The History of the Continuing Anglican Church, which was originated on September 2nd, 1921, was originally known as the African Orthodox Church. Its faith, as declared, was Orthodox, in conformity with the Orthodox Churches of the east from which its Episcopate was derived. While it admitted to membership and other privileges persons of all races, it sought particularly to reach out to millions of African descents in both hemispheres and declared itself to be perpetually autonomous and controlled by Africans. Hence the name, African Orthodox.
The African Orthodox Church owed its Episcopate and Apostolic Authority to the Syrian Church of Antioch where their disciples were first called Christians, and of which the See of St Peter the Apostle was the first Bishop.
In a Bull issued by Ignatius Peter III, Patriarch of Antioch and the East, permission was given for the Consecration of the Priest Joseph Rene Vilatte as Archbishop – Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of America, namely, for churches adhering to the Orthodox Faith; and, on May 29th, 1892, Archbishop Vilatte was duly consecrated in Ceylon by Archbishop Julius Alvarez, assisted by the Syrian Bishops George Gregorius and Paul Athanasius, all three being under obedience of the Patriarch of Antioch.
On September 28th, 1921, George Alexander McGuire, an Afro-Caribbean, who was born on March 28th, 1866, in Swetes, Antigua, immigrated to the United States of America, and affiliated with the Episcopal Church and was rejected by his Anglican brethren after he had been elected to the office of Bishop in 1918, was consecrated first Bishop and Primate of the African Orthodox Church by Archbishop Joseph Rene Vilatte, assisted by Bishop Carl A. Nybladh who had been consecrated by Vilatte. Bishop McGuire was thrived to lay the foundation of the newborn African Orthodox Church and on September 10th, 1924, he was elected to Archbishop. Then Archbishop McGuire declared that he is forming a sect of the Anglican Church “for our race”, thus the unity of the African Orthodox Church, South Africa and the United States of America, began. Archbishop McGuire was elected as Patriarch by the Conclave of Bishops with the title of Alexander I.
In 1934, the African Orthodox Church had about 30,000 members, about fifty clergies, and thirty churches in Africa and the United States of America. Alexander I died on November 10th, 1934, and Archbishop George Ford (1897-2004), succeeded the mantle.
During the 1960s and 1970s, our Church played a massive role in the fight against APARTHEID in South Africa and worked with Dr Martin Luther King Jr in the United States of America.
In 1998, the African Orthodox Church implemented the reform and changed its name to Anglican African Orthodox Church. From its inception, the Anglican African Orthodox Church set out to prevent the notion that we are a black church. We made it clear that we serve all God’s people; thus, in 2002, there was a name change to Anglican Church Worldwide, and in 2017, to Worldwide Anglican Church (WAC).
(The common explanatory on the division in the mutual records with the Worldwide Anglican Church.) “In August 2019, a conference was held to end the ongoing theological debate within the church. As a result of the deliberations, the conference resolved to divide the church into two in a legitimate manner. The WAC formally approved the resolution of the conference of which regulates the division of the church and the inheritance by both groups led by Archbishop Lwanga and Johnson, and the group named the Continuing Anglican Church (COACH) led by Archbishop Sato. In September, the WAC and the COACH arrived at a partnership agreement and agreed to maintain mutual cooperation and mutual apostolic succession.”
On August 2019, the Continuing Anglican Church (COACH) was formed and registered as the Communion of Continuing Anglicans. The COACH Consistory elected Archbishop Sato to the first Archbishop Primus inter pares and Primate of the COACH.