I recently had an opportunity to learn more about the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion, USA from its president, Zac Neubauer. There are some exciting developments going on in the broader evangelical/Anglican world, and I hope this interview will encourage you and show you how you can be a part of what God is doing.
Who founded EFAC-USA and when?
ZN: John Stott founded EFAC Global in 1961. EFAC-USA was started in the early sixties by Peter C. Moore and Philip Edgecumbe Hughes. John Howe and John Rodgers were early members.
What is its relationship to EFAC-GLOBAL?
ZN: EFAC Global is an umbrella organization that unites the various international EFAC chapters (for example The Church of England Evangelical Council, Evangelical Fellowship in the Church in Wales, as well as chapters in Australia, Uganda, Ireland, S. Africa, New Zealand, and Nigeria). The various chapters function independently of EFAC global and each other, but EFAC global serves as a hub by which ideas, funds, etc. can originate and pass through between chapters.
What was the purpose for starting EFAC-USA?
ZN: EFAC-USA aimed to promote the supreme authority of Scripture, share a commitment to biblical obedience, foster fellowship among Evangelicals, function as a resource group, and provide a forum for discussing important issues and articulating gospel distinctives.
How did EFAC-USA initially work to meet these goals?
ZN: The main vehicle for meeting these goals has always been an annual conference.
Are these the same goals EFAC-USA currently has today, or have things changed?
ZN: They are roughly the same goals. Today we articulate our goals as being:
- To encourage and provide training for biblical preaching and teaching in the Episcopal and Anglican churches.
- To foster fellowship among evangelicals in the Anglican and Episcopal churches, and to promote cooperation among all who recognize the ultimate authority of Scripture in matters of faith and practice.
- To teach and practice evangelism as a biblical priority.
- To foster liturgy and worship consistent with the gospel.
- To encourage committed, gifted evangelicals to enter full time ministry and to support and encourage them during their training and first placement.
How does EFAC-USA meet its goals today?
ZN: Still through an annual conference that focuses on one of the goals each year. We are also working on setting up online preaching courses. We have a newly-established book grant for evangelical seminarians and those in their first placement. We provide a clearinghouse for parishes looking for evangelical clergy, and for evangelical clergy looking for parishes (we’ve already made two or three matches with plenty of parishes still looking). And work is started on a ceremonial (similar to A Priest’s Handbook, but for evangelicals) for both the [TEC] 1979 and [ACNA] 2019 prayer books.
What is your role at EFAC-USA, and how did you get involved?
ZN: I am the President and have been since 2018. EFAC-USA had been in a period of dormancy through the time of Anglican realignment here in the U.S. In 2015 a group of evangelical Episcopal clergy met in Albany with Lee Gatiss as our main speaker, as a way of trying to form a community that could help and encourage each other. I attended that first meeting as a seminarian trying to find my tribe, as it were. I was involved in organizing the 2016 gathering at Trinity School for Ministry and the 2017 gathering in Orlando, Florida. At the 2017 meeting, those of us who were organizing the gathering discovered the history of EFAC-USA and resurrected it as a nonprofit with a board, etc. It was in taking on the EFAC-USA mantle that we also decided to have our group be pan-Anglican and not just for evangelicals in TEC.
Who are some other key people involved in running EFAC-USA?
ZN: Philip Wainwright and Laurie Thompson (as former board members) were heavily responsible for assisting in getting EFAC-USA back up and running. Currently, the key folks involved are our board (myself, Richard Crocker, Eric Hornbuckle, Adam Young, Ben Randall, Dustin Messer, and Jake Dell). I’m proud that our board represents a diversity of jurisdictions (3 TEC, 2 ACNA, 1 AMiA), and we hope to add a few more members to better reflect the diversity of race, gender, and geography in U.S. evangelical Anglicanism.
There’s a conference coming up soon. Can you share what it will be addressing and how people can get more information on attending?
ZN: Our 2021 Conference will be in Dallas, Texas at All Saints’ Church (AMiA), October 20-23rd. Evangelism is the theme, and our main speakers are Glen Scrivener from Speak Life, UK; Ashley Null; and Carrie Headington, the Canon for Evangelism for the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and founder of the Good News Initiative. Cost is $195, scholarships are available. One can register at efac-usa.org/2021conference
How can readers learn more about EFAC-USA?
ZN: A good place to start is our website EFAC-USA.org or by following us on Facebook and Instagram. On the website, one can join our mailing list where we send out monthly updates.
How can readers support the ministry?
ZN: By prayer and word of mouth and attending our yearly conference. For just $60 a year, one can become a member of EFAC-USA, which allows for voice and vote at our annual meeting, a very cool enamel pin, access to a private Facebook group with our job listings, and more. We’re in the process of creating a parish membership scheme as well. We are a nonprofit, so we rely on the generosity of our friends: so donations are also welcome via our secure website efac-usa.org/give
Is there anything else about EFAC-USA that would be helpful for our readers to know about?
ZN: We are excited about the future of evangelical Anglicanism here in the U.S. Folks like Ashley Null, John Yates III, Zac Hicks, Chuck Collins, Dustin Messer, and so many others are contributing to a renaissance of this biblical and historically rooted understanding of our Anglican tradition, and we want to encourage and equip both clergy and laity to further not just another ecclesiastical party or movement, but the very gospel of Jesus Christ.