Protestant Episcopal Church

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The U.S. institution of the Anglican Communion, directly descended from the established Church of England. The creeds are the Apostles' and the Nicene, and the standards of doctrine are the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer. Church of England services were first regularly held in America at Jamestown (1607), and the Church flourished in the Southern colonies, particularly in Virginia and Maryland. In New England the Puritans forbade Anglican services, and it was not until the revocation of the Massachusetts colonial charter (1686) that Church of England clergymen were appointed to this region, leading to the establishment three years later of King's Chapel, Boston. In the same year, Trinity Church was consecrated in New York City. The earliest educational institution founded by the Church was William and Mary (1693). King's College (Columbia University) was founded in 1754; and other Episcopalian-founded institutions include Kenyon College, Ohio; Trinity College, Connecticut; the University of the South, Tennessee; and Hobart College, New York. During the Revolution the Church was severely torn, many of its clergy being Loyalists who returned to England. The majority of the laity were patriots, however, and these included Washington and two-thirds of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In 1784 Samuel Seabury was consecrated the first bishop of the Church in America, which began its separate existence as an American ecclesiastical body with its own episcopate in 1789.

Subjects: Literature.

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