming. They were asked to send their statement of faith and their divine liturgy in addition to the credentials of the clergy. After review and some negotiation Alexander was invited to America. He sailed to America in 1927 and on September 11 he was consecrated by McGuire in Boston.
Alexander returned to Kimberly and to his parish after his consecration. His church, St. Augustine of Hippo, became the center of African Orthodox activity in South Africa. From this base Alexander travelled all over South Africa and set up parishes wherever he found interest. His missionary activities also took him into countries outside of South Africa such as Kenya, Uganda and Rhodesia where he trained priests and baptized communicants. Back in Kimberley he organized a seminary to educate his priests and annual synod meetings to discuss church business. All the while Alexander continued to correspond with McGuire in America until a letter arrived in 1935 informing him of McGuire's death.
After McGuire's death and the election of a new patriarch in America, the relationship between the South African and the American churches continued to be amicable. The turning point came however, in 1960 after a delegation from America visited Alexander and his church in South Africa. The members of the delegation which included Patriarch James I were invited to South Africa by Alexander. At the age of 78 he no doubt feared for the survival of his church after his death. The African Orthodox Church needed a consecrated bishop and he had agreed after his own consecration by McGuire that only the Patriarch could perform a consecration. The presence of Patriarch James I was necessary if his two bishop-elects, Ice Walter Mbina and Surgeon L. Motsepe, were to assume their duties and lead his church after his death.
While the consecrations were performed without incident, the Patriarch's visit proved to be a disaster for Alexander. In order to usurp Alexander's leadership Mbina and Motsepe enumerated his mistakes and shortcomings to the Patriarch. Convinced that Alexander was inept, James I ordered him to resign his position as archbishop in favor of the two newly
consecrated bishops. Alexander found this interference by the Patriarch intolerable and refused to relinquish leadership. He maintained that he and McGuire had agreed that the American church only had power over the African church in spiritual and not in temporal matters. The Patriarch was infuriated by Alexander's refusal to relinquish his leadership and both sides turned to legal counsel. Before the matter could be resolved both James I and Motsepe died. Alexander was reconciled by the new patriarch, Peter IV, and agreed to submit to Mbina.
It is uncertain whether Alexander's submission was intended to give him time to rally his supporters or whether he simply changed his mind after his reconciliation. What is clear is that in 1963 Alexander broke away from Mbina and the American African Orthodox Church. With his supporters he formalized the autonomy that he believed McGuire had intended for the African church by naming his body the African Orthodox Church of the Republic of South Africa and by becoming its patriarch. Correspondence with Mbina ended in 1963 and no further evidence of the survival of his church is contained in the collection.
Alexander died in May 1970 at the age of 88. He remained the Patriarch of the African Orthodox Church of the Republic of South Africa until his death although leadership of the church was shared with his godson Daniel Kanyiles during the last few years. Kanyiles assumed the title of Patriarch James II after Alexander's death.
The Government of THE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH is HIERARCHICAL. The polity of the A.O.C. conforms to that of all Churches which regard Episcopacy as the central source of authority in matters spiritual and temporal. The Bishop is the head of his Diocese of Jurisdiction, functioning also as president of his Diocesan Synod. Groups of Dioceses form a Province, over each of which there is an Archbishop and Primate, who presides over the Provincial Synod. At the head of the entire Church including all Provinces is the PATRIARH, who presides over the Pan-African Conclave of Archbishops and Bishops and is the acknowledged rule of the A.O.C. throughout the world.
The Doctrine7 of the A.O.C., in common with all Orthodox, Eastern Churches, accepts the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God, the Holy Traditions and the Dogmatic Decisions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The Holy Scriptures being interpreted in accordance with the teachings of the Apostles, the Holy Fathers and the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils.
The A.O.C accepts further, the Niceo-Constantinopolitan Creed, without the ‘Filioque’ as the authoritative and binding symbol of Faith. They also believe the other two symbols known as the Apostles Creed and the Creed of St. Athanasius.
The A.O.C believes, acknowledge and recognise Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ as the SOLE HEAD of the Christian and Catholic Church.
7 The Latin Old Roman Catholic Church of Flanders (Belgium), headed by Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster, B.Th., D.D., Secular Oblate of Saint Benedictine (Jurisdiction Saint Peter Abbey, Steenbrugge, Bruges, under late Dom Livien Biebuyck, Prior.)
The A.O.C in the infallibility of the ECCLESIA.
The A.O.C believes that the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, The Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Father alone.
The A.O.C. honours the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Theotokos” (Mother of God). Believe in the Three Hierarchies and Nine Choirs of Angels and ALL the Holy Saints of GOD.
The A.O.C. reverences the relics of the Holy Saints of God, the icons or pictures of Holy Subjects.
The A.O.C. believes and accepts Seven Sacraments, viz. – Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Holy Matrimony, Penance and holy Unction.
The A.O.C. holds the true doctrine of Transubstantiation to be THE REAL PRESENCE.
The A.O.C. holds that belief in the ‘Communion of Saints’ requiring praying for the dead as well as for the living.
The A.O.C. rejects the false doctrine of Predestination and believes for Justification both Faith and Works are necessary.
The central act of worship is the celebration of THE DIVINE LITURGY (Holy Eucharist/Holy Mass) and it is OBLIGATORY.
The A.O.C. believes in both a PARTICULAR and a GENERAL JUDGMENT.
The Archives of the A.O.C.
The archives8 of the African Orthodox Church (1880-1974) can also be considered the papers of Archbishop Daniel William Alexander. Practically all of the correspondence was either sent or received by Alexander and a large amount of the other manuscript material is in his handwriting. For fifty-one years the African Orthodox Church was at the centre of Alexander's life. His wives headed the women's guild, his son and grandson were priests in the Church and many of the organizations that he belonged to were church-related. In spite of this, an effort has been made to separate the things that document the life of Alexander, such as family records, diaries, newspaper clippings and memorabilia, from the things that document the history of the church. The researcher will find that there are many "gray area" items such as Vilatte's memorandum of congratulations and the travelogue recounting Alexander's trip to the United States for consecration. Because of items such as these, the personal papers of Alexander have been treated as a part of the Church's archives and not as a separate collection.
The records have been divided into thirteen series. These are Personal Papers of Daniel William Alexander; Constitution and Divine Liturgy; Histories; Synod Records; Correspondence; Educational Records; Clergy Records; Local Church Records; Confirmation, Baptism and Marriage Records; Financial Records; Miscellaneous Material; Bound Printed Material; and Unbound Printed Material.
8 Last Modified: 2007 July 18
Series one, Personal Papers of Daniel William Alexander, includes the family records of Alexander (1880-1868); records of organizations he belonged to (1919-1963); financial records (1940-1970); diaries and travelogues (1927-1937); published and unpublished works (1931-1966); personal correspondence (1927-1970); newspaper clippings (1933-1964); and miscellaneous personal papers (1902-1970).
The second series includes the Constitution and Divine Liturgy of the Church (1921-1950). Series three includes Histories of or related to the African Orthodox Church (1924-1949). Included in the fourth series, Synod Records, are minutes of quarterly conferences and other meetings held between synods (1924-1948); synod minutes (1925-1961); and other synod materials (1928-1931, 1934-1935, 1938, 1941, 1944-1952, 1956, 1958-1960 and 1963-1969).
In the fifth series, Correspondence, are registers used to record letters sent and received (1948, 1950-1955, 1957-1965 and 1967); correspondence with African Orthodox Church members in Africa (1924-1963); correspondence with non-African Orthodox members in America (1924-1964); government correspondence (1924-1963); correspondence with businessmen (1926-1969); and miscellaneous correspondence (1928-1959).
Series six, Education Records, includes records from St. Augustine of Hippo Seminary (1951-1956); and the examination papers of Daniel Kanyiles while at St. Augustine (1962). Also included are the records of students tutored by Ice Walter Mbina at Holy Cross (1957). The seventh series contains Clergy Records. Included is a list of vicar generals, archdeacons and catechists (1943); a bound volume containing short biographies (undated); pastoral credentials (alphabetical); oaths of obedience (alphabetical); applications for admission (alphabetical); and government approval of clergy as marriage officers (alphabetical).
Local Church Records are contained is series eight. Included are the records of St. Augustine African Church (1921-1925); St. Augustine of Hippo (1923-1970); the African Orthodox Church in Mafeteng (1947-1948); the African Orthodox Church in Schweize Reneke (1943-1945); St. Cyprian, Queenstown (1949); St. James, Capetown (1954); St. Joseph (1930, 1933); St. Mary Magdalene, Delareyville (1968); and St. Peter, East London (1959-1960). In addition to these are the statistics of the churches (1940-1967). Series nine contains Confirmation, Baptism and Marriage Records including confirmations (1934-1960); baptisms (1917-1958); and marriages (1917-1970).
The tenth series consists of Financial Records and includes documentation of the sale and purchase of property (1940-1963); receipts from construction of St. Augustine (1926, 1967-1969); other receipts (1905-1969); and income and expenditures (1925-1926, 1931-1933).
The eleventh series, Miscellaneous Material, consists of records of the Crusader's League (1958); the Guild of St. Monica (1926-1969); The African United Church (1929); the record book of the Star of Africa Temple (1926); and miscellaneous African Orthodox Church archives including blank forms (1922-1955).
The twelfth series contains Bound Printed Material found with the archives including the Marriage Lawbook (1942); the North African Church (1880); Amaculo Echurch: Zulu Hymn Book (1956); Nyimbo Cia Kunira Ngai: A Book of Hymns in the Kikuyu Language (1935); All of Grace (1892); The Catholic Christian Instructed (1917); Bishop Crowther's Experiences in West Africa (1930); and the periodical The Negro Churchman (1923-1931).
The items contained in series thirteen are Unbound Printed Material. Religious material included in this series is scattered issues of the African Orthodox Churchman (1929, 1930, 1938, 1939, 1945, 1946 and 1948); Umkhuseli: The African Orthodox Defender (1954); The Bystander (1927); the Emancipator (1940); catechisms in different African languages (undated); printed material on apostolic succession (1946 and 1974); synod material (9133-1958); special service programs (1927-1960); notices of clergy deaths (1946-1958); St. Augustine weekly notices (1928); appeal for financial support (1945); twenty-fifth anniversary program of the African Orthodox Church in America (1946); twenty-fifth anniversary program of Holy Cross Cathedral (1952); and miscellaneous African Orthodox Church material (1935-1951). Other religious material includes items from non-African Orthodox Churches in South Africa such as the Anglican Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, Congregational Union of South Africa, the Ebenezer Congregational Church, the Ethiopian Catholic Church in Zion, The Methodist Church and the Kikuyu Independent Schools. There are also Kikuyu tracts, a Moslem publication, pamphlets of the Church Historical Society and miscellaneous printed religious material (1923-1967). The secular material in the series includes a pamphlet called The Awakening of a People (1950); and secular printed material on race relations (1924-1952).
Oversized material from several series have been combined in one box. Box 19 consists of printed calendars (1942-1948, 1955); blank diplomas of the African Orthodox Church (undated); two editions of the newspaper Abantu Batho (1929); the certificate of election of Patriarch Kanyiles (1972); and the certificate of consecration of Daniel William Alexander.
The archives cover a very broad scope of topics and document many different aspects of the organization and history of the African Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, many of the series contain only scattered items that do not paint complete pictures. For example, it will be impossible to accurately ascertain the financial position of the Church using only this collection. Another example is the archives of the local churches. These records provide evidence on the actual size and geographic locations of the parishes but one cannot seriously discuss the everyday workings of these parishes. Still another example is the series that contains the records of the clergy. The records in this series provide evidence of the progress of a member once he had attained a minor order but it provides little on that clergyman's prior experience or education. The weaknesses in these areas, however, are balanced by the wealth of information to be found in the correspondence and in the synod records. From these records the researcher will be able to discover the relationship between the archbishop and his clergy, between the archbishop and his parishioners, between the Church and the South African government, between the Church and the secular community and between the African Orthodox Church and its religious neighbors. In the minutes of synod and in the sundry other material relating to synod and other conference and district meetings, the researcher will find the raw material that will help him/her document the internal workings of the African Orthodox Church.
The researcher should pay special attention to miscellaneous folders found in almost every series. The vast scope of this collection made it difficult to put each item that relates to a unique subject in a separate folder. The researcher should also be aware that while most of the documents are written in English, there are also a few written in Afrikaans, Sotho, Tswana and Xhosa.
Box/ Folder # Description Series I: Personal Papers of Daniel William Alexander 1/1 Family Records - Birth, Marriage and Death: 1880-1968. This folder includes a certified extract from the records of the Church of the Province of South Africa declaring that Alexander was born on December 23, 1882. Also included is an abridged marriage certificate of the parents of Alexander that records their marriage date as 28 December 1880. 1/2 Family Records - Elizabeth Alexander's Passport; 1955. Elizabeth was the wife of Alexander until her death in 1959. 1/3 Family Records - Elizabeth Alexander: Expressions of sympathy at her death in 1959. Included in the folder is a copy of the program of her burial service, a list of those who sent flowers, and letters from members of the church and of the community. 1/4 Christmas Cards Received; undated These are cards received by the Alexander family. 1/5 Wedding Invitations Received; 1919-1948. 1/6 Order of the Crown of Thorns; 1938. The items in this folder are mainly correspondence between the Right Reverend Monseigneur F. F. Edmond, who held the title of Grand Master, Prince Edmond of Luigi. The membership of Alexander was solicited by Edmond who wrote from Atascadero, California. Apparently, the Order was intended for both Roman and Orthodox Catholic clergy. 1/7 Lodge of Free Gardeners; undated Included is a petition for initiation and membership signed by Alexander. 1/8 Order of Christ the Redeemer; 1954-1955. Also known as Ordinis Christi Redemptoris, this organization had simple goals. These goals were to witness for Christ, to establish chapter houses and to prepare for Christ's coming. Alexander was referred for membership by Father John V. Thomas who was an Anglican priest in Beaconsfield and a member of the Order. 1/9 Independent Order of True Templars; 1919-1934. Primarily, this folder contains commissions to special duties within the organization.
9 Last Modified: 2007 July 18
1/10 South African Coloured Ex-Serviceman's Legion; 1946-1963. 1/11 Financial Records; 1963-1970. Bank statements, receipts, a will and sundry personal bills are included in this folder. 1/12 Radio Listener's License Receipts; 1940-1966. 1/13 Passport; 1969. The passport of D.W. Alexander. 1/14 Travel Diaries and Address Books; 1923-1937. 1/15 Travelogue; 1927-1928; 1933. Primarily, records of Alexander's journey to America and to Central Africa. 2/1 Concordat of Consecration, Copy; 1927. Although this is a copy of the original, the concordat and an accompanying certificate of good character both bear the signature of Alexander McGuire and other high ranking officials of the African Orthodox Church in America. 2/2 Memorandum of Congratulations from Vilatte; 1927. Vilatte was a man of French birth who consecrated McGuire. Controversy surrounds the claim of inclusion within the apostolic succession made by Vilatte. 2/3 Twenty-fifth anniversary of Consecration Eulogy; 1952. This work is unsigned but it was probably written by J. Mdatyulwa who was a priest in the African Orthodox Church until his death in 1958. The work traces the career of Alexander in Kenya and Uganda as well as in South Africa. The writer also provides information on the structure and work of the African Orthodox Church. 2/4 Unpublished Works; 1931-1966. Included are autobiographies, histories, works intended for publication in periodicals and addresses written by Alexander. 2/5 Articles for the African Orthodox Churchman; undated Written by Alexander. 2/6 Correspondence: Personal; 1927-1969. The items in this folder concern the personal life of Alexander including his family, secular organizations and friends outside of the African Orthodox Church. 2/7 Correspondence: Management Committee for Coloured Group Area; 1965-1970. 2/8 Correspondence: Young Men's Christian Association 1963-1964.
Alexander was involved in trying to start a YMCA in the Kimberley area. 2/9 Correspondent Course in Memory Training; 1944. This course was taken by Alexander through Union College in Johannesburg. 2/10 Printed Personal Papers and Memorabilia; 1933-1965. Included are printed pictures of the archbishop, programs, and material from the Association for the Care of Coloured Youth and from the African People's Organization. 2/11 Newspaper Clippings; 1933-1964. The articles in this folder were taken from a highly contaminated scrapbook and photocopied on to acid-free paper. The order of their appearance in the scrapbook has been maintained. The last several pages are copies of articles found in a separate folder. These were photocopied as space permitted since no apparent order could be ascertained. 2/12 Miscellaneous Personal Papers; 1902-1970. Series II. Constitution and Divine Liturgy 2/13 Constitution and Divine Liturgy; 1921-1950. Also included is as 'affirmation of faith', a liturgy for the reception of new members, the order of service for Holy Communion and the Prayers of confession of the African Orthodox Church. Series III. Histories 2/14 Histories; 1924-1949. 2/15 75th Anniversary; 1999 Oct - Biographical sketches of leaders Series IV. Synod Records 2/16 Minutes of the Organizational Meeting; 1924. The items in this folder document the meeting which resulted in six clergy of the independent African Church resigning from that church and forming the African Orthodox Church. 3/1 Minutes of Quarterly Conferences, District Conferences and Sundry Meetings; 1924-1948, scattered. These meetings were held in between synods. 3/2 Minutes of the Archbishop's Senate; 1947-1966, scattered. 3/3 Uganda Synod Records; 1932.
3/4 South African Synod Minutes - Bound; 1925-1933. 21/1 South African Synod Minutes - Bound; 1934-1961. 3/5 Synod Materials; 1925-1927. The materials contained in the next 25 folders are items such as minutes, financial material, committee reports, resolutions and sundry other things concerning synod or resulting directly from synod action. 3/6 Synod Materials; 1928-1929. 3/7 Synod Materials; 1930-1931. 3/8 Synod Materials; 1934-1935. 3/9 Synod Materials; 1938. 3/10 Synod Materials; 1941. 3/11 Synod Materials; 1944. 3/12 Synod Materials; 1945. 3/13 Synod Materials; 1946. 3/14 Synod Materials; 1947. 3/15 Synod Materials; 1948. 3/16 Synod Materials; 1949. 3/17 Synod Materials; 1950. 4/1 Synod Materials; 1951. 4/2 Synod Materials; 1952. 4/3 Synod Materials; 1956. 4/4 Synod Materials; 1958. 4/5 Synod Materials; 1959. 4/6 Synod Materials; 1960. 4/7 Synod Materials; 1963. 4/8 Synod Materials; 1964-1965.
4/9 Synod Materials; 1966-1967. 4/10 Synod Materials; 1968. 4/11 Synod Materials; 1969. 4/12 Synod Materials; undated Series V. Correspondence 4/13 Correspondence Register; 1948. The items in the next 14 folders contain a record of all correspondence sent and received on a day to day basis by Alexander. 4/14 Correspondence Register; 1950. 4/15 Correspondence Register; 1951. 5/1 Correspondence Register; 1952. 5/2 Correspondence Register; 1953. 5/3 Correspondence Register; 1954. 5/4 Correspondence Register; 1955. 6/1 Correspondence Register; 1957. 6/2 Correspondence Register; 1958. 6/3 Correspondence Register; 1959. 6/4 Correspondence Register; 1960. 7/1 Correspondence Register; 1961. 7/2 Correspondence Register; 1962. 7/3 Correspondence Register; 1963. 7/4 Correspondence Register; 1964. 8/1 Correspondence Register; 1965. 8/2 Correspondence Register; 1967. 8/3 Correspondence; Elizabeth Alexander; 1928-1956 and
Maria Alexander; 1968. Elizabeth Alexander was the second wife of Alexander and Maria was the third. As wives of the archbishop of the African Orthodox Church in Africa, these women in turn occupied the position of president of the Guild of St. Monica. The Guild operated within the church as an organization for women. In the local churches, the wives of the priests would usually head the organization. 8/4 Correspondence: Jacobus Alexander; 1956-1970. Jacobus Alexander was the grandson of D.W. Alexander and a priest in the African Orthodox Church. Although the correspondence between the two men are interspersed with family news, the subject matter mainly concerns the church. Alexander tended to use his grandson as a confidant in his later years. 8/5 Correspondence: P.C. Bantan; 1942-1944. Reverend Bantan was a member of the Cape Town Corps. He wrote to Alexander asking for assistance in trying to acquire money from the government to make up for lost income as a minister in the African Orthodox Church. 8/6 Correspondence: Henry Basson; 1947-1959. Archpriest Basson was priest of the African Orthodox Church in the city of East London in the Cape Province. 9/1 Correspondence: J.C. Diraath; 1944-1945. 9/2 Correspondence: J.M. Galeboe; 1968-1970. Reverend J.M. Galeboe was a priest in the African Orthodox Church in Vryburg, Cape Province. 9/3 Correspondence: William Hinnings; 1943-1958. Reverend Hinnings was priest of the African Orthodox Church in Benoni, Transvaal. 9/4 Correspondence: Kefas Hlong; 1946-1948. Hlong was the archdeacon in the African Orthodox Church in Mafeteng, Lesotho. 9/5 Correspondence: Herman H. Julies; 1944-1957. Archpriest Julies served as canon, deacon and priest of the African Orthodox Church in Athlone. 9/6 Correspondence: Jeremiah Lulwane; 1941-1946. Mr. Lulwane was a canon and later a priest of the African Orthodox Church in Krugersdorp, Transvaal. On May 7, 1946, Alexander wrote to inform Lulwane that he had been excommunicated. The folder contains the correspondence between Alexander and Lulwane and also the correspondence between
Alexander and Florence Gallo, a communicant under Lulwane whom Alexander asked to be the organizing secretary of the Northern Directorate of the Guild of St. Monica. 9/7 Correspondence: Shad M. Madiba; 1930-1943. Mr. Madiba served as a priest of the African Orthodox Church in Benoni, Transvaal. However, in 1943 he was excommunicated. 9/8 Correspondence: Arthur E. Maits; 1953-1955. Reverend Father Maits served as a priest of the African Orthodox Church in Athlone. 9/9 Correspondence: Samuel Manyali; 1946-1951. The Reverend Canon Manyali served in the African Orthodox Church in Matatiele. 9/10 Correspondence: Gladman Maqanda; 1964-1970. Archpriest Maqanda was a priest in the African Orthodox Church of Port Elizabeth. The last letter in the folder dated 5 May 1970 refers to a letter written by Alexander on 21 April 1970 and gives a clue to the actual date of Alexander's death. 9/11 Correspondence: Ice Walter Mbina; 1944-1951. Bishop Mbina, formerly of the Anglican Church of the Province of South Africa, was recruited into the African Orthodox Church by James Mdatyulwa who was the Organizing Secretary at that time. Reference in his letter to Mbina is made to the circular put out by African priests of the Anglican church called the 'Campaign for Spiritual Freedom'. In November 1946, Mbina resigned his position of priest in the Anglican Church in Unzimkulu and joined the African Orthodox Church. He retained his position of priest. In March, 1949, Mbina was instrumental in bringing Reverend R. Ntinjana into the African Orthodox Church. Between 1950 and 1952, Ntinjana wrote to Alexander informing him of a dubious marriage between Mbina and a supposedly divorced woman. After an investigation by a committee appointed by synod, however, no action was taken against Mbina. By 1959, Alexander refers to Mbina as Bishop-Elect in his correspondence and in 1960 the Patriarch of the African Orthodox Church in America came to South Africa to consecrate Mbina. To Alexander's surprise, he was asked to step down as archbishop which he refused to do. This caused the American Patriarch to excommunicate Alexander. Alexander decided to fight the excommunication through legal means. The details of the next two years are sketchy, but in April 1963, Alexander refers to Mbina as His Lordship Bishop Ice Walter, D.D. But in November 1963, a letter addressed to Mbina was signed by Jacobus Alexander. The letter, however, is in Daniel William Alexander's hand-writing. The letter indicates that Alexander and his followers were forming a new church called the African Orthodox Church, Republic of South Africa and wanted absolutely nothing to do with Mbina.
9/12 Correspondence: Ice Walter Mbina; 1952-1966. See above description. 9/13 Correspondence: R. Ntinjana regarding I.W. Mbina; 1950-1952. See above description. 9/14 Correspondence: James A. Mdatyulwa; 1946-1950. Formerly an Anglican priest with the Church of the Province of South Africa, Mdatyulwa left the Anglican church in 1946 because of racial discrimination. He was immediately given the position of Organizing Secretary and Propaganda Secretary of the African Orthodox Church in Johannesburg. Mdatyulwa was one of the most articulate and prolific members of the church in South Africa. Although no correspondence is included for the year 1948, letters dated 1949 through 1958 indicate that he was made a priest of the African Orthodox Church in Queenstown, Cape Province. Mdatyulwa died in 1958. 9/15 Correspondence: James A. Mdatyulwa; 1951-1958. See above description. 10/1 Correspondence: Joseph R. Molelekwa; 1968-1969. Molelekwa is referred to as Bishop-elect with an address in Magogong, Cape Province. It is difficult to determine much more from the limited amount of correspondence. 10/2 Correspondence: Surgeon L. Motsepe; 1958-1961. Included in this folder is a list of ministers serving under Motsepe in the Ethiopian Catholic Church of which he was archbishop. In 1958, Motsepe requested Alexander to consider an amalgamation of the two independent churches and in 1959, the union was complete. Motsepe was the priest of the African Orthodox Church in Pretoria but in less than a year he is referred to as Bishop-elect of the Transvaal Diocese in his correspondence. Motsepe, along with Ice Walter Mbina were consecrated by Archbishop Richard Grant, Primate of the American Province in 1960. Alexander was asked to step down. When he refused he was excommunicated and all of his duties were suspended. The services of lawyers were employed on both sides and what resulted was a schism of the church. However, Motsepe died soon afterward. 10/3 Correspondence: S.S. Mphomane; 1962-1968. How Mphomane actually came into the African Orthodox Church is not clear from the correspondence. In 1962, Mbina refers to Mphomane as a very dangerous man. In 1964, Alexander writes of the two groups coming together. But in 1967, Mphomane is fighting, legally, excommunication by Alexander claiming that the two do not belong to the same church and that Alexander has no power over him.
10/4 Correspondence: A.M. Ntlokwana; 1965-1970. Reverend Ntlokwana was a priest in the African Orthodox Church in Queenstown, Cape Province. 10/5 Correspondence: James Poyah; 1930-1945. Arch-deacon Poyah was a deacon in the African Orthodox Church in Bulawayo, Rhodesia. 10/6 Correspondence: Patterson S. Sikwebu; 1965-1969. Bishop-elect Sikwebu was the priest of the African Orthodox Church in Cape Town, Cape Province. 10/7 Correspondence: Reuben Mukasa Sparta; 1928-1929. Sparta, hearing of the African Orthodox Church in America, wrote directly to Patriarch Alexander McGuire who referred his letter to Alexander in South Africa. Although it is known that Sparta later left the African Orthodox Church for the Greek Orthodox Church, the correspondence between Sparta and Alexander is not available after 1929. 10/8 Correspondence: Westhuizen; 1956-1959. Reverend Robert van der Westhuizen, his son Paulus van der Westhuizen and Markus Mokae were all clergy in the African Lutheran Church. They requested and were granted a union with the African Orthodox Church in 1956. However, in the three years that followed, they never invited Alexander to visit their churches, nor did the synod of the African Orthodox Church have a chance to meet any of the officials. Furthermore, although Paulus van der Westhuizen was ordained in the African Orthodox Church, his father continued to use his former title. Suspecting that the Westhuizens and Mokae had never told their congregations of their affiliation with the African Orthodox Church and that the action of affiliation was taken only to secure clergy privileges granted to government recognized churches, Alexander severed the connection with them. 10/9 Correspondence with African Orthodox Church Members in Africa, A-Z; 1924-1949. The correspondence of anyone with less than five items of correspondence have been included in this file. No effort has been made to ascertain the relative importance of African Orthodox members. The determination of whether or not to use a single folder for an individual was based on quantity alone. Included in this folder are the letters of William H. Alexander, F.W. Birkett, Eli G. Bomvana, D.F. Brown, Thos Burns, J.R. Damane, Dick Dube, William F. DuPreez, James Edward, Thomas Godlo, A.M. Hlobo, G.H. Hockey, Mrs. Frances Keet, J.S. Likhing, N.J. Malema, A.E. Mapela, John B. Mkungo, M. Moncho, J.M. Mphamba,
George Mpongwana, M. Muwanga, Musabusol?, Dan Ngatia, Amelia Njongwana, Npanda?, Micah Phateiane, K. Spoone, Levy Sviburg, J. Wisson? and William Yomtolo. 10/10 Correspondence with African Orthodox Church Members in Africa, A-M; 1950-1970. Included in this folder is the correspondence of A.J. Van Aarde, M.A. Amoah, James Arendse, Alexander Anjustus, W. Bardenhorst, E.S. Bolofo, Abia Bridle H.E. Classen, Herbert Conjwa, L.W. Dewee, Gideon Gadenzima, Christian van Hagt, A.M. Hlobo, S. Jackson, D.J. Kanyiles, E.M. Koopman, Mrs. M. Lai, J. Mabaso, M.T. Majosi, Catherine Malatsi, N.J. Malema, Petrus Masiko, D.F. Mathee, Cyprian Mhlongo, John Mkungo, D.L. Mngoma, Johannes Mobaso, J.L. Modisapudi, A. Mohale, Bernard Mokuena, J. Von Morgan, Godfrey Moroka, J.M. Mphamba, George Mpaongwana and John Mtshaisa. 10/11 Correspondence with African Orthodox Church Members in Africa, N-A; 1950-1971. Included in this folder is the correspondence of G. Nokaye, E.M. Ngiki, J. Nogaan, Isaac Ntembankawa, Jacob Packies, John Palmer, Jan Post, Augustine Qhatyana J.J. Rantlhwatlhwa, Jenet Rulash, J.O. Sedisho, F.H. Sefoltho, A. Seiphemo, Koenane Serongoane, D. Somerset, J.K. Stephen, Stephen Tanya, J.B. Thomas, Dennis Trumpeter, E.undatedL. Ukize?, Robert A. Valentine, Sister Phebi, Sister Veronica, E.R. Williams and H.B. Zulu. 10/12 Correspondence Sent-Bound; 1925-1926. This volume contains handwritten copies of letters sent by Alexander. It documents the resignation of one of the founders of the African Orthodox Church in South Africa, the Reverend E. Seagise. 10/13 Circulars to Local Churches; 1925-1970. This folder contains circulars sent to all churches by Alexander and James Mdatyulwa in the capacity of Organizing Secretary and Propaganda Secretary. 10/14 Correspondence: Alexander McGuire; 1924-1934. George Alexander McGuire was the founder and head of the African Orthodox Church in America. The correspondence in this folder documents the negotiations that went on between the African church and the American church that finally led to the consecration of Alexander in 1927. 11/1 Correspondence with A.O.C. members in America; 1926-1963. 11/2 Correspondence regarding the Excommunication of Daniel William Alexander; 1960-1963.
This folder includes correspondence with legal counsel. 11/3 Correspondence with non-African Orthodox Clergy; 1928-1964. Included are letters to clergy in the Greek Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, Church of the Province of South Africa, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Western Orthodox Catholic Church, the Hungarian Old Catholic Church, the Orthodox Eparchy of Aquileia, the Ethiopian Catholic Church and also between Alexander and Professor Bengt G.M. Sundkler of the Swedish Institute of Missionary Research. 11/4 Correspondence with Archbishop Isidore; 1934-1935. Isidore was the Greek Orthodox archbishop of Johannesburg. In the correspondence, Alexander and Isidore discuss the possibility of the African Orthodox Church affiliating with the Greek Orthodox Church. 11/5 Government Correspondence: Marriage Officers; 1924-1966. In order for any clergy in South Africa to perform marriages, government approval was necessary. 11/6 Government Correspondence: Passports; 1935. 11/7 Government Correspondence: Identifications Cards; 1927-1935. 11/8 Government Correspondence: Government Recognition 1927-1940. In order for a church and its clergy to enjoy the privileges accorded them by the government, the church had to be officially recognized by the government. Although the African Orthodox Church was in existence in South Africa since 1924, recognition was not granted until 1941. 11/9 Government Correspondence: Seminary Gowns and Colors; 1951. 11/10 Government Correspondence: Importation; 1950-1958. In South Africa it was necessary for a church to secure a permit in order to import an item such as a chalice. The permit was obtained from the Director of Imports and Exports. 11/11 Miscellaneous Government Correspondence; 1924-1968. The correspondence covers a wide range of topics such as tax and land. Also included is a letter in Afrikaans appointing Alexander to the District School Board which was under the Department of Coloured Affairs. 11/12 Correspondence Conveying Sympathy and Congratulations to Government Officials; 1925-1942. 11/13 Correspondence Soliciting Support: Government Officials; 1933-1952.
11/14 Correspondence Soliciting Support: Humphreys; 1929-1938. W.B. Humphreys was a wholesale and retail produce merchant in Kimberley. 11/15 Correspondence Soliciting Support: Oppenheimers; 1938-1968. Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and his son Harry Oppenheimer were heads of the powerful and wealthy DeBeers Diamond Mine Company. Only one and a half years before the death of Alexander, Oppenheimer contributed 500 Rands to the building of St. Augustine of Hippo Cathedral. 12/1 Correspondence with South African Railways; 1924- 1969. One of the privileges afforded clergy in South Africa was free railway passage. The correspondence in this folder relates to the securing of the privilege by various clergy and by African Orthodox Church members attending synod. 12/2 Correspondence with the DeBeers Company; 1926- 1954. Most of the correspondence refers to solicitation of support and to rent owed DeBeers for use of a certain parcel of land. 12/3 Correspondence with Suppliers, Engravers, and Publishers; 1923-1970. 12/4 Miscellaneous Correspondence; 1928-1959. This folder includes correspondence with local school officials, a letter referring to the African Orthodox Church in England, correspondence with the Kikuyu Independent Schools Association and the Reverend J.R.T. Brandreth, author of the book entitled Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church, in which he refers to Vilatte, McGuire, and Alexander. Series VI. Educational Records 12/5 Administrative Records of St. Augustine of Hippo Seminary; 1951-1956. St. Augustine was started and maintained by Alexander in order to train clergy for the African Orthodox Church. 12/6 Lessons and Examinations of St. Augustine of Hippo Seminary; undated 12/7 Examination Papers of Acolyte Daniel Kanyiles; 1962. Kanyiles was the godson of Alexander and later assumed the l eadership of the African Orthodox Church. 12/8 Records of Students Tutored by I.W. Mbina at Holy Cross; 1967. Series VII. Clergy Records
12/9 Names of Vicar Generals, Archdeacons, Catechists and other Clergy-Bound; 1943. This volume contains a few clergy addresses, however, most of the book is blank. 12/10 Biography of Clergy-Bound; undated These short biographies in Alexander's handwriting contain notes made at a later date such as "deceased" or "excommunicated". Also in the volume is a list entitled "Names of those to whom letters of appeal was posted." 12/11 "Pastoral Credential" Certificates; alphabetical. The items in this folder are titled "The African Orthodox Church. Province Republic of South Africa. Pastoral Credential." They authorize the bearer to preach in the African Orthodox Churches. All are signed by Alexander. 13/1 Pastoral Credentials from Sources Outside the African Orthodox Church; alphabetical. Churches included are the Ethiopian Catholic Church of South Africa, the Church of Uganda, the National Church of Africa, the Church of the Province of South Africa, the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion and the Imperial Coptic Ethiopian Church in Ethiopia. 13/2 Oaths of Obedience: Minor Orders; alphabetical. Included are oaths of canonical obedience for those who were ordained doorkeepers, readers, acolytes and exorcists. 13/3 Oaths of Obedience: Subdeacons; alphabetical. 13/4 Oaths of Obedience: Deacons; alphabetical. 13/5 Oaths of Obedience: Archdeacons; alphabetical. The only three oaths that are included in this folder are those of Herman Julies, Ice Walter Mbina and Michael Moncho. 13/6 Oaths of Obedience: Priests; alphabetical. 13/7 Oaths of Obedience: Dignitaries; alphabetical. The three included in this folder are those of Zacheus Phosphoane, William Hinnings and William H. Alexander. 13/8 Oath of Obedience-Copy: Daniel William Alexander. The oath contains a pledge to the African Orthodox Church and to Alexander McGuire. 13/9 Oaths of Obedience: Miscellaneous; alphabetical. Included are oaths of priests received from other churches with Apostolic Succession through the See of Antioch, of a
registrar, of a vicar-general, a provincial treasurer, of a propaganda secretary, a member of the primate's senate, a chancellor, a cleric, archpriest, a trustee and a divine healer. 13/10 Applications for Admission as Postulant of Holy Orders; alphabetical. The two applications in this folder are those of James Ackerman and Daniel James Kanyiles. 13/11 Clergy Joining the African Orthodox Church from other denominations; alphabetical. 13/12 Applications by Clergy from Denominations without valid orders; alphabetical. The four applications included in this folder are those of Albert Hlobo, M.J. Mpongwana, Henry Mordecai, Ntoko and Titus Tutu. 13/13 Clergy Applications for Reinstatement; alphabetical. Included in this folder is a list written about 1955 in the hand of Alexander entitled "those to be excommunicated." The three applications in the folder are those of William DuPreez, Charles Hockey, and Shadrach Madiba. Only DuPreez' name appears on the list indicating he left again after being reinstated. 13/14 Government Approval of Clergy as Marriage Officers; alphabetical. Series VIII. Local Church Records 14/1 St. Augustine of Hippo Insurance Records. This folder contains fire insurance records. The policy is with the Assurance Society Limited Company. 14/2 St. Augustine of Hippo Meeting Minutes-Bound; 1923 -1931. This volume with African Church minutes skips a year and begins with the minutes of the African Orthodox Church on 9 February 1925. 14/3 St. Augustine of Hippo Meeting Minutes-Bound; 1932-1934. 14/4 St. Augustine of Hippo Meeting Minutes-Bound; 1935-1941. 14/5 St. Augustine of Hippo Meeting Minutes-Bound; 1943-1970. 14/6 Register of the Services held at St. Augustine; Bound, 1941-1952. 14/7 Hymns and Music used in St. Augustine; undated 14/8 St. Augustine of Hippo Miscellaneous Records; 1927-1966. Included in this folder are membership lists, financial records,
furniture inventories, sunday school records and scattered minutes. 15/1 Local Church Records: St. Augustine African Church in Vrededorp; 1921-1925. The African Church was an independent separatist Anglican church from which the organizers of the African Orthodox Church in South Africa broke away. These records are primarily minutes. 15/2 Local Church Records: St. Augustine African Church in Vrededorp; 1924-1926. These records are primarily financial. Most of this bound volume is blank. 15/3 Local Church Records: African Orthodox Church in Mafetang; 1947-1948. This folder includes a report and a membership list. 15/4 Local Church Records: African Orthodox Church in Schweize Reneke; 1943-1945. The bound volume in this folder lists members of the church and their monetary contributions. 15/5 Local Church Records: St. Cyprian, Queenstown; 1949. This folder contains a membership list and a report from the parish. 15/6 Local Church Records: St. James, Capetown; 1954. This folder contains three items concerning a loan made by the members of the parish. 15/7 Local Church Records; St. Joseph; 1930 and 1933. The folder contains a list of communicants. The location of St. Joseph has not been determined. 15/8 Local Church Records: St. Mary Magdalene, Delareyville; 1968. The folder contains a list of members. 15/9 Local Church Records: St. Peter, East London; 1959-1960. The folder contains a list of members and a form listing the officers of the year. 15/10 Statistics of the Churches; 1940-1967. The census forms in this folder include information such as number of schools, number of scholars, number of men, number of women, number of children baptized, number of adults baptized, Sunday School collections and the value of property. Series IX. Confirmation, Baptism and Marriage Records 15/11 Confirmations by D.W. Alexander; alphabetical by church name.
16/1 Visitations, Confirmations and Diary-Bound; 1934. 16/2 Visitations, confirmations, Income and Expenditures; 1938, 1942-1960. 16/3 Confirmations and Diary; 1945-1947. 16/4 Register of Baptisms-Bound; 1917-1958. The register begins with baptisms in the African Church but in 1924 the name on the certificates began to include the word Orthodox. 16/5 Certificates of Baptism; 1917-1958. Miscellaneous certificates of baptism performed in both the African Church and the African Orthodox Church. 16/6 Miscellaneous Baptismal Records; 1920-1947. The items in this folder consist primarily of lists of baptisms and of unbound registers from both the African Church and the African Orthodox Church. 16/7 African Church "Marriage Register" Forms; 1920-1923. 16/8 Marriage Register for the African Church; Bound, 1917-1922. 16/9 The African Orthodox Church Marriage Register Forms; 1923-1968. 16/10 The African Orthodox Church Marriage Register Forms; Bound, 1943-1955. 16/11 Marriage Certificates; 1921-1970. 16/12 Miscellaneous Marriage Records; 1928-1969. Includes marriage announcements and correspondence. Series X. Financial Records 17/1 Records of the Sale and Purchase of Property; 1940-1963. 17/2 Receipts from the Construction of St. Augustine Pro-Cathedral; 1926. St. Augustine was located in Beaconsfield. 17/3 Financial Material concerning the Construction of St. Augustine; 1967-1969. 17/4 Receipt Stub Books; 1945-1951, 1953-1954. 17/5 Receipts; 1905-1969. 17/6 Receipts from the DeBeers Diamond Mine Company; 1926-1938. The receipts are for the payment of rent by the African Orthodox
Church for a plot of land referred to as Plot Number 2788. 17/7 Income and Expenditures; 1925-1926. 17/8 Income and Expenditures; 1931-1933. 17/9 Income and Expenditures; 1933. Series XI. Miscellaneous Material 17/10 The Crusaders' League; 1958. The Crusaders' League appears to have been an organization within the African Orthodox Church. The League was for men and the concerns, as stated in the two items in this folder, were political. 17/11 The Guild of St. Monica; 1926-1969. The Guild was an organization for women within the African Orthodox Church. It was normally presided over by the wife of the priest in charge of the local parish. The wife of the archbishop typically held the position of president of all the local parish guilds. 17/12 The African United Church; 1929. This folder contains one document concerning the possible `amalgamation' of the African United Church and the African Orthodox Church. A `Basis for Agreement' is included and the signature of members of the African United Church and the African Orthodox Church appears at the bottom. 17/13 Blank forms used by the African Orthodox Church; undated 17/14 Record Book of the Star of Africa Temple; 1926. This bound volume contains only ten used pages including a list of signatures of people vowing to abstain from the use of all alcoholic beverages, an account of funds, and the minutes for five meetings. 17/15 Miscellaneous African Orthodox Church Archives; 1922-1971. Series XII. Printed Material (Bound) 17/16 Marriage Law Book, Natal; 1942. 18/1 North Africa Church by Julius Lloyd; 1880. This book was published in London by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. It has been autographed by John Deacon Carlbourne and dated 10 October 1896. There are notes throughout the book but none appear to be in Alexander's handwriting.
18/2 Amaculo Echurch: Zulu Hymn Book; 1956. Published in London by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Signed by Daniel William Alexander. 18/3 Nyimbo Cia Kunira Ngai; A Book of Hymns in the Kikuyu Language; 1935. Published in London by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and stamped with the seal of Alexander. 18/4 All of Grace by C.H. Spurgeon; 1892. Subtitled "An Earnest Word with those who are Seeking Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ," this book was published in London by Passmore and Alabaster. The book was given to J.S. Dikhing in 1925 by J.M. Mothapie of the African Church. 18/5 The Catholic Christian Instructed by the Right Reverend Bishop Challoner; ca. 1917. This book was given to Alexander by Sister Lucy who was probably an American. The book was published in London by Burns & Oates, Limited. 18/6 Bishop Crowther's Experiences in West Africa by Samuel Crowthers; 1892. This book was published in London by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 18/7 Grammar Enganda; 1927. Presented to Alexander in 1932 by Joseph S. Kasige. 19/1 Stories of Africa chosen by E.C. Parnwell; 1930. This book was published in London by the Oxford University Press. 19/2 The Negro Churchman; 1923-1926. This is the periodical of the African Orthodox Church. [Published in America] 19/3 The Negro Churchman; 1927-1931. Series XIII. Printed Material (Unbound) 19/4 Epiphany Examination at Endich Theological Seminary from The Negro Churchman; undated 20/1 The African Orthodox Churchman; 1929, 1930, 1938, 1939, 1945, 1946, 1948. This is the periodical of the African Orthodox Church in South Africa. [Published in Kimberley] 20/2 Umkhuseli: The African Orthodox Defender; 1954.
This is Issue Number 1 of a publication edited by James Mdatyulwa and contains a letter from Alexander. It is not clear whether any other issues were published. No others were found in the collection. 20/3 The Bystander; 1927. This was a monthly publication of Christ Church Cathedral of the African Orthodox Church in Brooklyn, New York. 20/4 The Emancipator; 1940. This is a mimeographed newspaper distributed in Bulawayo and published by the Emancipator Press. 20/5 Catechisms in Different African Languages; undated 20/6 Printed Material on Apostolic Succession; 1946 and 1974. 20/7 Synod Material; 1933-1958. See also Box 3 and 4. 20/8 Special Service Programs; 1927-1960. Included are programs for a patronal festival, a consecration service, a New Year's service and an ordination service. 20/9 Notices of Clergy Deaths; 1946-1958. Included are notices of the deaths of Paul Legheto Marumo, Herbert Conjwa, William Hinnings, and James Zwnlenjani Mdatyulwa. 20/10 St. Augustine Pro-Cathedral Weekly Notices; 1928. 20/11 Appeal for Financial Support; 1945. The printed pamphlet solicited funds to build a new St. Augustine's Cathedral. 20/12 Twenty-fifth Anniversary Program of the African Orthodox Church; 1946. The program commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the African Orthodox Church in America. 20/13 Twenty-fifth Anniversary Program of Holy Cross Cathedral, New York; 1952. 20/14 Miscellaneous African Orthodox Church Printed Material; 1935-1951. Included in this folder is an announcement of the nomination of James Mdatyulwa as Bishop-elect, an announcement of the death of His Majesty King George VI and an announcement of the invalidation of the Separate Representation of Voters Act of 1951. 20/15 Church of the Province of South Africa; 1926-1949. Pamphlets of the Anglican church ar included in this folder. The contents consist of an appeal for building funds a codified edition of the Acts of the thirty-one synods of the diocese of Cape Town,
a regulation concerning archbishops' certificates, disciplinary and liturgical regulations, acts and regulations of the thirty-third synod of Cape Town and the periodical Highway issued as a supplement to Church News. 20/16 The African Apostolic Catholic Church in New York; 1946. Included is a program for the service "enthroning" Reverend Hubert Rogers. 20/17 The African Methodist Episcopal Church; 1933. Included is a journal of proceedings. 20/18 The Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland; 1939. A list of text books used by lay preachers are included. 20/19 Congregational Union of South Africa; 1920. Included is the year book. 20/20 Ebenezer Congregational Church; 1904. This folder contains the Constitution and Deed of Trust of this Johannesburg church. 20/21 The Ethiopian Catholic Church in Zion; 1904-1922. A constitution and the Acts and Resolutions of the 1922 Provincial Synod is included in this folder. 20/22 The Methodist Church; 1934. A pamphlet entitled Local Preachers' Studies is contained in this folder. 20/23 The Kikuyu Independent Schools; 1929. Included are the rules of the Association and a printed sheet entitled "African Orthodox Kanitha. ya Atheru othe. Kimenyithia". 20/24 The Ministry and Unity, Kikuyu Tracts; 1914. 20/25 Miraculous Conception, Death Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus as Taught in the Kuran by A.H. Oberay; 1962. 20/26 Pamphlets of the Church Historical Society; 1897-1905. Titles include The Absolution of the Roman Jurisdiction, The Continuity of Possession at the Reformation and The Test of Theological and Ecclesiastical Development. 20/27 Miscellaneous Printed Religious Materials; 1919-1967. 20/28 The Awakening of a People by I.B. Tabata; 1950. 20/29 Secular Printed Material on Race Relations; 1924-1952. Included are pamphlets entitled The Problem of the Colour Line,
the Presidential Address of the African Peoples' Organization, the South African Institute of Race Relations' First Annual Report, Tears of the Black Folk and the Appeal Court's Judgement on the Separate Representation of Voters Act. 22/Item 1 Printed Calendars with printed photographs included; 1942-1948, 1955. 22/Item 2 Blank Diplomas of the African Orthodox Church given for the Degree of Licentiate in Theology and for a Bachelor of Divinity; undated 22/Item 3 Two editions of the newspaper Abantu Batho; 29 June 1929, 11 July 1929. 22/Item 4 Certificate of Consecration of Daniel William Alexander; 11 September 1927. 22/Item 5 Certification of Election of Patriarch Kanyiles; 3 July 1972. 22/Item 6 Oversized photograph of Daniel William Alexander, undated Series XIV. Photographs & Non-paper Records 23 Engraving plates. 24 Photographs with minimal indentification. 25 Unidentified Photographs. 26 Photographs with corresponding negatives. 27 Negatives. 28 Exhibit picture file 29 Glass negatives, 1-7 30 Glass negatives, 8-35 31 Glass negatives, 36-62 32 Glass negatives, broke
Some Parishes out of the many of the African Orthodox Church
The African Orthodox Church owes its Episcopate and Apostolic Authority to the Syrian Church of Antioch where there disciples were first called Christians, and of which the Chair (See) of St. Peter the Apostle was the first Bishop.
In a Bull issued by Ignatius Peter III, Patriarch of Antioch and the East, permission was given for the Consecration of the Priest Joseph Rene Vilatte as Archbishop - Metropolitan of the arch diocese of America, namely, for churches adhering to the Orthodox Faith; and, on May 29th, 1892, Archbishop Vilatte was duly consecrated in Ceylon by Archbishop Julius Alvarez, assisted by the Syrian Bishops George Gregorius and Paul Athanasius, all three being under obedience of the Patriarch of Antioch.
On September 28th, 1921, in the City of Chicago, George Alexander McGuire was consecrated first Bishop and Primate of the African Orthodox Church by Archbishop Joseph Rene Vilatte, assisted by Bishop Carl A. Nybladh who had been consecrated by Vilatte.
On September 10th 1924 The Conclave, or House of Bishops of the African Orthodox Church, was duly organized, following which the first Bishop, George Alexander McGuire, was unanimously elected Archbishop, and enthroned with the title of "Archbishop Alexander". Archbishop George Alexander McGuire after many years of service as Chaplin broke with Marcus Garvey, who wanted to locate the UNIA headquarters in the West Indies, and devoted himself to the development and extension of his church, founding the Endick Theological Seminary, and order of deaconesses, and the Negro Churchman, which he edited. The African Orthodox Church attracted mostly Anglican West Indian immigrants. It spread to the South in 1925 when McGuire started a parish in West Palm Beach, Flo. Two years later he consecrated an African as Primate Archbishop William Daniel Alexander of South Africa and central and southern Africa province. At the time McGuire was elected as Patriarch with the title of Alexander I. His church then spread to Uganda where it grew to about 10,000. Its greatest strength, however, was in New York City where on Nov 8, 1931, he dedicated Holy Cross Pro-Cathedral, a remodelled house purchased by McGuire from funds obtained by mortgaging his own home. In 1934 the church had about 30,000 members, about fifty clergy, and thirty churches located in the United States, Africa, Cuba, Antigua and Venezuela. McGuire died on Nov. 10 1934. He was survived by his wife, Ada Robert McGuire, a native of Antigua, and a daughter. You may find additional information (See Arthur C. Thompson's The History of the African Orthodox Church (1956), Byron Rushing's "A Note on the Origin of the African Orthodox Church" (JNH, Jan. 1972), and Gavin White's" Patriarch McGuire and the Episcopal Church"
African Orthodox Church in United States
5,000 members 137 Alston St NW
Cambridge, MA 02139
St Anne's African Orthodox Church 2485 NW 65th St Miami, FL 33147 Phone: (305) 693-0777 St Peter's African Orthodox (305) 759-0314 4841 Nw 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
African Orthodox Church Inc. 122 West 129 Street New York City, NY 10023 USA 212 518 6615
St James African Orthodox Church (617) 445-5698 50 Cedar St, Roxbury, MA 02119 or
The New Saint James Church Cedar and Hawthorne Streets, Boston, Massachusetts.
St. Simon Cyrenian African Orthodox Church Inc. P.O. Box 1428, Suitland, Md. 20752 5501 Silver Hill Road & West Ave Suitland, MD 20746 USA 301 568 3307 240 281 8205
African Orthodox Church Saint Philip’s Church, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada (Fr. George A. Francis, Rector)
The Main Churches of the African Orthodox Church Inc. THE INTERNATIONAL CHANCERY HOLY CROSS PRO CATHEDRAL 122 West 129th Street New York City, New York 10023 (212) 662-0894 +Archbishop Jamen Bernardt Butler, OSB., Rector 122 West 129th Street, New York City, New York 10023 Reverend Canon Alfred Drake, OSB., Curate Dr. Rev. Sister Irene King, OSB, Deaconess ST SIMON THE CYRENIAN AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH INC. Bishop-elect James Salisbury Jr., OSB., M.Div., Rector Rev. Sister Hannah Irene, OSB., L.Th., Deaconess PO Box 1428, 5501 Silver Hill Road & West Ave. Suitland, Maryland 20746 Email: [email protected] Phone 301 568 4110 - 301 758 9632 ST. PETERS AFRICAN ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL 4841 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127, 305 759 0314, Fax 305 759 0353 Email: [email protected] Archbishop Metropolitan George Walter Sands, OSB., M.Div., Primate Rector Reverend Father Dereck Sands, OSB., M.Div., Curate, Reverend Deacon James McPhee, OSB., L.Th, Deacon Reverend Sister Virginia Scholastica, OSB., L.Th., Deaconess Reverend Sister Gloria Angelica, OSB., L.Th., Deaconess Reverend Brother Florence LaSalle, OSB., Brother Mr. Donnie Brown Senior Master of Ceremony Mrs. Bullard-Jordan, Senior Warden. ST. ANNE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH 2485 N.W. 65th Street, Miami, FL 33147 305 693 0777 Reverend Father James Barr, OSB., M.Div., Rector Mr. George Barr Jr., Senior Warden ST. THERESA/ST.ENID AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH St. Michaels Barbados, West Indies, Email: [email protected] Bishop Seth Skeete, OSB., M.Div., Rector Reverend Father Jones, OSB., M.Div. Curate ST, STEPHENS AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH 199 Edgecimbe Ave, New York City, New York 10027 Reverend Canon Semple, OSB., Rector Reverend Father Clement Gordon, OSB., Curate ST. AUGUSTINE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
5831 South Indiana Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 Phone 312 324 1096 Reverend Father Doctor Peter Fowler, OSB, M.Div., Rector Reverend Sister Watts, OSB., Deaconess ST. JAMES AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH 50 Cedar Street, Roxbury, MA. Reverend Father Cecil Cozier, OSB., M.Div. Priest in Charge ST. AUGUSTINE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH 137 Allison Street, Cambridge, MA 517 427 3946 Email: [email protected] Most Reverend George H. Turner., OSB., M.Div., Rector Reverend Father Girdwood E. Lowe, OSB., Curate ST. PHILLIPS AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada ST. PATRICK AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH 729 Siwela Road Unite 13, Imbali, South Africa 3219 Phone 333-322-2809 Country Code 27 Archbishop M.P. Mkhize, Rector and Bishop of South Africa THE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (Cala Branch St. Mary) THE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (Port Elizabeth St. Christ the King) The African Orthodox Church (Qumbu branch, St. Luke) THE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (Tsomo branch, St. Mark) THE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (Queenstown branch, St. Cyprian) THE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (Mzimkhulu branch, St Patrick.) THE ENDICH SEMINARY and THE GEORGE ALEXANDER MCGUIRE HOUSE OF STUDIES. [email protected] for information HOLY CROSS CATHEDRAL 122 West 129th Street New York City, New York 10023 212 665 9080 THE AOC NEWSLETTER P.O. Box 1428 Suitland Maryland 20752 Email: StSimo[email protected] Bishop-elect Father James Salisbury, OSB. Editor
Marcus Garvey and Nova Scotia
Birth of a Movement, Birth of a Religion, Birth of a Church
By PAUL MACDOUGALL Shunpiking Magazine
Black History & African Heritage Supplement February/March, 2000, Volume 5, Number 32
One year before the onset of the Second World War and two years before his death in 1940, Marcus Garvey, Founder and President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), visited Nova Scotia for the first time, and delivered a series of speeches in Cape Breton and Halifax. Jamaican-born Garvey, by this time, was leader of one of the largest mass movements of Black people in American history. Many historians trace the Black Nationalist and the Black Muslim movement of the 1960s back to Garvey. Garvey was also involved, though the details are unclear, in the formation of the African Orthodox Church, of which the only one in Canada today is located in Sydney's Whitney Pier neighbourhood.
Garvey was asked to speak in Sydney by members of the local UNIA, which then had their own musical band, community hall, and were shareholders in the Black Star shipping line. The texts of Garvey's speeches in Sydney and Halifax were published in The Black Man, A Monthly Magazine of Negro Thought and Opinion, edited by Marcus Garvey himself. These are on file at the Beaton Institute at the University College of Cape Breton. What Garvey said in this series of speeches reveals a great deal not only about Garvey the man, but also about the state of racial attitudes from an insider looking in, and as an orator speaking out. Garvey didn't come to Nova Scotia to lay blame on white people for the Black person's lot in life, or to fan flames of hate and retribution. Garvey told his audience the problem lay inward and must be solved by the Black people themselves. We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who
uses his mind, because man is related to man under all circumstances for good or ill. Garvey's interest in Nova Scotia began in the early 1920s. Born in the West Indies in 1887, Garvey came to the United States at an early age introduced Black Americans to the ideology of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, an outspoken proponent of Black emigration during the period between the civil war and WW1. Turner's desire for Black Americans to reclaim Africa seemed to have died with him in 1915. According to author J.H. Clarke (Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa, Vintage Books 1974) Garvey came to the US, "at a time of great disenchantment among Afro-Americans, who had pursued the American dream until they had to concede that the dream was not dreamed for them." During the war years Blacks had suffered many kinds of humiliation, slander and violence at the hands of the white population. A resurgence of deranged KKK dogma and activity only served to split the nation further. According to Clarke not only were blacks searching for an American identity, they were also looking for an international identity. Black people wanted a human history, a pre- and post-slavery, that commanded respect. Garvey's philosophy arrived at just the right time in Black America's history. Elizabeth Beaton, in her research on Black history in Sydney, aptly describes Garvey's life mission, through the auspices of the UNIA to, "foster political, economic, and religious independence for Blacks in America, the West Indies and Africa." Fundamental to this assumption was the notion of "Africa for Africans." Speaking in Sydney, Garvey said: We are working for Africa, like the Irishman, he is working for Ireland, and the Canadian is working for a grand and noble Canada. During the early years of the UNIA, Garvey invited Reverend George Alexander McGuire to become chaplain of the organization. McGuire's acceptance, according to Beaton, probably laid the foundation for the African Orthodox Church (AOC). In September of 1921 Reverend McGuire was consecrated first Bishop of the AOC by Bishop Vilatte of the American Catholic Church. Three months before this, Jamaican-born W.E. Robertson arrived in Sydney on the behalf of McGuire to start the work of the, not yet constituted, AOC in Cape Breton. Robertson himself was not ordained until September 1921. According to Elizabeth Beaton, Blacks at this time were allowed to attend St. Alban's Church in Whitney Pier, but had to stand, "because all the pews were already rented by congregation members of Anglo-Saxon background." This led to dissatisfaction and possibly resulted in the formation of the AOC in Whitney Pier. What remains unclear in the historical record is how the Blacks of Whitney Pier became aware of Reverend McGuire and his nascent church. Was it through Marcus Garvey, either in his writings or by word of mouth, or was it through correspondence between West Indian immigrants (which comprised most of the early Black residents of Sydney) and their friends and relatives back home? According to Clarke, "The early part they (West Indians) played in the progress of the Afro-American in his long march from slavery to freedom has always been an important factor." These people "saw their plight and the plight of the Afro-American as being one and the same." In Sydney, the actual physical church was originally the property of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company and was probably built somewhere between 1900 and 1915. It was used as a
storage shed for either cement or fertilizer before being sold, for a token dollar, to interests of the AOC sometime after 1915, but the actual dates remain unknown. The steel company transported the building on a flat car to Lingan Road, it was then moved on rollers to Hankard St., where it is located today. After extensive volunteer work by local residents St. Phillip's African Orthodox Church was formally opened in 1928. By the time Garvey made his trip to Sydney in 1938, St Phillip's had already seen four different pastors and was well established as one of the main ethnic churches in Sydney's Whitney Pier neighbourhood. The relationship between the Back-to-Africa movement and the rise of the AOC in Sydney blurs with the passage of time, and efforts of local historians over the years have failed to make a definitive connection. What can be said for certain is, it wasn't very difficult to attract pastors of West Indian origin to serve at St Phillip's, Garvey was interested enough in Sydney to make it his first stop on his first Nova Scotia tour, and when he spoke in Sydney he was introduced by Reverend Ford, the then pastor of St. Phillips's Church. Reverend Ford described Garvey as a "Captain at the helm," and asked the audience to "answer whether this race is ready for true leadership." Garvey spoke at the Menelik Hall, a hall according to Beaton, built to honour the Ethiopian hero, Haile Selassie and serve the West Indian traditions of the community. He started off by congratulating the crowd for building the recently constructed hall then told them, "You should stick together in forwarding your own race." According to Garvey, minorities should unite because, "The temper of the majority cannot always be guaranteed." He said, "Your conduct must be of such as to leave no loophole to constitute you an annoyance to the majority." Garvey went on to outline his plan for turning Africa into a homeland for displaced Black people everywhere. Garvey considered Africa as the "one Principal home" for all Blacks. In the text of his speeches it is evident Garvey felt Black people lacked a true homeland and had to overcome their own problems before moving on. "The Negro went to sleep for a long while, resting from his labours, but he slept too long, so everybody stole a march on him and therefore he is the only man without a country." At a speech in Halifax, Garvey said The masses are more concerned with their stomachs, and you will find the average man thinking of spending more on his meat and sugar than even intelligently budgeting every ten cents for the improvement of his intelligence out of a dollar -- I cannot do anything for you in Halifax until you have made up your minds to do something for yourself. No man is completely helped from without, he is helped from within. The thing must be from within. After reading Garvey's two published speeches one perceives the consistent theme of a man searching for an inner self, a self willing to drag itself out of its problems and start anew. A man representing an entire people, searching for the truth. According to Garvey, "It is your mind that rules the body. You cannot go further than that mind to seek truth and to know truth and to re-act to truth." Garvey's speeches ring with the voice of a man well versed in politics, science and history, delivered with the oratorical style of a preacher. Garvey accused his audience of failing God by becoming a "cringing, crawling creature" that has failed to live up to the potential God has endowed everyone with. Garvey's speeches are full of references to the power and "universal intelligence" of God and the fact that man is simply an agent of God. In Halifax Garvey said, "And when any man in the image of God
goes below the level he is not only reducing the God in him, he is humiliating the God in him." Evidently strong words delivered with strong intent. Garvey closed his speech in Sydney by conveying an inspirational message that could be delivered to any group of people, any time, anywhere. Do not be here as serfs and slaves because God never made you anything else but men. Whatever that has happened to the man it is his own mind that puts him there. He has abused the force of power of that mind. Men can create the environment to suit himself. When you do not use your intelligence you fall and will be submerged. It is because we do not live up to the state of our intelligence why we suffer so much. Before I close I want to appeal to you to use your intelligence to work out the real things of life. You have to apply that intelligence to the management of your own individual and collective racial affairs. Every race has to look after its own affairs. Following two bouts of pneumonia in early 1940 while staying in England, Marcus Garvey suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on the right side. According to his private secretary Daisy Whyte (writing in Clarke), Garvey spoke of the effect Hitler would have on African people as the war raged closer to England. He also felt that in the near future, "People will be glad to lay claim to the African blood in their veins." In May of that year a London newspaper sent out a report that Garvey had died. Newspapers worldwide covered the story without checking their facts. He was in fact still alive. The shocking dearth of letters, clippings, and cables he received reporting his death was two much for the ailing Garvey. Daisy Whyte writes, "After the second day of this pile of correspondence, he collapsed in his chair and could not be understood after that." Garvey died on June 10, 1940. Sixty years later in the year 2000, Menelik Hall, where Garvey gave his message of black self identity and his plan for the future, still stands. Just a few hundred metres from this is St Phillip's African Orthodox Church. With just a handful of people for a congregation, pastor Bishop Vincent Waterman wonders what will happen when he is gone. Bishop Waterman, who was born and raised in the Barbados, and came to St Phillips in 1983, is now in his seventies. He has no replacement for himself. Marcus Garvey and his legacy have stood the test of time, and he is considered one of the influential leaders in the long struggle for the rights and freedom of Black people worldwide. That fact that he visited Nova Scotia to deliver his message to the communities of Sydney, Glace Bay, New Waterford and Halifax demonstrates the need for a resurrection of the Black identity this province had so many years ago. Sydney's Whitney Pier was a vibrant, multi-national neighbourhood where people were concerned about their place in society. The need for a place to belong is seen in the formation of the African Orthodox Church, as well as the other Ethnic Churches in the Pier, including Ukraine, Polish, Italian, and Jewish houses of worship. An incredible number of successful people, of all creeds and colours, have emerged from this area and this history can be traced back to the turn of the century. Marcus Garvey, the West Indian immigrants, and the leaders and members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Orthodox Church show, that in a little corner of a small city in a small province, history was, is, and will continue to be made.
Paul MacDougall is a freelance writer and instructor in the Environmental Health Programme at the University College of Cape Breton. March for Africa, 1921. Banner in background proclaims, "Africa for the Africans." This march along Whitney Street in Whitney Pier, Sydney, takes place one year after Marcus Garvey's first visit to Nova Scotia. A demonstration (left) against European imperial domination of Africa, reflecting the rising political consciousness of Cape Breton. St Phillips Church, ext 1920s The laying of the cornerstone of the St Phillip's African Orthodox Church, 1929. In 1945, the church was raised and a basement put in. Father Francis was pastor from 1940 to 1982. Bishop Vincent Waterman formally took the reins after moving from New York in 1983.
African Orthodox Church in Africa
African Orthodox Church
Africa 3 units
Melton, J. Gordon (ed.). The Encyclopedia of American Religions: Vol. 1. Tarrytown, NY: Triumph Books (1991); pg. 109-110.
"African Orthodox Church... the denomination remains small in the U.S., but it has affiliated parishes in the West Indies and Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda). "
The African Orthodox Church in South Africa
by Metropolitan Makarios (Tillyrides) of Zimbabwe
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me
should not abide in the darkness.” John 12:46.
Orthodoxy is the expression of Tradition and the Teaching of Jesus Christ from the time of Pentacost when tongues of the fire of the Holy Spirit were sent to the disciples. From Pentacost to the present day, Orthodoxy has adhered to the Apostolic Tradition.
Bishop Daniel Alexander
The African Orthodox Church in South Africa
The local organisations of KISA and KKEA had heard of a Bishop Daniel Alexander from South Africa. They raised funds and arranged for Bishop Alexander to come to Kenya and provide religious instruction to members of both organisations with the aim of establishing an indigenous church based on legitimate origin.
Bishop Alexander was the leader of the African Orthodox Church (AOC) in South Africa. This church was independent of any white-dominated church organisation and had association with the Afro-American African Orthodox Church.
Bishop Alexander spent 16 months in the Kikuyu areas operating from a base in Muranga. He baptised and lectured and provided specific religious training to four young men who had been proposed by both the Independent and the Karinga associations. Two of the men, from Kiambu and Nyeri, were ordained priests. These became the first priests of the African Orthodox Church in Kenya. The others, from Embu and Muranga, were ordained deacons, but they chose not to follow Orthodoxy and eventually they established the African Independent Pentecostal Church (AIPC).
During the 1930s Bishop Alexander had also ordained two priests in Uganda. They too had rejected the foreign dominated churches. In their case, they left the Anglican Church.
The Origins of the African Orthodox Church
After World War I, in the United States of America, there was a strong demonstration of black independence and cultural nationalism. Out of this wave for recognition of black rights the African Orthodox Church was formed by blacks of West Indian origin and it was closely related to the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
The African Orthodox Church was comprised mainly of black Anglicans/Episcopalians who were disaffected by the white dominance of their religious lives. The church made use of UNIA’s official information service. The Negro World to send out its message of the creation of a black church based on Apostolic tradition.
In 1924, William Daniel Alexander petitioned the AOC to open its doors in South Africa. Alexander was a black South African former Anglican clergyman and a member of an indigenous church which was of schismatic nature. Eventually, he became the first bishop in the African Orthodox Church in Africa.
The African Orthodox Church in America was headed by George Alexander McGuire, who came from the British West Indies. He had been baptised an Anglican, educated by Moravians and had become a pastor of that sect in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Later he immigrated to the United States and worked for a period of time with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. From there he moved to the Protestant Episcopal Church and became Archdeacon for Coloured Work in the Diocese of Arkansas, the highest position, as a Black, to which he could aspire.
McGuire broke with this Church in New York and became deeply involved in the Black Nationalist Movement being instituted by the UNIA. He became the organisation’s Chaplain General in 1920 and within one year had established the African Orthodox Church.
This was a period of black disillusionment and disenchantment with their status and with the enactment of discriminatory laws. This was not only true in the American South, but also in the Northern cities where the discrimination was often worse.
It was also a time when the idea of separate development of the races was being aired. The mainline churches, such as the Episcopal Church (Anglican), wanted to bring the faith to the Blacks, but did not want to be seen as advocates of “political and social equality”.
McGuire, motivated by his elevation to Chaplain General of the UNIA movement, conceived the idea of a universal Black Church which would unite Blacks of all denominations. The
leader of UNIA strongly opposed this concept of a universal Black Church and with the proposed church affiliation to his movement. McGuire resigned from UNIA and set up the African Orthodox Church, having himself been declared its bishop by the local membership.
Why Orthodoxy as the hope for goal ? Orthodoxy was unlike all other denominations. It was never associated with racism, colonialism or religious imperialism. It had not involved itself in universal missionary activity.
Further, in America, the Orthodox were not associated with the establishment and often faced the same discrimination as did the Blacks. Orthodoxy also existed in Egypt, Ethiopia , India and the Middle East and in the eyes of the African Orthodox Church members, Orthodox Christians from these areas were kindred souls.
Previous encounters with the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches had been futile. Neither wanted to recognise or include the African Orthodox Church in its communion. There were discussions with the Russian Orthodox Church, which was agreeable, except for the wish of Russian Orthodoxy to reduce the AOC to that of mission status.
Bishop Rene Vilatte - The Old Catholic Church
Finally McGuire made contact with a bishop of a schismatic Catholic Church, known as the Old Catholic Church, and he received consecration. This bishop of the Old Catholic Church in his own turn received consecration from one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
This bishop was Rene Vilatte, titled Mar. Timotheos, Old Catholic Archbishop of North America and First Primate of the American Catholic Church. He was one of the occasional individuals who have valid Episcopal orders, but was never recognised by any of the established churches.
Rene Vilatte was born in Paris, France and educated by Roman Catholics. For many years he vacillated between Catholicism and Protestantism. Later he emigrated to Canada and from there went to the United States.
He was very active in the sense of Missionary zeal and eventually was recommended too be ordained a priest in the Old Catholic Church by the Bishop of Bern, Switzerland, Edward Hezog.
Rene Vilatte returned to the United States where he continued to work, but met many difficulties, particularly in achieving the episcopy. Since he could not induce either the legitimate Catholic Church to consecrate him as a bishop, nor the hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. He looked far and wide for an alternative.
In 1880, Roman Catholics, led by a loan priest, in Southern India broke with Rome. The priest, Antonio Franscisco Xavier Alvares, sought consecration as bishop from the Syro-Jacobite Church of Malabar, which is an Oriental Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch. Patriarch Ignatius Peter III of Antioch gave his blessing to this consecration. Rene Vilatte requested that Alvarez elevate him to the episcopate. Alvarez
agreed and Vilatte pledged his church and himself to the authority of the Patriarch of Antioch and in return was made Archbishop of the Old Catholic Church of America and granted the privileges and rights of a Metropolitan.
Rene Vilatte as bishop made more than twenty subsequent consecrations of new bishops and of new churches. These consecrations became doubtful because they were made outside the authority of the Church10. This prompted the Syro-Jacobite Church to officially withdraw recognition of the churches in 1938. Further, Vilatte was accused of not upholding the canons, nor did he remain within the jurisdiction of the Church of Antioch11.
The Rejection of Vilatte - Implications for Uganda and Kenya
This rejection of Rene Vilatte and his churches did not have much impact on the African Orthodox Church in the United States, but it did have serious implications on the churches in Uganda and Kenya.
The Ugandans severed relations with Bishop Alexander when they came to realise that he was not really Orthodox and immediately they entered into communication with the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria, Meletios Metaxakis. His Beatitude was sympathetic and able to guide the Ugandans well.
In 1946, His Beatitude, Christophoros II, Patriarch of Alexandria, accepted the Ugandan Orthodox Church into his flock. In 1959 a diocese was created for East Africa and a bishop given the title of Irinoupolis (in honour of Dar es Salaam). At that time the bishop resided in Uganda and looked after both the African work and the Greek planters who came to Africa after the dispersion of Smyrna.
The situation in Kenya was very different. By October 1952, both the KKEA (Karinga Association) and the KISA (Independents) were charged with subversion and their schools were closed. It was widely thought they were connected directly with the MauMau who sought independence from Great Britain.
The government offered to reopen the schools, but only under the direct supervision of the government or the Missions. A few of the schools of KISA did opt to reopen, but non of the Karinga schools.
The African Orthodox Church was forced to keep a low profile. For ten years Karinga Orthodox were not allowed public worship, yet their faith sustained them until the State of Emergency was lifted. Independence came and President Jomo Kenyatta lifted the ban on the Orthodox.
10 Roman Catholic Church. The validity was unquestionable, meaning “valid”, but illicit because not elected by the Roman Pope. 11 This was the only reason, for not having observed the Canons, and for leaving the Antioch jurisdiction, which is in fact understandable. However, the validity of the Holy Orders remains forever, and can never be withdrawn.
The Kikuyu Orthodox, under the leadership of Fr. Arthur G. Gathuna, chose to revive the Orthodox Faith in Kenya. Further, linkage was made with the Orthodox in Western Kenya who had received the Word initially from Uganda. Like the Church in Uganda, the Kenyan Church now sought the legitimacy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
African Orthodox Church
Africa 3 units
Melton, J. Gordon (ed.). The Encyclopedia of American Religions: Vol. 1. Tarrytown, NY: Triumph Books (1991); pg. 109-110.
"African Orthodox Church... the denomination remains small in the U.S., but it has affiliated parishes in the West Indies and Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda). "
African Orthodox Church - Saint Philip’s Church, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
St. Philip’s African Orthodox Church, located at 34 Hankard Street, was officially opened on July 15th, 1928. The Dominion Steel Company also donated a bell, which was installed in the steeple and first rung in 1929. Previously, the small congregation first met in a building at the corner of Henry and Fisher Streets, later moving to the corner of Victoria Road and Mount Pleasant Street in Whitney Pier. While searching for suitable land on which to build their church, they met for a time at the home of Archdeacon Philips, at the corner of Lingan Road and Tupper Street. In 1925, land was purchased on Hankard Street. A former tool shed was donated by the Dominion Steel Company, and was renovated to become the church. Life for many of the parishioners would see a marked improvement with the arrival of Reverend George Anthony Francis in 1940. Through his involvement with various social committees and networking throughout the community at large, he was able to secure jobs for many of his congregants in the Provincial Government and other businesses.
The present church building was raised and completed in 1945. Unable to afford sanctuary furnishings, etc., the West Indian men made use of their talents by using local materials to furnish and equip the Church. Evident are the steel piping used for the altar railing and the wooden pews they constructed. They also made their own altar. The church has undergone several modifications over the years, but remains an important centre of worship and community identity. In 1984, the Church was designated a Provincial Heritage Property. The Church holds a number of fundraisers throughout the year, the most popular of which is the Caribbean Festival in August, which has been continuously celebrated since the mid-1980s.
The African Orthodox Church is a spin off of the North American Catholic Church, although it allows clergy to marry; it was an expression of the cultural nationalism espoused by the Black to Africa movement of Marcus Garvey, who visited Sydney in 1920. This church is the only African Orthodox church in Canada, and has about 25 families in the congregation today. Bishop Waterman says he loss them both ways: the youth move away and do not come back, and the elders died and went to Forest Haven graveyard. He says the Church has survived over the years due to the effort of many people of Sydney of all races, creeds and colours.
Left: Bishop Stanley Trontman (circa 1920s), founder and first priest of St. Phillip's African Orthodox Church, located in Whitney Pier. Laying of church corner stone, 1928.
African Canadians are linked predominantly with the Baptist denomination. But there are other denominations within the Christian ideology that has worshippers of African descent. The African Orthodox Church is one of these alternatives. Founded in the United States in 1921 by Antiguan-born George Alexander McGuire, a branch was established in Sydney, Nova Scotia later that same year. St. Philip's core ideal was, and continues to be, the promotion of the Christian belief system and the strengthening of the identity and pride of her congregation which consists primarily, but not exclusively, of people of African descent. The Church addresses all aspects of the individual, from spiritual to social. The Church is registered as a Provincial Heritage Property Site.
Saint Philip’s Church Today:
Archbishop Vincent Waterman of the African Orthodox Church at Saint Philip’s, oversees the congregation.
Isabel Waterman with Archbishop Vincent
Waterman, African Orthodox Church
Patriarch Boutros Ibn Salmo Mesko-Mar Ignatius Peter III
Patriarch Boutros Ibn Salmo Mesko-Mar Ignatius Peter III (IV)
Syrian Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch and the East, on the 4th of December 1876, consecrated:
Kadril Kooran-Mar Paul Athanasius
Bishop of Liottayan, and was appointed as the representative of the Patriarch of Antioch, who, in accordance with the Patriarchal Bull of
Ignatius Peter III (IV), of January 1889, on the 29th of July 1889, assisted by
the Metropolitan Archbishops George Gregorius and Paul Evanius consecrated:
Antonio Francis Xavier Alvarez (Mar Julius I)
Archbishop of Ceylon, who in accordance with the Patriarchal Bull of Ignatius Peter III, of 29 December 1891, did on the 29th of May 1892,
at the Church of Notre Dame de Bonne-Mort in Columbo, Ceylon, assisted by the Syrian Metropolitan Archbishops Mar Athanasius, of
Kottayan and Mar Georgius, Bishop of Niranam consecrated: Joseph Rene Vilatte
Patriarch George Alexander McGuire (Patriarch Alexander)
His Beatitude James I
Archbishop Nils Bertil Alexander Persson (middle) Archbishop Peter Paul Brennam (right)
Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan visiting an Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church In New York.
Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster, B.Th., DD
Archbishop Joseph René Vilatte Episcopal Election by Patriarch Ignatius-Peter III (translation)
Archbishop Joseph René Vilatte’s Consecration Chart – 1 (translation)
Further Consecration Chart of Archbishop Joseph René Vilatte
Consecration Chart of Patriarch George Alexander McGuire (Patriarch Alexander)
Nomination of Archbishop Nils Bertil Persson as Missionary Bishop of African Congregations in Sweden.
One of the many consecration charts of Archbishop Nils Bertil Alexander Persson. At this occasion also, signed by Archbishops Emile Federico Rodrigues y Fairfield and
Paul G.W. Schultz.
Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster consecration chart.
Supplement - Various
African Orthodox Church by year Year Ministers Churches Members 1935 44 18 5000 1937 --- 14 5200 1939 --- 14 3000 1942 --- 32 5200 1950 48 30 6021 1952 72 34 6250 1953 90 30 7000 1957 50 24 6000
Data were taken from the National Council of Churches’ Historic Archive CD and recent editions of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.
Archbishop Daniel William Alexander and the African Orthodox Church (Paperback, 1999)
Author: Morris Johnson
• The History of the African Orthodox Church, by Rev. A.C. Terry-Thompson, DD
• Pitts Theology Library Archives and Manuscripts dept. African Orthodox Church. Records, 1880-1999 (bulk 1880-1974).
• Email Information by Archbishop Primate Peter Paul Brennan of Order of Corporate Reunion Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature.
• Personal Archives of Archbishop Philippe Laurent De Coster, B.Th., DD. • Shunpiking – The Discovery Magazine. • Orthodox Research Institute – The Origin of Orthodoxy in East Africa.
• Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Edited by Gary L. Ward, Bertil Persson, Alan Bain. Preface by J. Gordon Melton. Apogee Books, Penobscot Building, Detroit, Michigan 48226, USA (1990) 524 pages. Large size, hardboard. No longer available.
• Bishops at Large, by Peter F. Anson, Faber and Faber, 24, Russell Square, London.
This essay on the African Orthodox Church is intended for personal use of clergy and not for sales.
Publishers Eucharist and Devotion © 1993 – 2008 Right Rev. Philippe L. De Coster