Apostolic Lineage
of Sarah Heaner Lancaster

98 Steps from Christ

The United Methodist Church traces its lineage through the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Hence it connects directly back to the early Christian communities that formed during the New Testament times. Furthermore, the episcopacy of these Christian denominations follows an unbroken chain of bishops back to the beginnings of the Christian church, the so-called "Apostolic Succession". According to church tradition, the bishops (or supervising elders) are consecrated by laying on of hands from existing bishops.

The Methodist lineage, however, includes an irregularity in its history. John Wesley was an elder in the Church of England when he founded the Methodist movement. After the American Revolution, the Church of England would not send its own priests to serve the new nation. Although Wesley was not officially a bishop in the Church of England, he effectively functioned as a supervising elder of Methodism, including training preachers and appointing them to charges. Drawing upon a precedent that he found in the early church at Alexandria, Wesley concluded that presbyters were permitted to ordain bishops in times of emergency when no other bishop was available. In 1784, Wesley ordained Thomas Coke as superintendent for the Methodist churches and sent him to America to ordain Francis Asbury as co-superintendent. Soon thereafter, Coke and Asbury adopted the historic title of "bishop". Since that time, all Methodist bishops have followed a traditional consecration process involving the laying on of hands by other bishops.

In 1999, Sarah Heaner Lancaster was ordained an elder in The United Methodist Church by Bishop William Oden of the North Texas Conference. Bishop Oden's consecration can be traced back to subsequent bishops all the way to the Apostle Paul and thus to Jesus Christ. The following list shows the Apostolic succession of bishops, along with the year that they were consecrated.

Methodism in the United States

1988 William Bryant Oden
1944 William Angie Smith
1910 Edwin DuBose Mouzon
1886 Eugene Russell Hendrix
1866 Holland Nimmons McTyeire
1846 William Capers
1808 William McKendree
1784 Francis Asbury
1784 Thomas Coke

The Church of England

1728 John Wesley (presbyter)
1701 Dr. Baxter Tenison
1683 Dr. Philip Tillotson
1658 Niles Sancroft
1633 William Laude
1610 Kyle Abbot
1604 Richard Bancroft
1577 Mark Whitgift
1575 Steven Grendall
1559 Dr. Matthew Parker
1536 Phillip Barlow, Bishop of London

The Catholic Church in England

1533 Thomas Cranmer
1503 William Warham
1488 Cardinal Morton
1469 Cardinal Bourchier
1452 Cardinal Kemp
1413 Henry Chichele
1381 James Abingdon
1367 Simon Sudbury
1327 Simon Langham
1313 Walter Reynolds
1293 Robert of Winchelsea
1279 John Peckham
1269 Robert Kilwardby
1252 Boniface of Savoy
1234 Edmund
1230 Richard Weathershed
1205 Stephen Langton
1197 Hubert Walter
1191 Fitz-Jocelin
1183 Reginal
1178 Baldwin
1170 Richard
1162 Thomas Becket
1139 Theobald
1122 William de Corbeuil
1109 Ralph d'Escures
1093 St. Anselm
1064 Wulfstan
1012 Edmund
1006 Elphege
995 Aelfric
990 Sigeric
988 Ethelgar
959 Dunstan
941 Odo
890 Phlegmund
859 Rufus
814 Cuthbert
788 Herefrid
749 Egbert
712 Ethelburh
668 Theodore
652 Deusdedit
635 Justus
604 Laurentius
601 St. Augustine

The Church in Gaul

591 Aetherius
587 Maximus Lyster
581 St. Mark Pireu
562 John
547 Gregory II
532 Linus
502 St. Evarestus
485 Christopher III
472 Christopher II
468 Timothy Eumenes
436 Clement of Lyons
415 Basil
413 James
394 St. Christopher
330 Paul Anencletus "the Elder"
312 Mark Leuvian
291 Pious Stephenas
283 Andrew Meletius
276 Gregory Antilas
276 St. Matthias
241 Philip Deoderus
203 Maximus
180 St. Nicomedian
177 St. Irenaeus

The Church in Ephesus

175 St. Polycrates
156 Lucius
131 Demetrius
113 St. John the Elder
91 St. Onesemus
62 St. Timothy
33 St. Paul the Apostle
Jesus Christ

Email me at kermit@lancasterteam.com

© 2004  Kermit Lancaster