John Guernsey becomes first bishop in largest ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic

By David W. Virtue in Virginia

Declaring that he would be obedient to the Word of God and drive out all erroneous teaching, Bishop John Guernsey was installed as the first Bishop in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) at an investiture that included 16 bishops from the US and Canada. Canadian Moderator Bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) Don Harvey as well the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church Leonard Riches and some 50 clergy were also in attendance.

It was not without significance that The NT reading (Acts 20: 17 – 35) included words about those who would come among them “speaking twisted things to draw away the disciples after them”.

Charging Bishop John Guernsey, ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan proclaimed this is an historic moment in an historic place. “We all recall that Anglicanism was brought permanently to these shores not so very far from here, in 1607 and now 200 years later Anglicanism in the form of the this new diocese of the mid Atlantic it has been reorganized and it is happening in this place. God is doing something very great. He is making all things news. He is forever lifting up the lonely and casting the might from their thrones. This is an historic moment for Anglicanism in North but an historic moment for Anglicanism throughout the globe. This is an amazing personal moment. It is the fulfillment of God’s plan for three leaders – myself, Martyn Minns and John Guernsey.”

Duncan noted that 21 years ago he, Minns and Guernsey met with God and built this movement. “Now 21 years later I stand as your archbishop, Martyn who led so well in the Anglican district now resides in the UK as Executive Secretary for the GAFCON/ FCA. John is being invested here as the first bishop of this diocese.

“This diocese represents a maturing of this movement and is it comes together it is the largest diocese in the movement at its birth, that is because of God’s favor and because of the faithfulness of you who have stood shoulder to shoulder with the laity of this region. What a great personal moment revealing God’s faithfulness. His plans are better than our plans.

“This is a great moment of personal triumph in terms of what God does with us. We have been through so much, risked so much and God is faithful.”

Duncan said he met this week with five church planters, future regional leaders, for church planting in Pittsburgh. He added, “When the gospel is preached people respond. Our task is to preach the gospel that is what we have been sent to do and nothing else.

“The message is Good News it is not moralism. What you hear in church today is moralism. We don’t hear that we are sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That is what people need to hear. That is what we have to offer. We are sinners saved by grace through Jesus Christ that is the reality and that is the message for the whole Christian body. That is what North America is desperate to hear and that is the good news that we have been sent to preach.”

Bishop Guernsey later told VOL, “I was so moved by the sweetness of the Lord’s presence among us in our worship. From the moment John Yates, the dean of our clergy, opened the door for me, the Lord filled my heart with new joy for serving Him and His people in this diocese. I’ve served in this region for all of my ordained ministry, and I know that only by His transforming grace will we be able to reach the lost with the love of Jesus Christ.

“We’re now a diocese, a diocese that will be prayer-based and mission-focused, a diocese of growing and multiplying congregations served by clergy who walk in faith and holiness. We’ll worship the Lord with a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and we’ll be passionate to reach the next generations and disciple new believers to maturity in the Word. We’ve got a huge challenge before us, but, as the Archbishop challenged us today, it’s the clear proclamation of the Gospel that will make all the difference.”

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