Our Founders Said:

The Faith of our Forefathers

CHRIST saith, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God. He must have regeneration. And what is this regeneration? It is not to be christened in water, as those firebrands expound it, and nothing else. How is it to be expounded, then? St. Peter showeth that one place of Scripture declareth another. It is the circumstance and collection of places that maketh Scripture plain. We be born again, says Peter, and how? Not by a mortal seed, but an immortal. What is the immortal seed? By the Word of the living God; by the Word of God preached and opened. Thus cometh in our new birth.

Bishop Hugh Latimer

English Reformer and Martyr

Sermon before Edward VI


Last known portrait of Thomas Cranmer (note the lack of bishop's robes)

If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God's Word; and if we be uncertain of God's Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or in the synagogue of Satan.


For the use of an altar is to make sacrifice upon it: the use of a table is to serve for men to eat upon. Now when we come to the Lord’s board, what do we come for? To sacrifice Christ again, and to crucify him again; or to feed upon him that was once only crucified and offered up for us? If we come to feed upon him, spiritually to eat his body, and spiritually to drink his blood, which is the true use of the Lord’s Supper; then no man can deny but the form of a table is more meet for the Lord’s board than the form of an altar.

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
First Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury

One in heart, in Spirit, and in faith with our fathers, who at the very beginning of the existence of this nation sought to mold and fashion the ecclesiastical Polity which they had inherited from the Reformed Church of England, by a judicious and thorough revision of the Book of Common Prayer, we return to their position and claim to be the old and true Protestant Episcopalians of the days immediately succeeding the American Revolution. And through these, our ancestors, we claim an unbroken historical connection through the Church of England, with the Church of Christ, from the earliest Christian era.

Bishop George David Cummins


We acknowledge but one altar, the Cross of Calvary. We know but one priest, even the “Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” We restore the simple table of the Lord. We proclaim the elements of bread and wine to be only symbols, tokens, “pledges of His love.” We commemorate the one perfect, finished sacrifice. We adore Him with unmeasured love. We feed on Him only in our hearts, by faith.

Bishop George D. Cummins
First Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church
Bishop Charles Edward Cheney

As your Bishop, and as one of the original founders of the Reformed Episcopal Church, who certainly cannot have many more years in which to admonish and plead with those over whom he has been placed as a chief shepherd, I warn you that the same fear of offending members of the Church from which this Church separated because of false doctrine and theatrical worship inculcating that doctrine, is likely to be the temptation of our ministers, vestries and congregations in time to come. Resist that temptation. Allow nothing in the Church which can create the impression that you are striving to conceal the impassable gulf separating us from the Anglican Church as it is in the present day. Omit nothing which will make it manifest that we are first of all Christians, next Evangelical and Protestant Christians.



We framed our whole liturgy on the principles laid down in this declaration. [Declaration of Principles] From cover to cover you will nowhere find a minister of the gospel called a "priest". We require that the minister in delivering the bread to the communicant should call it "bread", and when delivering the cup should call it "wine". Thus our Church bears perpetual witness to the fact that no change takes place in these emblems through the prayer of consecration.


We therefore made the Christian Year to be a memorial of no sinful mortal, however pure his life, or glorious his death. From one end to the other, it reveals "Jesus only." Like the old painter, who, finding that in his picture of the Lord's Supper, the chalice which held the wine drew the admiration of beholders, and so in his jealousy for Christ's glory, dashed his brush through the rare painting of the cup, we blotted out from our Church Year, all which could distract attention from Jesus our Lord.

Bishop Charles Edward Cheney, S.T.D.
Second Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church

(The preceding quotes of Bps. Cummins and Cheney referred to the traditional Reformed Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and are not reflected in the new REC BCP.)


At the Third General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church, they [the founders] wrote into the Articles of Religion: "Holy Scripture is therefore the Word of God; not only does it contain the Oracles of God, but it is itself the very Oracles of God." Our Founders again and again voiced their conviction that the Bible is supreme in all matters of faith and practice.

Bishop William Culbertson III, D.D.
REC Bishop and President of Moody Bible Institute for 23 years

(The preceding quote refers to the 35 Articles of Religion. The 39 Articles do not make this strong statement respecting the authority of Scripture. See also the Declaration Denial here.)


More quotes of the English Reformers, early REC Founders, and others
  Click here to view an Adobe version of the REC's first bishop, Bishop Cummins, position on vestments as described by his widow, A. M. Cummins to Bishop Herman Hoffman