James Parker Dees
Replace this image male
Denomination Orthodox Anglican Communion
Senior posting
See Anglican Orthodox Church
Title 1st Presiding Bishop
Period in office 1963 to 1990
Predecessor N/A
Successor George C. Schneller
Date of birth 30 December 1915
Place of birth Greenville, NC, U.S.A
Date of death December 25, 1990 (aged 74)
Place of death U.S.A.
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George David Cummins · James Parker Dees · Charles D. D. Doren · Scott Earle McLaughlin · William Millsaps · Council Nedd II · Wes Nolden · Stephen C. Reber · Peter D. Robinson · Sam Seamans · Peter Toon


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James Parker Dees was the founder and first Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Anglican Communion. Dees was born in Greenville, North Carolina on December 30, 1915, the son of James Earle Dees and Margaret Burgwin (Parker) Dees. He graduated in 1938 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. degree in political science and economics, then took a year of graduate study in international relations. From 1939 until 1942, he worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in Greenville, North Carolina. For two years after the Second World War, he was a baritone soloist with the New York Opera Company. He then studied at the Protestant Episcopal Church’s Virginia Theological Seminary for his bachelor of divinity degree, graduating in 1949. He was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church on June 29, 1949, and as a Priest on January 19, 1950. As a member of the Diocese of North Carolina, he served in charges in Aurora, Beaufort, and Statesville. His concerns about advancing liberalism caused him to withdraw from the denomination in 1963. Dees was discouraged from joining the Reformed Episcopal Church by Carl McIntire because of their association with groups perceived as being neo-evangelical. The decision to form a new jurisdiction was made. On Passion Sunday, March 15, 1964 Dees was consecrated a bishop by Bishop Wasyl Sawyna[1] of the Holy Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of North and South America, assisted by Bishop Orlando Jacques Woodward of Old Catholic succession.[2]

In 1967 Dees founded the Orthodox Anglican Communion, and soon thereafter Bishops Khurshid Alam of Pakistan and Bishop V. J. Stephen of South India affiliated with the Communion, recognizing Dees as Metropolitan. New national churches in Kenya , Madagascar , Great Britain, and Colombia, rapidly followed. Upon this wave of expansion and success, Cranmer Seminary, the theological college of the Jurisdiction and the Communion, was founded.

Bishop Dees died during heart surgery December 25, 1990. Bishop Dees successor as Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church was the Most Revd George C. Schneller.


  1. Independent Bishops: An International Directory, Ward and Persson authors, Omnigraphics Inc (December 1990), p 359.

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