Free Church of Antioch

Free Church of Antioch

The Free Church of Antioch is one of several Malabar Rite Independent Catholic Churches which claims valid lines of Apostolic Succession in the historical episcopate. The Free Church of Antioch received several lines of this succession through its founder, the late Archbishop Warren Prall Watters (1890-1992). The Free Church of Antioch was established on October 4th, 1992, in Santa Barbara, California, and was incorporated in that state through The Center For Esoteric Studies, of which Archbishop Watters was the Founder and Director.

The church's most important Line of Succession is derived from the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht in the Netherlands. This is important for Independent Catholics, as many hundreds of "wandering bishops" or Episcopi vagantes, derive their succession from this church. Some Roman Catholic scholars hold that the Orders of the Old Catholics are valid but illicit.

Archbishop Herman Adrian Spruit, founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch-Malabar Rite, consecrated Warren P. Watters to the Episcopate on April 28th, 1973, at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, California.

Assisting Archbishop Spruit as co-consecrators were The Most Reverend Stephan A. Hoeller of the Ecclesia Gnostica, and The Most Reverend Jay D. Kirby.In 1986 Warren Watters was elevated to Archbishop and become Director of Esoteric Studies for the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch. He edited and compiled three magazines which culminated in The Esoteric Review. He founded The Center for Esoteric Studies, Inc., a California religious non-profit corporation.

Watters, along with Bishops Robert Branch and Torkom Saraydarian, eventually separated from Herman Spruit, believing that they needed a freer confederation to operate their own ministries. These separations came as a result of certain actions resulting from the reorganization of the mother church, the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch.

Shortly before his death at the age of 102, Watters founded the Free Church of Antioch.

One of his great concerns and motivations in founding the Free Church of Antioch was to re-establish what he believed was a needed balance of female and male in spiritual service. This concern was reflected in his ordination of many women as priests, and in the consecration of many women as bishops.

Upon his death in 1992, Watters was succeeded by his wife, Archbishop Ellen Watters.

Upon her death at the age of 95 on January 12th, 2002, the members of the Board of Directors of the Center For Esoteric Studies, Inc., and The Free Church of Antioch passed all legalities and responsibilities of The Center For Esoteric Studies, Inc., and The Free Church of Antioch to Bishop Michelina T. Foster, Director of the Desert Light Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bishop Michelina T. Foster was consecrated to the episcopate of the Free Church of Antioch by Archbishop Warren Prall Watters and Bishop Ellen Watters.


*"Bishops At Large" by Peter F. Anson, 2006 reprint, Apocryphile Press.
*"The Wandering Bishops: Apostles of A New Spirituality" by Lewis Keizer. 2000 edition.
*"Independent Bishops: An International Directory", edited by Gary L. Ward, Bertil Persson, and Alan Bain. Apogee Books, 1990.
*"The Old Catholic Movement: Its Origins and History" by C.B. Moss, Apocryphile Press 2005 edition.
*"The Many Paths of the Independent Sacramental Movement" by Fr. John Plummer, Apocryphile Press, 2006.
*"Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church" by Henry R.T. Brandreth, 2006 reprint, Apocryphile Press.

External links

[ The Free Church of Antioch]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antioch — Antiochian /an tee oh kee euhn/, n., adj. /an tee ok /, n. 1. Arabic, Antakiya. Turkish, Antakya. a city in S Turkey: capital of the ancient kingdom of Syria 300 64 B.C. 66,520. 2. a city in W California. 43,559. * * * Turkish Antakya City (pop …   Universalium

  • Church History —     Ecclesiastical History     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Ecclesiastical History     I. NATURE AND OFFICE     Ecclesiastical history is the scientific investigation and the methodical description of the temporal development of the Church… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Antioch, Tennessee — Antioch is a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, located in the southern part of Davidson County. It is not autonomous, and is governed by the Nashville Davidson metropolitan government. The area is assigned to postal zip code 37013. History The… …   Wikipedia

  • Antioch College — infobox University name= Antioch College endowment= $36.2 millioncite news last =Fain first =Paul title =Antioch s Closure Signals the End of an Era publisher =The Chronicle of Higher Education date =2007 06 22 url… …   Wikipedia

  • Church Fathers — The Church Fathers, an 11th century Kievan miniature from Svyatoslav s Miscellany The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were early and influential theologians, eminent Christian teachers and great… …   Wikipedia

  • Church of Cyprus — Main article: Religion in Cyprus Church of Cyprus Coat of arms Founder St Barnabas the Apostle Independence …   Wikipedia

  • Antioch, Illinois — Geobox|Settlement name = Antioch native name = other name = Anti Oak category = Village etymology = official name = motto = nickname = image caption = symbol = country = United States state = Illinois region = Lake region type = County district …   Wikipedia

  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre — This article is about the church building in Jerusalem. For other uses, see The Holy Sepulchre (disambiguation). The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old …   Wikipedia

  • Church of the East — For other uses, see Church of the East (disambiguation). Nestorian Church redirects here. For other uses, see Nestorian (disambiguation). Nestorian priests in a procession on Palm Sunday, in a 7th or 8th century wall painting from a Nestorian… …   Wikipedia

  • Church music — For the album by David Crowder Band, see Church Music (album) . Church singing, Tacuinum Sanitatis Casanatensis (14th century). Church music may be defined as music written for performance in church, or any musical setting of ecclestiacal l …   Wikipedia