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Constitution of the African Orthodox Church

Constitution of the African Orthodox Church

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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 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.

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".

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 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 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.

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".

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.

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Published by: Philippe L. De Coster on May 10, 2009
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04/19/2013

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 The African Orthodox Church
Its Declaration of FaithConstitutions and Canons
(as amended and coded)and
Episcopate
with a
Summary of Proceedings of the First General SynodSeptember, 1921
also
Historical Notes and Apostolic Succession
from
Antioch – The First See of St. Peter, Apostle.
 
2
Constitution
Article I. Name.
Name
Sec. 1. The name of this Church, which was organized September 2
nd
, 1921 isand shall be THE AFRICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.
Faith Orthodox
Sec. 2. The faith of this Church as declared, is ORTHODOX, in conformitywith the Orthodox Churches of the East from which its Episcopate is derived.
Membership All Races – Purpose
Sec. 3. The A.O.C. admits to membership and other privileges persons of allraces. It seeks particularly to reach out and enfold the millions African descentin both hemispheres.
Autonomous. Controlled by Negroes. Is Independent
Sec. 4. The A.O.C. declares itself to be and is perpetually autonomous,autocephalous and controlled by Negroes. Hence the name, AFRICANORTHODOX. In the exercise of its Sovereign rights the A.O.C. is independentof every other Orthodox Eastern Church or Jurisdiction.
Article II. Government and Authority
Hierarchy
Sec.1. The government of the African Orthodox Church shall beHIERARCHIAL
Legislative Authority The General Synod
Sec. 2. The general legislation of this Church and the direction of all matterswhich concern and belong to and affect the Church as a whole, shall be and isvested in its General Synod, subject to its “DECLARATION OF FAITH” and tosuch Constitution and Canons as it may from time to time adopt.
 
3
Executive Supervisory and General Administrative Authority
Sec. 3 (A). The executive supervisory general administrative and supremeauthority of the A.O.C. shall be vested in an Archbishop, with the rank anddignity of a PATRIARCH and he shall be designated upon his election by theConclave or House of Bishops, of which every Bishop of the A.O.C. is amember and must CAST a vote.
The Patriarch, Primates, Bishops and Holy Consistory
(B)
 
The patriarch, Primates, Bishops and Holy Consistory are integralparts of the executive, supervisory and general administration.
Election Confirmed by General Synod, A Life Term
Sec. 4. Notification of the election of the Patriarch and the date, time and placeof said election shall be duly given and proclaimed to the Holy Consistory andthe General Synod of the A.O.C The term of office of the Patriarch shall be thatof his natural life.
Specific Duties Set Forth in Canons
Sec. 5. The specific duties of the Patriarch shall be those set forth in the Canonor Canons of the General Synod of the African Orthodox Church.
Jurisdiction
Sec. 6. The A.O.C. has jurisdiction in its own name and right in the UnitedStates of America and in all the world wherever it may be established.
Provinces
Sec. 7 (a). The A.O.C. shall be divided into Territories following National orother geographical lines, termed PROVINCES appropriately named, over whichthe Bishop presiding shall have the rank and title of Archbishop.
Archbishop Metropolitan
(b). The Archbishop presiding over the General Synod of a National Provinceshall be designated PRIMATE or METROPOLITAN of the same.

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