Rwanda: Three Bishops Consecrated for American Dioceses

The Episcopal Church of Rwanda has elected three new Bishops to serve in one of the provinces of the Anglican Church in North America.

The election took place on Saturday 13 at the Anglican Diocese of Kigali.

The Bishops who were elected are: The Rev. DR. Todd Hunter, The Rev. Canon Doc Loomis and Rev. Silas TAK Yin Ng.

According to the communiqué the first two bishops will serve in US while one Silas TAK Yin Ng will serve in Canada.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Common Cause Partnership

29 comments on “Rwanda: Three Bishops Consecrated for American Dioceses

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Kendall, or the Elves,

    Although I know you were just quoting the headline given in the African paper, I hope you’ll correct it, because it’s very misleading. There weren’t three new bishops [b] “consecrated” [/b] for AMiA. Instead, there were three new bishops ELECTED on Saturday, June 13th. The article mentions nothing about a date for their actual consecration.

    However, it’s certainly worth noting that one of the three men elected is Todd Hunter+, the church planting expert, who will be one of the main speakers at next week’s big Provincial Assembly in Bedford, TX.

    David Handy+

  2. Sarah1 says:

    Todd Hunter was, until 2000, the Direction of the Association of Vineyard Churches:

    Sometime, I assume, between 2000 and 2004 he became an Anglican, and in 2004 began serving for the next four years as the head of Alpha USA.

  3. Calvin says:

    I’m sorry, but I have a problem with this. One of the biggest problems we had in TEC was too many bishops. The hierarchy multiplied and multiplied. And for what purpose? What will it matter if Todd Hunter or Doc Loomis (both good Christian pastors I’m sure) are bishops?

    The critical question is this: What will they do that the 50+ bishops we already have in the new province can’t do?

    Let me repeat that: we have 50+ bishops in the new province….. Some statguy out there can figure it up, but I would bet that the ACNA will likely have more bishops per baptized member than TEC!

    And I’ve heard the argument “well they’re not getting ‘thrones’ or cushy offices; they’ll stay parish rectors.” That’s all the more reason not to consecrate MORE bishops. My goodness. Really, if we are seriously mission minded, we would be more than happy with 25 bishops MAX..

    Here is another issue: we have at least one bishop I can think of who doesn’t really “oversee” any parishes. I once asked someone well, what is he a bishop of? The answer I got was “he’s a bishop for the wider church.” Wow… that’s a Roman Catholic understanding of the episcopate. We need to seriously think about our understanding of ministry, particularly the call to episcope (oversight), before making “bishops for the wider church.” Why not have cardinals while we’re at it.

    I apologize if I’m being hard-nosed about this. I’ve said similar things to at least one leader of the ACNA. In the end, this multiplication of bishops is a big red flag.

  4. jayanthony says:

    I agree with Calvin, this is very disappointing.

    First, Todd Hunter has been a priest LESS than one year. I know he has plans on planting a lot of AMiA churches in the West. Why can’t they wait until these have actually been planted? This seems like a consecration made in haste.

    Second, while I am a big proponent of the ACNA we should have one Bishop per so many ASA and congregations (it was announced that there will be 28 diocese or diocese-in-formation). The number of Bishops that have been, and will be, consecrated is getting out of hand.

    Third, those 28 dioceses (and in-formation) ought to sever ecclesiastical ties with their overseas jurisdictions. Having feet in two different camps is problematic for just this reason. AMiA wants the benefits of both relationships but where is the accountability when things like this arise? I hope these three gentlemen are not included in the ACNA House of Bishops.

  5. Mark Johnson says:

    How many bishops do the breakaways need?! My goodness!

  6. samh says:

    The AMiA announced at their Winter Conference this year they intend to plant 100 West Coast churches in the next 10 years.

    I’d like to know the rationale in thinking that bishops who remain parish pastors mean we need fewer of them. Every AMiA bishop I know of has more on their plate than they should reasonably be expected to handle.

  7. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I agree with samh (#6). I guess it all depends on what preconceived ideas you have about the role of Anglican bishops. There is, after all, such a thing as a missionary bishop, who acts more like a missionary than as a resident overseer of an already well-established group of churches in a given area. Nigeria has used the missionary bishop model very effectively in spreading the gospel and the Anglican Church throughout more and more of that vast country.

    Just one anecdotal bit of evidence that suggests that 10 bishops isn’t too many for AMiA’s current as well as future needs. For two years, I’ve been worshipping mostly with an AMiA congregation in Newport News, Virginia. Originally called Mission of Grace, and recently renmaed River’s Cross Church, this church left TEC back in June, 2004 (the first church to leave TEC in the Diocese of Southern VA). It just celebrated its fifth anniversary on Pentecost, and it’s been affiliated with AMiA the whole time.

    Now here’s my point. How many episcopal visitations do you suppose it’s had by an AMiA bishop during those five years?

    Five? Four? Three? Two? One?

    The correct answer is a big, fat ZERO. It seems that the church is too small to warrant a visitation yet (ASA of about 25-30). Not one in five years.

    That suggests to me that AMiA isn’t overloaded with bishops. It also suggests that bishops in AMiA see themselves as having more important things to do than go around holding confirmation services.

    By way of contrast, the Ugandan congregation that I consider my home church when back in Richmond (Eternity Anglican) is only two years old, but it’s been visited already by both +John Guernsey and by +Evans Kisseka of Uganda, who made a special trip to America to visit all the churches here that he’d accepted the responsibility of overseeing. Obviously, there’s a different DNA or policy at work in the Rwandan and Ugandan churches when it comes to the role of bishops.

    David Handy+

  8. deaconmark says:

    If they were truly mission minded they would stay in Africa where the need is so desperate. Make no mistake this is about inflated egos. Unfortunately this whole “crisis” has been way to much about inflated egos and i mean all around on all sides.

  9. Connecticutian says:

    I am not overly concerned about the number or ratio of bishops. And I know little of these three men, and certainly have no personal bias against them.

    But I do think that it comes across as a ‘rogue’ election, coming so shortly before ACNA is formally launched. It sends a message (even if unintentionally) that the AMiA and these bishops don’t see themselves as committed to the new province. What a sign of solidarity and unity it might have been if they had waited a short time for ACNA to identify the missional need and call for the election; or submitted to ACNA’s determination that there wasnt (yet) a need.

  10. ACNApriest says:

    Here is a question, How does this election fit with the constitutions and canons of the ACNA? Doesn’t the ACNA house of bishops have to approve this? Is there no rule about how long one must be a priest before one is made a bishop? I am not sure but I think Todd Hunter was either a Deacon or a new priest at the winter conference. Nonetheless all three of these men have gifts for evangelism and church planting that will serve the church well.

  11. Sarah1 says:

    NRA, I’m puzzled by what you are saying.

    The AMiA has 180 parishes [which includes the 15 in Canada]. Roughly, that averages out to 18 parish visits a year for the 10 bishops. But if one looks at the spread of parishes in the US, things look even more interesting.

    AMiA parishes are in some 37 states.
    Out of the some 165 parishes in those 37 states:
    21 are in Florida
    19 in Colorado
    16 North Carolina
    10 Texas
    9 Virginia
    8 Alabama

    68 parishes — almost half of the parishes in the US — are in the section of the US called Province IV by TEC. Considering that almost 1/3 of those parishes are in one state, I don’t understand why two bishops couldn’t easily cover those parishes in a year and a half.

    Then you’ve got a small smattering up in the NE, and a nice cluster in Virginia.

    A good chunk in Ohio and Michigan and a couple of other Midwest states.

    Then a good chunk in Colorado and a few in surrounding states: Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, NM.

    And why would a bishop be needed, anyway, to plant churches?

    At any rate, I guess it doesn’t really matter — that’s how the AMiA does things, and it’s their church with their values and mission. Mine not to really question why.

    But I don’t see what you’re seeing as far as the bishop number.

    Still — they think they need the number of bishops, and that’s really all that matters.

    TEC thinks it needs 108 or so bishops too, many of whom for ridiculously teensy dioceses — and as TECer I certainly will loudly protest that ludicrous number.

  12. jayanthony says:

    Sarah, thank you for number crunching, very helpful.

    I still think it hasty, even if all other issues were absent, to elect someone a bishop who has been a priest for less than a year.

  13. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Sarah and others,

    I wasn’t so much defending the way the AMiA uses bishops, or the recent election of those three new guys (the wisdom of the timing of which is certainly debatable, as others have pointed out above). I guess you could say I was adding further grist to the mill, by noting that the role of bishops in the AMiA seems significantly different in some ways than in the other parts of the emerging ACNA. As in their innovative reliance on non-geographical affinity-based networks, rather than geographical dioceses.

    Let me add some further illustrative anecdotal evidence FWIW. My two children attend one of the largest AMiA churches in the country, Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, IL, which has an ASA of over 700 during the school year (less in the summer when so many Wheaton College students aren’t around). The church recently bought a 21 acre parcel of undeveloped land to build their first building on (the land alone cost over $3 million). In other words, it’s a big, highly influential, flagship parish in AMiA; the opposite of tiny River’s Cross here in Newport News, VA. Yet in the last five years, how often do you suppose an AMiA bishop has visited big “Rez” (as it’s commonly known) and held a confirmation service?

    Answer, just once. That’s right, only once. That may be in part because their bishop is +Sandy Greene, who lives in the Denver area. But I think it’s not just about the logistical difficulties. I don’t know AMiA well enough to be sure of how they see bishops as really functioning. My point was that there is evidence to suggest that they tend to approach the role of bishops in rather creative and unconventional ways, for better or worse (and it may well be for both better and worse). And of course, +Chuck Murphy casts a very, very large shadow in AMiA.

    I guess the primary point I was trying to make earlier was that it’s not fair to judge AMiA’s need for a seemingly excessive number of bishops by using traditional assumptions about how bishops function. In that sense, I basically come out holding a view similar to Sarah’s. It’s up to AMiA to decide how many bishops they need to fulfill their mission effectively.

    But now that they’re entering into ever closer relationship with the other Anglican entities that make up the ACNA, they can no longer operate as autonomously as they did before. That’s where I think that Connecticutian (#9) and others above have expressed a valid concern. It’s not so much that this is a “rogue election” as that it tends to confirm the widespread perception that the AMiA is a bit of a loose cannon. How well it will mesh with the rest of the ACNA still remains to be seen.

    David Handy+

  14. Katherine says:

    I could easily be wrong here, and please correct my impressions. I thought the AMiA is not planning to join, officially, the ACNA at this point. There are people who consider themselves evangelicals who post at Stand Firm who are uneasy about the traditional role of bishops and don’t value the concept of bishops as essential to the church. There are many shades of opinion included in this. Basically, the AMiA has been an “evangelical” breakout since its beginning, which was before the Robinson affair. It may be that it will continue as an evangelical group of Anglican origin but not necessarily of Anglican continuance. The Methodist history comes to mind.

  15. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Well Todd Hunter with his Alpha and Vineyard experience should make a good bishop and church planter and Canada is short on bishops so much depends on how these new bishops engage.

    btw Rev Handy #13, your story of the growth of the church in Wheaton, Il is extraordinary.

    Most encouraging, one wishes them well.

  16. Dan Ennis says:

    Does history repeat itself? One of the failures of the Congress of St. Louis schism was the rush by the continuing churches to ordain stacks of new bishops in 1978-82, in anticipation of the “flood” of orthodox believers who would flee the Episcopal Church over women’s ordination. That flood was never more than a trickle, and the continuing church movement ended up with a situation where many of their scattered parishes were rectored by a “bishop” who oversaw no other clergy but himself.

  17. samh says:


    AMiA hasn’t ordained stacks of new bishops. They’ve ordained a few at a time as needs arose. This election was held in Rwanda. Not by group of rogues here who have gotten to big for their britches. If the Archbishop of Rwanda wants more bishops for his missionary outreach, why do we assume we know how to govern his province better? The AMiA’s mission to the U.S. has grown steadily since 2000 – and the number of bishops has increased slowly since then. I just don’t see what the problem is.

    RE: Todd Hunter. What does it matter how long he’s been a priest if God has called him to be a bishop? There are plenty of men who were longtime priests and turned out to be terrible bishops. Athanasius was just over 30 years old and had been a priest for a day before being consecrated a bishop. Again – on what grounds are disputing his call to the office of bishop? Is he disqualified on biblical grounds? Canonical grounds?

  18. samh says:

    Sarah, I’m not sure what your numbers are supposed to suggest. 65/165 is closer to 1/3 then a half. If there are currently 7 active bishops to cover their own parish in addition to overseeing dozens of clergy, and they want to add scores of new parishes, adding about 3 bishops seems logical to me.

    Bishops aren’t needed to plant churches. They’re needed to oversee the church plants and their clergy. Bishops are called to lead and oversee – if there aren’t enough bishops to that it seems like the right idea to add more if there are qualified men available.

  19. guitarpriest says:

    “Make no mistake this is about inflated egos.”

    Ad hominem attacks are unhelpful for intelligent discussion.

  20. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “Sarah, I’m not sure what your numbers are supposed to suggest.”

    They’re not my numbers, SamH — they’re directly from the web site. And I suspect that most people can look at those numbers and discern for themselves what they think reasonable in the way of bishops.

  21. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “This election was held in Rwanda.”

    But did the seven currently existing AMiA bishops — who are members of the HOB in Rwanda — vote? I would assume so, but maybe you know differently?

  22. Cennydd says:

    14 Katherine, the AMiA is a founding member pf the ACNA. Anglo Catholics appear to be in the majority, and I believe the chances are that we will not run in the Methodist direction.

  23. Katherine says:

    Yes, Cennydd, I just saw a press release showing the AMiA as part of the ACNA, so I was wrong there. I didn’t think ACNA would run in the Methodist direction (no offense intended to Methodists), but I thought the AMiA asunder from the more catholic types might. So this is good news, in my way of thinking.

  24. samh says:


    The first I heard about this was here on T19. My point is that it wasn’t an AMiA decision, it was a Rwanda decision.

  25. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “My point is that it wasn’t an AMiA decision, it was a Rwanda decision.”

    Well . . . actually . . . it was my understanding a year ago that the AMiA bishops make up nearly half the bishops in the Rwandan HOB. Perhaps my understanding is incorrect?

  26. Shane Copeland says:

    I am an AMiA priest in Phoenix. Per the AMiA Charter, +Chuck Murphy is the only AMiA bishop who also sits in the Rwanda House of Bishops. AMiA is becoming a part of ACNA and remaining in Rwanda.
    +Sandy Greene is my bishop. He currently is the bishop for the entire Western US and Canada. There is a real need for more bishops in the west.
    The AMiA is has been, and will continue to be, a church planting mission. The need for more missionary bishops is driven not by the church planting growth, especially as Todd Hunter+ has become a part. He was a Deacon at the Winter Conference and ordained a presbyter a couple of months back.
    The AMiA is not heavily populated by Anglo-Catholics. There are some, but there is a prominence of charismatic and evangelical Anglicans.
    I hope that helps.

  27. Shane Copeland says:

    Actually, it is per the Rwandan Canons, not the AMiA Charter, that only the Primatial Vicar (+Murphy), is part of the Rwandan House of Bishops.

    Canon 4, Section 2:
    The Province of Rwanda House of Bishops shall be composed of all the Diocesan Bishops, Suffragan Bishops, Assistant Bishops, Primatial Vicar (on behalf of the Missionary Bishops) and Retired Bishops of the Province.

  28. Sarah1 says:

    Thanks Shane — that is hugely helpful.

  29. Shane Copeland says:

    You’re welcome, Sarah.

    Of course I meant to say the “church-planting growth IS the reason for the need for more bishops.”

    As one last example, at the ACNA Assembly next week (I will be there as a delegate), AMiA has structured itself into 9 “clusters.” Each of these clusters has a bishop representing it. However, 3 of those clusters have the same bishop: +Sandy Greene! He is an awesome man of God who is spread a bit thin right now.