News, Religion

George Alexander McGuire, First Bishop of the African Orthodox Church

George Alexander McGuire, the first Bishop, Metropolitan Archbishop of the African Orthodox Church, was born in March 28, 1866, in Sweets, Antigua.

McGuire, who was also a physician and surgeon at the Boston College of Physicians and Surgeons, was an Episcopal priest, who became involved  in a movement to establish a Black Anglican denomination. He was consecrated a Bishop on September 21, 1921, in Chicago, according to the book “Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association.”

Bishop George McGuire of the African Orthodox Church.
Bishop George McGuire of the African Orthodox Church.

Father McGuire left his Boston pulpit in 1920 to become Chaplain General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, founded by Garvey. McGuire served many years with UNIA, which was based in New York. Garvey argued that “God was made in our image—black.”

When the Fourth International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World met in 1924, Bishop McGuire urged Negroes to name a day when they would tear down and burn pictures of a white Madonna and white Christ in our homes. “Then let us start our Negro painters getting busy,” Bishop McGuire said. “And supply a black Madonna and a black Christ for the training of our children.”

At the time of his death on November 10, 1934, the African Orthodox Church had 30,000 members and about 50 clergy in 30 parishes in the United States, Africa, Cuba, Antigua and Venezuela. He was canonized by the African Orthodox Church on July 31, 1983. He is a saint of the church.

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