The Episcopal Church came into being following the American Revolution, as the remnant congregations and clergy of the Church of England gathered to re-group in the newly constituted United States. The Church's Constitution was established in 1789, and its first prayer book was issued that same year.
Now the church is comprised of 112 dioceses, including dioceses in all 50 states, the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Taiwan, Haiti and the Virgin Islands. The Episcopal Church's business offices are located in New York City, and we have a National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
The diocese is the primary governing unit, and each diocese is headed by a bishop. (Hence, the church's name. "Bishop" is "episkopos" in Greek.) Each diocese contains parishes and missions. We are governed by a General Convention, which meets every three years and consists of two houses: the House of Bishops (whose members are all Episcopal bishops, active and retired) and the House of Deputies (every diocese elects eight - four clergy and four lay - to serve a three-year term). Internationally, we are members of the Anglican communion, the coalition of all churches around the world whose roots are in the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of this communion, although he has no legislative, executive or judicial authority beyond his own diocese in England.
Learn more about the Episcopal Church and its many ministries at its Web site: www.episcopalchurch.org.
The Diocese of North Carolina initially comprised the entire state. However, the Diocese of East Carolina was formed in 1884 and the Diocese of Western North Carolina in 1898. North Carolina is now the central part of the state, and includes the Triangle, the Triad, and the Charlotte areas. The diocesan offices are located in Raleigh, NC, with satellite offices in Charlotte and Greensboro. The diocesan bishop is the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, and there are two assisting bishops: The Rt. Rev. William O. Gregg, located in Charlotte, and the Rt. Rev. Chip Marble, located in Greensboro. The diocese has approximately 120 parish and mission congregations and about 200 clergy.
Learn more about the Diocese of North Carolina at www.episdionc.org.