Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Founders Day • 16 November 1963 - 2016
16 November 1963- 2016
James Parker Dees, a Bishop of Vision and Courage – (1915-1990) Few would have suspected a member of the New York Opera Company would become a bishop who would wage war against a corrupt and arrogant branch of the Church of England – the Episcopal Church. But Bishop James Parker Dees was just such a fellow. Bishop Dees was ordained in 1949 following his graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary. After serving charges in Beaufort and Statesville (to include serving as rector of an all-black church in Statesville), Rev Dees became disillusioned with the unbiblical teachings of the Episcopal Church. He strongly objected to the teaching of men such as Bishop Pike who was in obvious disregard of the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion and the Holy Bible itself. Realizing Pike’s actions were egregious enough to warrant his being brought up on charges before the Church Court, he filed charges under the Church Canons. Though the charges were unquestionably factual, the Church took no measures against Pike. Other issues involving infidelity to Holy Writ, a lowered view of the marriage covenant and intensifying liberal tendencies drove Dees to separate from ECUSA in 1963 and form the Anglican Orthodox Church.
Clergy who assured Dees of their support and loyalty deserted him. He was consecrated a bishop by Bishop Wasyl Sawyna of the Holy Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of North and South America, assisted by Bishop Orlando Jacques Woodward of Old Catholic succession, on 15 March 1964.
Clergymen from the local Episcopal churches demonstrated, day and night, on the sidewalk in front of his home with placards and loudspeakers. Dees, never wavered in his conviction and determination to preserve the faith of the Reformation. He insisted on strict conformity to the Received Text versions of the Holy Bible, the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion and traditional Book of Common Prayer as the arbiter of all truth and doctrine. Expending much of his personal and family savings to sustain the church, Bishop Dees was successful in maintaining a Remnant of the true Gospel among the purveyors of heresy and apostasy. The church grew, under his wise oversight, to include more than twenty foreign national churches. Dees founded the Orthodox Anglican Church to act as an ecclesiastical umbrella for these foreign churches, but still remaining an organ the Anglican Orthodox Church. He never slumbered nor rested in his zeal to serve God and to build His Church.
Bishop Dees underwent non-life-threatening surgery in December of 1990, but died a few days later as a result of complications of pneumonia. He died on Christmas Day, five days short of his seventy fifth birthday.
Like the Reformers of old, Bishop Dees discovered the modern church had become corrupt and heretical. It needed reforming, and Bishop James Parker Dees was that Reformer of our Modern times. We shall ever be thankful to God for such men!