An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Evangelical Movement, Evangelicalism

Evangelicalism first expressed itself in the Episcopal Church during the Great Awakening. From 1811 until 1873, there was a very significant evangelical movement or party within the Episcopal Church. The beginning of the movement can be dated from the consecration of Alexander Viets Griswold as Bishop of the Eastern Diocese on May 29, 1811. The evangelical party stressed adult renewal, whereas the Hobartian high church party stressed the baptismal covenant. Evangelicals stressed the absolute supremacy of the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice, the corruption of human nature by sin, the centrality of the atoning death of Jesus Christ, an experiential knowledge of Christ, a conversion experience, holiness of life, and a deep commitment to the work of mission and evangelism. In 1873 a number of evangelicals left the Episcopal Church and formed the Reformed Episcopal Church. In the twentieth century a liberal evangelical movement emerged. It retained evangelical principles, but combined them with new intellectual ideas such as Darwinism and higher criticism. In the 1970s a conservative evangelicalism emerged in the Episcopal Church. The founding of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in 1976 was an expression of that conservative evangelicalism. See Evangelical; see Reformed Episcopal Church; see Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.