About the Episcopal ChurchWelcome to the Episcopal Church—a community of faith that seeks to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed. The Episcopal Church is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States, Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe. As of 2010, it is a church of 2,057,292 baptized members making it the fifteenth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. In keeping with Anglican tradition and theology, the Episcopal Church considers itself "Protestant, yet Catholic." We hope you join us!
The church was organized shortly after the American Revolution when it was forced to separate from the Church of England, as Church of England clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch. It became, in the words of the 1990 report of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Group on the Episcopate, "the first Anglican Province outside the British Isles". Today it is divided into nine provinces and has dioceses outside the U.S. in Taiwan, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. The Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands encompasses both American and British territory.
The mission of the Church of England in what is now the Diocese of Albany began in 1674 with a chaplain assigned to the English garrison at Albany. He made occasional visitations by traveling up the Hudson River from New York City. In 1704, in response to the petition of five Mohawk chiefs, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel sent two missionaries to the Indians in the wild Mohawk Valley, where the first Anglican church building was erected in 1711. It became the base from which further missions to the Indians spread.
In 1868, nineteen counties in the northeastern quarter of the state were organized into the Diocese of Albany. Its first Bishop, William Croswell Doane, was elected in 1869 by a convention of 62 priests and 127 delegates. Bishop Doane's principles and personality had a profound and enduring effect upon the character of the Diocese of Albany. He organized the newly formed Diocese after the English model with a Cathedral See, and his "high" Churchmanship found expression in his establishment of St. Agnes School, The Child's Hospital, a community of women religious, and St. Margaret's House and Hospital for Babies.
Bishop Doane served until 1913. There have been eight subsequent Bishops of the Diocese of Albany, each with a unique and devoted service to the people of God, clerical and lay: