Reformed Episcopal Church
826 2nd Ave
Blue Bell, PA 19422-1257
The Reformed Episcopal Church was founded December 2, 1873 in New York City by Bishop George David Cummins, an assistant bishop in the Protestant Episcopal Church from 1866 until his departure to found the new jurisdiction. Cummins and other evangelical Episcopalians were concerned about the exclusiveness propagated by what they perceived to be an excessive ritualism sweeping the church. Throughout the late 1860's evangelicals and ritualists clashed over ceremonies, vestments, open or closed communion, the Articles of Religion, interpretation of the meaning of the sacraments, and the understanding of Apostolic Succession.
In October, 1873, other bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church publically attacked Cummins in major newspapers for his participation in an ecumenical communion service sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance. Cummins resigned from the Episcopal Church and drafted a call to organize a new Episcopal Church for the "purpose of restoring the old paths of their fathers." On December 2, 1873, a Declaration of Principle which expressed the evangelical understanding of the Articles of Religion was adopted. Dr. Charles Edward Cheney of Chicago was elected bishop to serve with Bishop Cummins. The Second General Council, meeting in May, 1874 in New York City, approved a Constitution and Canons and adopted the 1785 Proposed Book of Common Prayer for use in the New Church. Other notable early bishops (1876) included Rufus Nicholson, Edward Cridge, of Victoria, B.C., and Samuel Fallows through whom the episcopate of the church was perpetuated.
In recent years the Reformed Episcopal Church has revised the Book of Common Prayer to conform to the 1662 and 1928 Prayer Books. The Church continues to embrace the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and has affirmed the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886-1888.
From 1993 until 2003 the Reformed Episcopal Church was in dialogue with the Episcopal Church U.S.A. at which time it was discontinued.
The Reformed Episcopal Church subsequently became a member of the Common Cause Partnership, an association of traditional Anglicans, becoming a founding sub-jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America officially formed from that body in Ft. Worth, Texas in June, 2009.
The Reformed Episcopal Church presently consists of six geographic dioceses and one domestic missionary diocese in the United States and Canada. Active missionary work continues in several countries including Germany and Cuba. Previous missionary jurisdictions in India and Liberia have been granted autonomy.
Seminaries operated by the church are located in Philadelphia, PA, Houston, TX, and Summerville, SC.
The Reformed Episcopal Church is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals and the Anglican Church in North America.