Florida Times-Union: New group of Anglicans looks to future on First Coast

Among the [ACNA] founders was the Rev. Neil Lebhar, a Jacksonville priest and a leader of the regional movement of theological conservatives out of the denomination after an openly gay bishop was elected in New Hampshire in 2003.

With its archbishop and church laws now established, the new group represents a clean break with the past for former Episcopalians, Lebhar said.

“For the average person in the pew, I’d say the major thing it means is that our denominational battles are over and we can get on with the ministry and mission of the church,” said Lebhar, rector at the (Anglican) Church of the Redeemer on the Southside.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Departing Parishes

3 comments on “Florida Times-Union: New group of Anglicans looks to future on First Coast

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I think the best part of this interview comes at the very end, when Fr. Lebhar was asked if he thought Canterbury would recognize the new province. He neatly reframed the question by suggesting that the more important question is whether the AC hangs together or not, and what role Canterbury will have in whatever form Anglicanism takes in the future. A very incisive and apt reply.

    Fr. Neil Lebhar is known to many of us in Virginia from his time on staff at Truro in Fairfax. I think his parish in Jacksonville was the first major test case in Florida over whether departing congregations could take the property with them when leaving TEC. They lost the court battle, but they’ve moved on. If he is elected as the first bishop of the new ACNA diocese for north FL and south GA, those 22 congregations (and growing) will be in good hands.

    David Handy+

  2. julia says:

    It is exciting to see that there are several very apt names being set forth for bishop in North Florida. Any one of them I have heard suggested would be great. There is a huge pool of talented clergy and lay persons represented in North Florida who have been supporting the Church and each other long before this realignment.

  3. jeff marx says:

    “For the average person in the pew, I’d say the major thing it means is that our denominational battles are over and we can get on with the ministry and mission of the church.”
    Unfortunately, the same battles are daily taking place in our American culture. While the episcopal church is certainly a more vicious environment for orthodox Christians than the ACNA it is likely that this is but a brief respite from a the same conflict in the wider society. It also raises some interesting questions about the Anglican Communion. I wish these good people well and pray the Lord’s blessing on them.