The Diocese of Ohio is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion represented in the United States by The Episcopal Church. It was organized in 1817 and was the first diocese established outside of the original 13 colonies. The first bishop was Philander Chase. Since that time the Diocese has been served by 10 additional bishops. The 11th and current bishop, the Right Reverend Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., was ordained and consecrated as bishop in April 2004.
The Diocese of Ohio consists of the 48 counties of northern Ohio, an area approximately 170 miles wide by 95 miles deep, encompassing roughly 15,000 square miles.
We welcome everyone to our doors: whether you are a life-long Episcopalian or a seeker looking for God in your life, or a person who just feels something is missing in life. Please visit us. We know you’ll find a warm welcome and we hope you find a home.
For decades, Episcopal Churches around the United States have been identified by a sign, which shows the Episcopal Shield and the words, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.”
Although the Episcopal Church across the United States and locally in the Diocese of Ohio has been challenged and changed in some ways over the years, those words . . .
Everyone is welcome
What is an Episcopalian?
The word “Episcopal” refers to government by bishops. An Episcopalian is a person who belongs to the Protestant Episcopal Church, the branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion in the United States. As Episcopalians, we believe:
- The Holy Scriptures are the revealed word of God, which inspired the human authors of the Scripture, and which is interpreted by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- The Nicene and the Apostles Creed are the basic statements of our beliefs about God.
- The two great sacraments of the Gospel, given by Christ to the Church, are Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. In Baptism we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and adopt Jesus as our Lord and Savior. In the Holy Eucharist, the center of our worship life, we remember and participate in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ until his coming again.
- The historic episcopate continues the work of the first apostles in the Church, guarding the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church, and ordaining men and women to continue Christ’s ministry.
The doctrine and forms of worship are inherited from the Anglican Church—the Church of England, and the Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
How Does the Episcopal Church Differ From Other Denominations?
Historically, bishops oversee the Church in particular geographic areas, known as dioceses. In the worldwide Anglican Communion the Archbishop of Canterbury, who oversees the Diocese of Canterbury, occupies a special position by virtue of history and tradition but he has only the power of persuasion over other branches of the Communion, that is, we are a confederation of equals. Bishops from the Anglican Communion meet every 10 years for the Lambeth Conference, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but the resolutions coming from that Conference do not hold authority over all members of the Communion. Collegiality among bishops is the substitute for authority, and communal discernment is the substitute for decision-making power.
Each bishop and diocese, operating through a yearly diocesan convention, determine the character of life and work in that diocese within a set of general decisions made by a triennial General Convention of The Episcopal Church as a whole. These decisions are formalized as canons—rules that govern—by The Episcopal Church and subsequently by each affected diocese. Each diocese elects and sends clergy and lay representatives—deputies—to the General Convention. The convention of the Diocese of Ohio generally takes place in November.