In April 2003, five parishes in northern Ohio began the process of denominational realignment that would eventually lead them, with churches across the country, into a new dawn for Anglicanism in North America.
These parishes entered a lengthy period of discernment and prayer to seek God’s will regarding their affiliation with the Episcopal Church, whose innovations in practice and proclamation of the faith were moving the national denomination increasingly away from Biblical orthodoxy. Led by the Holy Spirit, they sought to disaffiliate from the Episcopal Church, and came under the oversight of the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons, bishop of the Diocese of Bolivia in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
With this new association came a renewed sense of freedom and new-found energy to boldly proclaim the Good News of God in Jesus Christ, and other parishes began to join the movement. Eventually it became clear that Bishop Lyons could no longer continue to serve the increasing number of parishes in the United States now under his jurisdiction, while at the same time leading his Bolivian flock. It was time to seek a bishop closer to home.
In 2007, the entire Great Lakes gathering of parishes affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) under the jurisdiction of the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns. Their association with CANA, a missionary outreach of the Anglican Church of Nigeria (the largest province of the Anglican Communion, with nearly 20 million members) brought them into fellowship with 70 congregations in 21 states. In December of that year, the Rev. Roger Ames, rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Akron, Ohio, was ordained and consecrated as a suffragan bishop for CANA.
In August 2008, these churches, now numbering 13, were officially recognized as a district in CANA under the name of the Anglican District of the Great Lakes, with Bishop Ames as their bishop. A year later, representatives of the district were present in Bedford, Texas when theAnglican Church in North America (ACNA) was formed. The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, was elected the first archbishop of the new province, which now includes 811 congregations in 20 dioceses.
In May 2010, the district came together in an extraordinary Constitutional Convention to form the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes (ADGL), which a month later was officially welcomed as a diocese in the ACNA. Bishop Ames was elected bishop of the new diocese, and was formally installed on April 30, 2011 at the Diocese’s annual convention in Akron.
The Diocese Now
The parishes and clergy of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes have forged a close bond of affection and support for one another as they continue to be obedient to our Lord’s command in the Great Commission. They are committed to making disciples who in turn make disciples. They are also strongly committed to being “three stream” Anglicans. Parishes in the Diocese are united around their common mission to proclaim the Gospel, while maintaining their own identities as churches that are sacramental, charismatic and evangelical.
The clergy of the Diocese come together for clericus, and have been trained and certified in the Diocese’s Code of Pastoral Conduct for Ministry with Children and Women. The Diocese has established its own ordination process and committee. The Diocese sends students to Trinity School for Ministry, Nashotah House, Ashland Theological Seminary and the Harvest Net Institute. The Diocese is involved in church planting, and in a ministry of healing, with healing missions held in several congregations.
With the inclusion of parishes from HONA, the clergy and people who make up the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes – now 49 parishes, total – are spreading the Gospel in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania,West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, and Ontario, Canada. We invite you to join us for worship, and in fellowship and ministry. Click here to find an ADGL church.