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BLOCK

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Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 585 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARK ELIEZER BLOCH (c. 1723–1799)
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BLOCK (from the Fr. bloc, and possibly connected wi...

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His Eminence Archbishop and Bishop Primus Horst-Karl Friedrich Block (October 23, 1936, Ruppertsgrün, Bavaria, Germany-Alive). Archbishop and 10th Bishop Primus, International Free Protestant Episcopal Church. Psychotherapist, 1992. Deacon, International Free Protestant Episcopal Church, March, 1968. Ordained Priest, December, 1968. Titular Bishop of Edessa and Melitene, 1971. Bishop for the Diocese of West Africa, March 26, 1972. Presiding bishop of France and Germany. Archbishop and 10th Bishop Primus, 1980-Current. The Free Protestant Episcopal Church was founded on November 2, 1897, by several small British episcopates seeking to sustain traditional Anglicanism against Anglo-Catholicism. Archbishop Block was elected Bishop Primus to replace the designated successor of the 8th Bishop Primus, who presided over the church for a brief period in 1979.
Beginnings to 1922 As most church historians know, the first group of episcopal governed Anglicans to separate from the Church of England were the Non-jurors who existed from 1689 to 1805 when the last of their bishops died without a successor. These very devout people initially left the mother church over maintaining their allegiance to the Royal House of Stuart after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They were traditional High Churchmen, but over time became interested in the Eastern Orthodox Churches and adopted several practices of those churches. Indeed, towards the end of the Non-jurors existence they had started to refer to themselves as 'the remnant of the Ancient British Church' or 'the Orthodox British Church'. On 6 June 1866 a former French Roman Catholic missionary priest, Raymond Ferrette (1828 to 1904), was consecrated a bishop, with the religious name of 'Mar Julius', under the authority of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and was sent to England to initiate an indigenous and autonomous Orthodox Church as a step towards reunion between western and eastern Christians. On 6 March 1874 at Marholm, Northants, England he consecrated the Rev'd Richard Williams Morgan (1815 to 1899), a clergyman in the Church of England, as the native British bishop in this plan. Bishop Morgan, taking the religious name of 'Mar Pelagius I', re-established the Ancient British Church, while continuing his duties as an Anglican clergyman and as a historian of note. Exactly five years later, on 6 March 1879 he consecrated his successor as head of this church, the Rev'd Charles Isaac Stevens (1835 to 1917), a former presbyter of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the United States of America who had moved to England. Bishop Stevens took the religious name of 'Mar Theophilus I'. It is interesting to note that Bishop Stevens' co-consecrators were bishops in the Order of Corporate Reunion - a body of independent clergy who wanted the Church of England to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church! One of the co-consecrators was Dr. Frederick George Lee, who was a literal descendant of the Non-juroring bishop Dr. Timothy Newmarsh who had been consecrated in 1726. This Ancient British Church was to revive the high church and liturgical principles of the former Non-jurors in opposition to the Anglo-Catholicism that was sparked within the Church of England by the beginnings of the Oxford Movement in 1833. Meantime, in 1873 the Nazarene Episcopal Church was founded by the Rev'd James Martin (1843 to 1919) who established his headquarters at Flaxman Road, Loughborough Junction, London, S.E.5. This church body followed a Methodist piety tradition. Sometime between 1879 and 1888 it received episcopal succession when Bishop Alfred Spencer Richardson of the Reformed Episcopal Church of England consecrated Dr. Martin. In 1890 Bishop Martin founded Nazarene College to serve as the seminary of his jurisdiction. In 1885, while he served as a priest for the Armenian Catholic Church community - a church body in union with the Roman Catholic Church - in Constantinople (from 1881 to 1885), Bishop Leon Checkemian (1848 to 1920) through contacts with Anglicans, converted to Reform Protestantism and resolved to emigrate to England. Dr. Checkemian had earlier served as an assistant bishop (from 1878 to 1881) for his ethnic group in Malatia (his birthplace), Asia Minor, having received consecration on 23 April 1878 from Armenian Catholic Archbishop Leon Chorchorunian (1822 to 1897). As a newcomer he at first found work as a common labourer in order to survive and studied at New College, a Presbyterian seminary. By 1889 his command of English was such that he obtained employment in Belfast, Ireland through the Presbyterian Church and became a noted lecturer and preacher in the Protestant churches in that city. That year of 1889, Dr. Checkemian created the Free Protestant Church of England® as a common meeting place for all types of Protestant Christians - Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. On 4 May 1890, in order to remove any doubts as to his episcopal status, he received consecration from the above mentioned Bishops Charles Isaac Stevens, James Martin, and Alfred Spencer Richardson. In addition, in order to bring his fellow British Armenian refugees into a non-papal church, Dr. Checkemian established the United Armenian Catholic Church® in the British Isles on 15 August 1890. Dr. Checkemian came to the attention of the Most Rev'd and the Rt. Honble Dr. William C. Plunket (1828 to 1897), the fourth Baron Plunket, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of the Church of Ireland. Archbishop Plunket hated the creeping Anglo-Catholicism within the Anglican Communion which he viewed as an trojan horse for Papal re-establishment over the Church of England. He dreamt as a counter measure of establishing Reformed Episcopal churches in spheres of Roman Catholic influence. He saw Dr. Checkemian's idea of the United Armenian Catholic Church as part of the above plan and endorsed it by giving Dr. Checkemian a license to officiate as an clergyman within the Church of Ireland. It was Lord Plunket's hope that eventually this church would be established within the Armenian homeland as an replacement for the Armenian Uniate Church. In 1894 he was able to help establish the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church by consecrating its founder, a former Roman Catholic priest, the Rev'd Juan Bautista Cabrera (1837 to 1916), as its first bishop. Unfortunately, on 1 April 1897 Lord Plunket died before he could help Dr. Checkemian expand the United Armenian Catholic Church back to Turkey. In the meantime, Bishop Checkemian had moved to London, where he was in close contact with the above mentioned independent bishops. They realised that they could be a better witness for evangelical Anglicanism if they could merge their resources together as one church body. On 2 November 1897 the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England® was formed with the union of the Free Protestant Church®, the Ancient British Church®, and the Nazarene Episcopal Church®, with Dr. Checkemian as its first Primus. Dr. Checkemian retained the headship of the United Armenian Catholic Church® as an separate organisation from this union. The FPEC was inaugurated on the above date in St. Stephen's Church, East Ham, London when Dr. Checkemian and Dr. James Martin first consecrated George W.L. Maaers (for the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church®) and Frederick Boucher to the episcopal bench. These four bishops in turn then consecrated Andrew Charles Albert MacLaglen (1851 to 1928). The 1870 Constitution and Canons of the Church of Ireland was adopted for use in the new FPEC. In December 1900 Dr. Checkemian retired as Primus of the FPEC and was succeeded by Dr. Stevens. On 2 February 1917 Dr. Stevens died and Dr. Martin became the third head of the Church. Two years later on 20 October 1919 Dr. Martin died and was succeeded as Primus by Dr. MacLaglen. Meantime on 3 December 1920 Dr. Checkemian died and the headship of the United Armenian Catholic Church fell also to Dr. MacLaglen. The high point of the FPEC was when it obtained recognition by the British Government as a legally constiuted denomination. This fact was established in early 1917 when the Venerable Ernest A. Asquith, Ph.D., 26 Speldhurst Rd., London, the Archdeacon of the Church, was a test case under the Military Service Act of 1916. Clergymen could obtain an exemption from military service under the terms of this Act. The officiating magistrate gave his decision that the Ven. Dr. Asquith was a lawfully ordained minister of a legally constituted Episcopal Church, and therefore a man in Holy Orders within the meaning of the Act. His Worship arrived at this conclusion after investigating the origin of the Orders of the Church and the services used for ordinations and consecrations which are based on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. In early 1922 Primus MacLaglen decided to retire as the joint head of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church, the Ancient British Church, and the United Armenian Catholic Church. On 4 June 1922 in St. Andrew's Church, Retreat Place, London, he consecrated Herbert James Monzani Heard to the episcopate. +MacLaglen again took up the office of primus of the FPEC. 1922 to Date In 1928 Dr. MacLaglen died and the office of Primus remained vacant until around April of 1930 when Dr. Monzani Heard took up the position after he retired from his teaching profession. On 18 May 1939 he retired as the Primus of the FPEC when he consecrated as his successor Dr. William Hall, long time chaplain to Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill. On 30 September 1944 the primacy of the United Armenian Catholic Church and then on 29 January 1945 the headship of the Ancient British Church were turned over by Dr. Monzani Heard to Bishop Hugh George de Willmott Newman who merged them into his Catholicate of the West jurisdiction. Bishop Monzani Heard died on 15 August 1947 at the age of 81. Primus Hall (1930 -1959)continued the practice of consecrating bishops. Dr. Charles Dennis Boltwood (1889 to 1985) sets the next stage in the history of the FPEC. A noted spiritualist in the 1930s and 1940s. On 25 December 1950, while on business in North America for the Catholicate, he also was cons. by +Earl Anglin Lawrence James of the Old Roman Catholic Church in Canada. On 3 May 1951 he was ordained sub conditione a presbyter by Primus Hall when in addition he joined the FPEC. Dr. Boltwood was cons. on Palm Sunday (6 April) 1952 by Primus Hall as a bishop in the FPEC. A week later, on Easter Sunday (13 April) 1952, +Boltwood received cons. from +De Willmott Newman. On 25 March (Lady Day) 1954 Dr. Boltwood was elected to be the successor of Dr. Hall as Primus of the FPEC. Dr. Boltwood on 6 July 1956 received cons.again from +De Willmott Newman and on 19 September 1958 was also cons. by +Konstantin Jaroshevich of the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ. On 9 October 1959 Primus Hall died and Dr. Boltwood became Bishop Primus. In 1957 Bishop Boltwood, with the blessings of Primus Hall, decided to expand the FPEC outside of the United Kingdom when he cons. Emmet Neil Enochs of California as Archbishop of the FPEC in the USA. In 1958 followed consecrations of bishops for West Africa and for Canada. Dr. Boltwood in the meantime (October 1960) quit his membership in the Catholicate of the West in order to concentrate on the FPEC work. Unfortunately, +Boltwood allowed his bishops and clergy such a free hand in their ministries that the original purpose of the FPEC was forgotten about and most of them viewed the FPEC as a 'starter church' and quickly founded/joined other Anglican/Independent Catholic or Orthodox jurisdictions. (Dr. Boltwood's continuing practice of theosophy in addition to presenting himself as an old fashion evangelical Anglican did not help matters also.) On 16 October 1966 +Boltwood cons. Albert John Fuge, Sr. (1911 to 1982), a Lutheran pastor, of New York City as the new bishop of the FPEC in New York State. On 8 September 1968 Dr. Fuge became Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of the USA in the place of Dr. Enochs who in the meantime had become an Old Roman Catholic bishop. +Fuge's headquarters was in the Boltwood Chapel, which was located at 177 West Broadway, New York City. Dr. Boltwood decided at the age of 89 years to retire as the Primus of the FPEC. He nominated Dr. Fuge to succeed him in this office. At a ceremony held in the Park Road Methodist Church, New York City, Dr. Boltwood handed over the Deed of Succession to the Office of Bishop Primus to Dr. Fuge on 17 October 1978. Official witnesses to the change over were the Rt. Rev'd Dr. Ernest P. Parris (assistant FPEC bishop of New York) and the Rev'd Dr. Samuel Lewis (chaplain to Dr. Fuge). + Dr. Emmanuel Samuel Yekorogha, FPEC, Archbishop of Africa,and +Dr Horst-Karl F. Block (born 1936), Bishop of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church, Ecumenical Church Foundation and Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of West Africa, 1973 Presiding Bishop for Germany,France and parts adjacent In Europe, did not agree with this and Dr. Block was elected to become Bishop Primus of the FPEC which exists to this day. On 7 October 2001 it became known as the International Free Protestant Episcopal Church, because Bishop Primus Block established the Free Protestant Episcopal Church worldwide. On 30 April 1982 Dr. Fuge died and the FPEC bishop for Texas, the Rt. Rev'd Robert Randolph Rivette succeeded him as FPEC Archbishop of the USA. +Rivette, a lawyer and retired USAF officer, had been cons. on 19 October 1971 in the Boltwood Chapel (which was officially dedicated several years later on 27 October 1974) by Dr. Fuge as chief consecrator, assisted by Dr. Boltwood, and bishops Benjamin C. Eckardt, William C. Thompson, and Ernest P. Parris. This consecration occurred at the end of a Convocation of the FPEC in which the Church passed a new Constitution and adopted policies for greater co-ordination between the work of the USA and Canadian branches of the Church. Dr. Boltwood and his second wife Mrs. Connie Godden-Boltwood were the guests of honor at this Convocation. Dr. Charles K.S.S. Moffatt (1907 to 1989), FPEC Archbishop of Canada became the Presiding Bishop for Canada. It was at this time that Dr. Boltwood directed the Rev'd Dr. Francis Thomas, D.Th. (ordained by +Boltwood in 1961) of London to wind down the operations of St. Andrew's Collegiate Church in London, logging its records with Somerset House, and disposing its properties. St. Andrew's Collegiate Church was demolished in the 1970's when Stonebridge Road Housing estate was developed in this location. Copy is in the possession of Bishop Primus Block. On 7 November 1989 Dr. Moffatt died. On 19 April 1991 +Rivette cons. (sola) the Rev'd Melvin Frederick Larson (born 1920) of Lynwood, WA as FPEC Archbishop of the Pacific NW. +Larson had earlier been ordained a deacon and priest by +Walter Hollies Adams (1907 to 1991) of the Anglican Episcopal Church of North America before joining the FPEC. Since about 1997 +Rivette has been suffering with Alzheimer's Disease, leaving +Larson, +Dr. John Marion Stanley (born 1923) of Port Orchard, WA, +Dr. Harry Kenneth Means (born 1919) of Port Charlotte, FL, +Dr. Edwin Duane Follick (born 1935) of Woodland Hills, CA, +Dr. James Nicholas Meola (born 1938) of Tom's River, NJ, and +Dr. Ernest P. Paris (born 1920) of Saint Albany, NY as the only FPEC bishops in the USA. +Stanley had been cons. on 3 May 1959 in London by +Boltwood, assisted by +James B. Noble and +Reginald Benjamin Millard. +Means had been cons. on 16 August 1964 in London by +Boltwood, assisted by +Francis Thomas and Old Catholic bishop +Albert Dunstan Bell of the USA. +Follick had been cons. on 28 August 1968 in London by +Boltwood (sola). +Meola had been cons. on 13 March 1988 by Bishops John R. Rifenbury (chief consecrator), Troy A. Kaichen, and Robert R. Rivette. +Parris had been cons. in the spring of 1970 by +Fuge (sola). On 8 March 2003 the English ministers of the FPEC, the Rev'd Cecil G. Cobran, B.Th., of London, England, died at the age of 88 years. Very Rev'd Dr. Geoffrey L. Stocker,Ph.D. a member of The International Free Protestant Episcopal Church in Great Britain died 23rd January 2005 .
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