What is an anglican church?

ACNA gather.jpeg

In addition to being a group of simple Christians that God has gathered in Greenville, SC, St. Paul’s Church is a parish of the Diocese of the Carolinas—a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). As Anglicans, we are a part of one of the largest Christian communions in the world which is spread across 165 countries and is made up of approximately 85 million members. While our expression of faith finds its root in England, our communion has a deep and rich history that now spans many nations, tribes, and languages. As members of the ancient Christian Church, Anglicans profess the historic Christian faith namely in:

  • The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as "containing all things necessary to salvation," and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.

  • The Apostles' Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.

  • The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself--Baptism and the Supper of the Lord--ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him.

  • The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church.

In addition to this historic faith, Anglicans are further defined by the Book of Common Prayer as the rule of our worship and prayer and the 39 Articles of Religion as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.


Three streams, one river

Anglicanism has also been described as being three streams which feed into a single river from which we derive guidance and refreshment for our faith. The three streams are:

  • The Scripture—we are led by the Word of God and look to the Holy Scriptures, our authoritative guide in faith.

  • The Sacramental—Our ancient practices and rhythms give us structure and formation in our faith.

  • The Spirit—is our peace and power in the faith. Through God alone, we can do anything.

following jesus first


In the end, Anglicans are Christians who seek to follow Jesus. Our desire is to see where God has worked in the past and where he is working now so we might be aligned with Him rather than pursue our own goals and ambitions. Our constant cry at St. Paul’s is “Lord, Lord! Lead us.” What he has established, we will not abandon. What he is reforming, we will seek to be reformed in as well, and together we look forward to the day when we will see him face to face and know him fully.