ATLANTA: 3000 Anglicans Participate in Historic Investiture of New
By David W. Virtue in Atlanta
October 9, 2014
More than 3000 Anglicans packed the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta to
throw their support behind the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church in
North America, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, as hands were laid on him by
Primates of the Anglican Communion acknowledging his leadership as it
passed from Archbishop Robert Duncan to a new generation leader.
Anglicans, including laity, clergy, bishops and archbishops from eight
provinces and from all walks of life, sang, intoned prayers and cheered
for their new leader as the 57-year old archbishop took the reins of
leadership of a church that numbers more than 112,000 in some 27
dioceses in Canada, the US, and Mexico. The ACNA is now larger than the
Anglican Church of Canada in average Sunday attendance.
In his investiture sermon, Archbishop Beach remarked, "We are a diverse
lot. We are united, but not uniform. We are Evangelical. We are
Anglo-Catholic. We are Charismatic. We are high church. We are
low-church. We are contemporary. We are traditional. We are classical.
We are the body of Jesus Christ called Anglicans who have been given a
mission to minister in North America. We have our part to play in the
Great vision of God for the nations on this continent.
"I think about Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Jewell, Lancelot Andrews,
Hooker, Whitfield, Wesley, Newman, Keeble, Pusey, C.S. Lewis, John
Stott, J.I. Packer, Os Guinness. We have always been a diverse lot! And
we are today," he added.
Addressing ACNA's brief history, Beach noted that what began as a
confederation and coalition of various Anglican churches has now evolved
into a vibrant, missional Province with the purpose of reaching North
America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. "This Anglican
Movement is positioned to impact the Continent of North America with the
powerful and life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ in a tremendous way.
Aslan is on the move as we see people all over the Americas drawn to
what God is doing in our midst."
He publicly praised Bishop Greg Venables of the Argentine, formerly
Archbishop of the Southern Cone, who offered life boats for faithful
Anglicans across the US and Canada as they split from the Episcopal
Church because of its serious deviation from Scripture, the Creeds and
Touching on the theme of reconciliation, a key theme of Archbishop
Justin Welby's ministry, Beach observed, "When I speak of
reconciliation, I am not talking about being reconciled with the world,
or with sin, or with sinful behavior or giving up one's principles or
compromising Biblical Truth in order to be reconciled. However, the
Scriptures do tell us that we are all ministers of reconciliation and
that we are to be reconciled with each other.
"This reconciliation is based on the cross of Jesus, on the Truth in the
Scriptures, and on the Tradition handed down to us by the Church
Fathers. To be reconciled means there was once a problem."
Beach praised the work of his predecessor, Archbishop Robert Duncan,
saying, "Archbishop Bob brought the various Anglican tribes together and
has wrought us into a united movement for the Lord. King David had 40
years; Archbishop Bob only had 5 years."
Beach described Archbishop Duncan as "God's instrument to bring us to
where we are. I compare his ministry to that of King David, King of the
nation of Israel." (Archbishop Duncan received a standing ovation).
The archbishop said the ACNA must be a repenting, reconciling,
reproducing and relentlessly compassionate church in the midst of a
hostile world that needs the Good News about Jesus.
"When we gathered in June and I was elected the new Archbishop and
Primate, I was asked to preach at the closing Eucharist of the Assembly.
If you were there, you may remember that the Lord gave us all a charge
in the words of Archabbot Boniface, the founder the monastery of St.
Vincent Arch Abbey - where we gathered for our summer Assembly:
"Forward, Always Forward, Everywhere Forward
"Forward, Always Forward, Everywhere Forward"
The installation was witnessed by eight archbishops of the Anglican
Communion, including Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala; Southern Cone
Archbishop Tito Zavala; The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh Archbishop, Primate,
and Metropolitan of All Nigeria; The Most Rev. Dr. Onesphore Rwaje,
Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda; The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali,
Archbishop and Primate of Uganda; The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis,
Chairman of the Anglican Global South; Bishop of Egypt with North Africa
and the Horn of Africa and President Bishop of the Anglican Church in
the Middle East; The Most Rev. Stephen An Myint Oo, Archbishop of
Myanmar; and The Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo Archbishop of the Internal
Province of Sudan and Bishop of Khartoum. Together they represent more
than 50 million global Anglicans, the vast majority of Anglicans in the
world today and the largest provinces of the Anglican Communion.
Also present were two active, though retired archbishops, including
Argentine Bishop Gregory Venables (former Archbishop of the Southern
Cone), a close personal friend of Pope Francis and retired Archbishop
Ben Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria.
"I give thanks to God that we have here tonight the Primates of numerous
Anglican Provinces Representing the Provinces of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda,
Rwanda, South America, Myanmar,
Egypt, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Jerusalem. We also have
representatives sent by the Primates of Southeast Asia, Congo and Sudan.
And we have bishops here from South Sudan, Argentina and Brazil."
Other bishops and ecumenical guests included the Rev. Herzen Andone of
the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church; the Most
Rev. Dr. Mark Haverland, Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church; the
Rt. Rev. Chandler Jones, Bishop of the Anglican Province of America; the
Most Rev. Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and western
Pennsylvania, Orthodox Church in America; the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence,
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina; The Rev. Dr. David
Wendel of the North American Lutheran Church; the Rev. Larry Vogel,
representing the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod; the Rev. Dr. Roy
Taylor, stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
in America and representing the National Association of Evangelicals;
the Rt. Rev. William Millsaps, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal
Missionary Church; and the Rt. Rev. Paul Sobiechowski, Bishop of the
Eastern Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church.
Greetings were sent from President Barack Obama and Archishop Justin
Welby and from those primates present bringing greetings from their own
The service of investiture marked an historic milestone and a first for
the fledgling denomination, most of whose members left the Episcopal
Church over unacceptable theological and moral innovations. Archbishop
Robert Duncan pioneered the new denomination steering it through its
early years, drawing together disparate Anglicans from across the North
American continent into what has become a growing, vibrant movement
recognized by the vast majority of Anglicans, though still as yet not
recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The denomination has grown by 40 percent in four years.
Archbishop Beach spent 34 years as an Episcopalian, which included 12
years as a priest, before coming to the full realization that he could
not stay in that denomination due to the Episcopal Church's moral and