The History of the Episcopal Church.

A summary in the early history of the American Episcopal Church and faith, along with the beginnings of the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

Early History

Being steeped in tradition, love and peace, the Episcopal Church strongly proclaims the gospel. The word episcopal originated from the Greek word episkopos meaning overseer, to the Latin word episcopus/episcopalis which means bishop. Its key history dates back to the early 1500s and all the way through the American Revolutionary War. It was in 1529-1536, during the King Henry VIII era that he and Parliament took over the administration of the Church of England. It was not until 1549 that the first Book of Common Prayer was approved.

The Book of Common Prayer is an Anglican guide filled with resources for teachings and devotions for both congregations and individuals. After the fourth revision, an American Book of Common Prayer was approved in 1786 for use on a state-by state basis. Three years later, American Episcopalians were able to finally separate from the Church of England. Later on, this separation allowed for all Episcopalians in the United States to be unified into a single national church.

The history of the Episcopal Church is grounded in the belief of redemption and sanctification. It was through the unification of all Episcopalians into a single national church, within the United States during 1789, were all American Episcopalians could worship in unity and uphold the beliefs and mission of the Episcopal Church

***For more information, visit The Episcopal Church webpage or click on the link below.

Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida

Within the Episcopal Church, there are currently 109 dioceses and nine provinces. A diocese, is made up of parishes and missions located within a given area. Whereas a parish, is a self-supporting congregation, and a mission is a non-self-supporting congregation, that is headed by the bishop of that area.

In 1888, the Diocese of Florida had grown to the point where it had become too large for one bishop to handle alone. This led to the creation of the Diocese of South Florida. It was during the beginning phase of the new diocese where eight parishes began their start: Bethesda by the Sea, Palm Beach; Trinity Cathedral, Miami; Historic St. Agnes, Miami; All Saints’, Jensen Beach; Holy Trinity, West Palm Beach; St Stephen’s and Christ Church, Coconut Grove (Miami); and Holy Cross, Miami. In 1969, the Diocese of South Florida split into multiple diocese including the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

Christ Episcopal Church is now joined by over 75 churches in the Diocese of Southeast Florida, who all strives to grow disciples, expand God’s kingdom and to “Make the transforming love of Jesus Christ come alive in our own time and known to all people, everyone.” Currently, the Diocese of Southeast Florida is headed by The Right Reverend Peter Eaton, who became the Bishop in 2016. Since his residency, he has pushed to expand upon the diocese seven core values: community, accountability, respect, inclusion, transparency, authenticity and service. Each value serves a purpose to help the church strive towards the mission of the diocese.

***For more information, visit the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida webpage or click on the link below.