About the Episcopal Church

Episcopal-shield1“Episcopal” means “bishop” in Greek, and the Episcopal Church is governed in part by its bishops. The basic unit of ministry in the Episcopal Church is the “diocese,” or a region of a reasonable number of Episcopalians.

Diocese of Tennessee

Trinity Episcopal Church is part of the 15,000 member Diocese of Tennessee. The Diocese includes the area between the north and south borders of Tennessee, the Tennessee River in the west and approximately the Eastern Time line. The government of the Episcopal Church is democratic at all levels.

Brief History

The Diocese is part of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America. The Anglican tradition was brought to America by the settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. During the American Revolution, the Anglican congregations severed their ties to the Church of England. In order to continue, the church created a national organization and a native episcopate.

In September 1785, a convention of delegates from the various Anglican congregations, petitioned the Archbishop of Canterbury to obtain parliamentary permission to consecrate American bishops. This permission was finally granted, and on February 4, 1787, bishops of the Church of England consecrated the first Episcopal bishop of New York, and William White the first of Pennsylvania . At the same time, a noted clergyman from Connecticut, Samuel Seabury, had accepted consecration from nonjuring bishops of Scotland (1784), thus becoming the first bishop of Connecticut.

In 1789 all the congregations sent delegates to the first general convention, which was held in Philadelphia . At this convention the Episcopal Church was formally organized as an independent denomination but with the explicit statement that the new church did not intend to depart “in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship” from the Church of England. The convention also ratified a constitution and adopted, with minor variations, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

To learn more about the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, please visit their website.

To learn more about the Episcopal Church, please visit their website.

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