The Diocese of the Southeast

A Diocese of the Reformed Episcopal Church and ACNA

Our History

Bishop George David Cummins
Pictured: George David Cummins , First Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church- 1873-1876

The Reformed Episcopal Church was organized in New York City in 1873 by eight clergymen and twenty laymen who were formerly presbyters and members of the Protestant Episcopal Church

History of the Diocese

The Diocese of the Southeast, previously the Missionary Jurisdiction of the South, origin goes back to 1865, on the aftermath of the Civil War, with the work of Peter Fayssoux Stevens, a former Confederate colonel, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He reunited former parishioners and many black freedmen and started working for the establishment of a new church for the coloured people, that would be Immanuel Church, in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Four years later, he already had organized three large congregations of freedmen.

In December 1874, in a convention held in Pinopolis, with members of four parishes, after the rejection of four black men from the ministry by the Protestant Episcopal Church, it was decided to leave the Diocese of South Carolina and to seek membership with the newly created Reformed Episcopal Church. In the same convention, Frank Crawford Ferguson was elected President and wrote to the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church, George Cummins. In June 1875, he received a letter by Benjamin Johnson, explaining that he had been sent by the General Council of the RE Church to receive all the black people willing to join the denomination. The new body would be the Missionary Jurisdiction of the South, named Diocese of the Southeast when the division into dioceses was adopted in 1984. The diocese was a founding jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America, as part of the Reformed Episcopal Church, in 2009.

Bishops of the Diocese of the Southeast

Bishop Tenure
The Right Reverend Peter F. Stephen 1879-1909
The Right Reverend Arthur L. Pengelley 1909-1922
The Right Reverend Joseph E. Kearney 1922-1958
The Right Reverend William S.H. Jerdan 1958-1986
The Right Reverend Sanco K. Rembert 1986-1998
The Right Reverend James C. West 1998-2006
The Right Reverend Alphonza Gadsden, Sr. 2007-present


Wikipedia article on the Diocese of the Southeast

And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding