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Newsletter December 2010


Archbishop Franzo King


Joseph Rene Vilatte


The Saint John Coltrane Church is a part of the great African Orthodox Church (A.O.C.) which was founded in the U.S. in 1921. At its inception the A.O.C. took strides to establish ecclesiastical and spiritual freedom for Blacks and people of color. The A.O.C. was founded by George Alexander McGuire in 1921. McGuire had been a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church until 1918. However, his experiences of discrimination resulting in the inability to advance in the ranks of the clergy, lead him to pursue a greater calling. He said: “The white churches in America had drawn a circle to exclude people of color. Our vision is to draw a wider circle that will include all people.”

hoeThe Episcopate and Authority of the AOC dates back to the Syrian Church of Antioch where disciples were first called Christians. St. Peter, the Apostle was the first Bishop of the Syrian Church. On May 29, 1892, Joseph Rene Vilatte of France was consecrated Metropolitan of the archdiocese of America, by permission of a Bull issued by Ignatius Peter III, Patriarch of Antioch and the East. On September 28, 1921, in Chicago, IL George Alexander McGuire was consecrated the first Bishop and Primate of the AOC, by Joseph R. Vilatte.

hoHe became Archbishop Alexander McGuire when on September 10th 1924 he was unanimously elected by the House of Bishops. The Apostolic succession of the AOC has continued in this way down through the years, eventually resulting in the consecration of Archbishop Franzo Wayne King, by Archbishop George Duncan Hinkson, consecrated by Miller, in the year 1982.