Moultrie Observer

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July 31, 2012

St. John's leaves Episcopal Church over theological rift

Congregation will form St. Mark's Anglican Church

MOULTRIE — Father Will McQueen announced today that he and members of his congregation at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Moultrie are leaving their denomination and planting a new Anglican church in Moultrie.

In a statement to his congregation on Sunday, July 29, Fr. McQueen stated that he can no longer remain in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia due to serious theological differences with the diocese and national Episcopal Church. He invited all who were “willing to make a stand for the historic Christian faith” to join him in stepping out in faith to form a new church, St. Mark’s Anglican Church.

“It had reached a point for me personally where I believed that my adherence to the traditional, historic, catholic faith in a number of matters had been so compromised that I could not stay in the Episcopal Church. Though it is painful to leave the denomination in which I was baptized, confirmed, married, and ordained, I have no reservations about leaving. I firmly believe that God has been preparing me for this very day for a long time,” said Fr. McQueen.

Membership in the national Episcopal Church has been declining over the past decade, said McQueen, as the organization has taken stands on cultural issues, which “contradict Biblical teaching and the traditional faith and practice of the majority of Christian denominations,” including the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a member. In severing ties with the Episcopal Church, former members of St. John’s join other former Episcopal parishes who have established new churches in an effort to “remain faithful to the teachings of the Bible and traditional Christianity”, he also said.

Because the church at 609 S. Main Street, which St. John’s has occupied for almost 90 years, belongs to the diocese, the congregation will have to relinquish the building along with their ties to the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. McQueen said Trinity Baptist Church has graciously offered the use of its chapel to the congregation, and the new St. Mark’s Anglican Church will hold its inaugural service on Sunday, Aug. 5, at 9 a.m., in the chapel at Trinity.

“We are so grateful to the congregation of Trinity who have allowed us to borrow such a beautiful space to gather and worship,” said McQueen.

St. Mark’s Moultrie will join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Founded in 2009, the ACNA consists of around 100,000 members and 500 congregations all over the United States.

For more information on St. Mark’s, contact Fr. Will McQueen via e-mail at fathermcqueen@windstream.net or by phone at 229-977-1810.

According to McQueen, “If you are looking for a church home that is traditional in her beliefs and worship, if you are looking for Biblical preaching and teaching, if you are wondering about Anglicanism, if you are looking for a place to experience the love of Jesus Christ, then we hope that you will join us at St. Mark’s Anglican Church.”

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