Our parish is...
Everything we do finds its origin and purpose in worship. We worship according to the historic order of the Church, received through the tradition of the English reformation.
We hold that Baptism and the Lord's Supper are not only outward signs, but instruments of God's grace, instituted by Christ himself and sustained by his presence.
God sends us into the world to be living members of the Body of Christ. For this reason, we seek to make our work an act of worship, and our lives a witness to God's love.
We believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. We submit to the final authority of Holy Scripture, and we acknowledge the continuing presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Where we came from
In 1994 the people of Rwanda sent out a worldwide call for help during a brutal genocide. No one responded. Out of the ashes of that global failure, Emmanuel Kolini, (then) Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda (Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda, or PEAR) made a commitment never to refuse help if asked.
In 1998 a group of American Anglicans, recognizing the need for revitalization and reform in the Church, called out to the worldwide Anglican Communion for help. Rwanda responded.
Three years later, God stirred the hearts of a handful of people in our city to come under this revitalized leadership, and in 2003, Church of the Apostles was born.
For more than a decade, PEAR provided us with oversight, encouragement, guidance, and inspiration. In June of 2016, (the Most Revd) Onesphore Rwaje, (then) Archbishop of Rwanda, formally transferred all PEARUSA parishes to the oversight of (the Most Revd) Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). This move from PEAR to ACNA was an important step for Christian unity in the USA, but we will always be grateful for the Church of Rwanda: their courageous and costly oversight helped to make our church what it is today.
where we're headed
One hallmark of a growing and vibrant church is its ability to plant other churches that will minister to under-served communities. Over the years, we have identified, trained, and sent out clergy to plant or revitalize parishes all around the country. Fr Aaron Burt moved to Seattle, WA to plant a new church; Fr Greg Goebel went to Atlanta to revitalize the Church of the Resurrection in Woodstock; Fr David Browder moved to Houston and now is the Rector of St Thomas; Fr Hule Goddard moved back to Wilmore, KY, to plant the Wilmore Anglican Fellowship; and Fr Tracey Roberts is working to revitalize St Paul's, Lynn Haven, FL. Fr Dan Wolf went from Apostles to Jacksonville, FL where his is Associate Priest at Grace Church; and Fr Rob Goebel (Greg's brother!) is serving as Rector of St Peter's, Canton, IL.
We also aim to grow strong as a congregation here in Columbia. Our church building already serves as a place of weekly and daily worship, an space for Christian education and formation, a place of joyful fellowship between parishioners, and a place where the homeless and those in need are served food and coffee. We hope that our campus will continue to grow as a center for worship, ministry, and mission for many years to come.
Becoming a Cathedral
In September, 2014, Church of the Apostles was made the pro-cathedral for the Southeastern Network of PEARUSA. A cathedral serves as the center of a bishop's activity, and a central location for a diocese or jurisdiction. The clergy of a cathedral, called "Dean" and "Canons", serve not only the local congregation, but the diocese as well. The elevation to cathedral status was a great honor for us.
When we became part of the Diocese of the Carolinas in 2016, we were asked to continue to serve as the cathedral for the diocese. For more information about the Diocese of the Carolinas, see here.