James Martin was born on 4 April 1843 in Inkberrow, Worcester, England, the son of Samuel and Diana (nee White) Martin. He was baptised in the Inkberrow parish church on 30 April 1843 where the clerk made the error of recording his mother's Christian name as "Hannah" instead of "Diana" - the two names sound similiar in speech.
Apparently as a young man he travelled to the USA where he attended university. The following appeared in the Brixton Times, 13th February 1896: "The Rev. James Martin, of Brixton, who for twenty-five years has been widely known throughout England, Ireland, Wales and the United States of America under the title of Antipas, F.D., has received an official intimation from New York that he has been admitted by the Examiners of his University to the rank and status of Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Laws, in recognition of his erudition as a Theological Author. This honour has been conferred during the jubilee year of Antipas, F.D." This jubilee year, referring back to the year 1871, probably is referring to his graduation from this un-named university. James apparently had a first marriage because at the time he married Eliza Jane Boundy in 1871 his condition was stated as Widower.
The nom de plume, "Antipas, F.D.", came from an early Christian matryr, St. Antipas of Asia Minor. This saint was known as being a "Faithful Disciple/Defender" of the Word and was held in high regard for his life by the Protestant Reformers from the sixteenth century onward.
Martin was searching to be part of a true Bible based form of Christianity and was undoubtedly influenced by his studies. By 1871 he was back in Britain. He came into contact with the newly formed Nazarene Fellowship, an 1873 split off from the Christadelphians. He joined the local Swansea congregation, becoming a "ringleader" of it as he referred to himself. The name the new group took, "Nazarene", was the way to point out they were trying to be like the original Christians. They too, have a special devotion to St. Antipas as the example of those who are faithful in opposition to all pretenders to Christianity; hence sometimes they were called "The Antipas". The Nazarene Fellowship is organised into independent congregations, officially known as ecclesias, therefore sometimes the Fellowship is known as the Nazarene Ecclesia.
James and his wife, Eliza Jane (nee Boundy), lived in Mount Pleasant, Swansea until about 1878. Mrs. Martin was born in the USA in 1850, daughter of Thomas Boundy Sr, a general merchant, and became a naturalised British Subject before or at the time of her marriage. James and Eliza Jane were married on 19 January 1871 in the Register Office in the District of Hereford by license. At the time of this marriage, James was residing at All Saints, Hereford and Eliza J. lived at Saint Mary's, Swansea. On 27 October 1876 their oldest child, Antipas James Martin, was born. At this time, James Martin's occupation was listed as "Lecturer". In about 1878 the Martin family moved to a large house at 59 Flaxman Road, Lambeth, Surrey, England where James continued on in his studies and writing and became a congregational leader amongst the London Nazarenes. In 1878 daughter May Lily Martin was born and in 1880 daughter Ruth Christable Martin was born. In the 1881 Census his occupation is stated as being "Author". About 1887 Martin moved to another large house at 81 Flaxman Road. About the same time the Nazarenes established a formal church location, The Nazarene Tabernacle, in Kent House Road, Sydenham, London SE26. Martin's income came from his lectures, by having boarders at his various residences, and by his secular business "J. Martin & Co., Printers, Engravers, And Publishers, 30 & 32 Ludgate Hill, E.C. London".
The Nazarene Fellowship did not have a formal clergy as most other denominations; each congregation picked its own bishops and deacons on a basis like that of an ordinary society. Martin's group wished to have more structure therefore, on 11 April 1888 (feast day of St. Antipas) Martin received consecration as a bishop in the historic Anglican Episcopal Succession at the hands of the Rt. Rev'd Alfred Spencer Richardson (1842 to 1907), the Primus of the Reformed Episcopal Church of the United Kingdom. Martin made the acquaintance of Dr. Richardson while doing research for his booklet The Faiths of London being a narrative of the sects and denominations of that metropolis. Bishop Martin then began calling his church organisation by the name of The Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia. The Nazarene College was founded in 1890, with the Martin home listed as its address, by Dr. Martin as his group's theological school.
Alfred Spencer Richardson was born in 1842 in Manchester, England. He was the minister at Great Malvern, Worcestershire for the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion and for the Free Church of England in the 1870s when both bodies were basically one church. In 1877 he and several other clergy left the FCE and established a branch of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the United Kingdom; his congregation became known as "The Church of God Reformed Episcopal Church in Gt Malvern". On 22 June 1879 he was consecrated a bishop for the UK REC in St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia, USA by Bishops William Rufus Nicholson and Samuel Fallows. In 1885 Dr. Richardson became Presiding Bishop of the UK REC. Towards the end of that year, he and his family moved to London where they resided at 27 Belgrave Road. He was involved in setting up Christ Church, Carlton Hill and Christ Church, West Kensington.
Some church historians have criticised Primus Richardson for being involved in consecrating Dr. Martin, and later on 4 May 1890 assisting Archbishop Charles Isaac Stevens (a former REC of UK presbyter) of the Ancient British Church in the sub conditione consecration of Leon Chechemian. According to FPEC tradtion, these consecrations occurred in one of Bishop Richardson's London churches, most likely at Christ Church, Carlton Hill. Dr. Richardson was the first Anglican tradition bishop to bestow the historic episcopate to other Christian denominations without requiring them to strictly follow Anglican theology - this idea was stated to be a good gesture in the past by various Church of England divines but had to that point never been acted upon. He was establishing a precedent later followed by his church's communion partner the Reformed Episcopal Church of the United States. On 5 December 1896 REC Bishop Peter Fayssoux Stevens (1830 to 1910) consecrated Edward Russell Middleton as bishop for the Reformed Methodist Union Episcopal Church. This church body is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, and still maintains the historic episcopate.
As late as 1885 Martin and his London congregation of Nazarenes followed the beliefs of the sect which can be read at Nazarene Fellowship Beliefs. At the time of his consecration as a bishop, Martin and his church moved towards a more "mainstream" view of Christian doctrine and belief especially as the Book of Common Prayer (REC version) was henceforth used as the standard of worship in the new Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia. However, Dr. Martin continued in his teaching that the immortality of the soul was a pagan heresy and that the dead would sleep in their graves and be resurrected to either everlasting life or to everlasting death. The righteous would live and reign on Earth with Jesus Christ as King forever under God the Father and the unrepentant evil people would be destroyed totally by being cast into the Lake of Fire and exist no more. Heaven and Earth would be recreated as one with Jerusalem as the capital of the refurnished universe. Bishop Martin firmly believed that these beliefs were allowed by the Church of England in her doctrine and he stated that he knew Anglican clerics who privately believed the same.
Shortly after the 1890 consecration service of Bishop Chechemian, both he and Bishop Stevens made the acquaintance through Dr. Richardson of Dr. Martin. Drs. Martin and Chechemian became good friends and Dr. Martin went to visit Dr. Chechemian in Dublin, Ireland shortly before Dr. Chechemian received his license from Archbishop Plunket of the Church of Ireland to officiate as a presbyter in that Church. On 2 November 1890 in his home at 18 Hume Street, Dublin, Bishop Chechemian sub conditione consecrated Bishop Martin into the episcopal lineage of the Ancient British Church and the Order of Corporate Reunion which Dr. Chechemian possessed. Besides his functioning as a Church of Ireland clergyman, Bishop Chechemian was the presiding bishop of two churches bodies - one called the Free Protestant Church of England and the other named the United Armenian Catholic Church in the British Isles. According to Brandreth's Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church, 1947, page 52, at this consecration Dr. Chechemian made Dr. Martin the new Archbishop (of Caerleon-upon-Usk) and Patriarch of the Free Protestant Church of England. This would make sense as +Chechemian's patron, Archbishop Lord Plunket of the Church of Ireland would probably frown on his being head of an English based protestant church that would be in theory in competition with Anglicans. In 1897 Lord Plunket died and by the time of the formation of the FPEC in November of that year, Dr. Chechemian was once more head of the Free Protestant Church of England.
In May of 1892 Dr. Alfred S. Richardson resigned as Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church of the United Kingdom. He had tried to finance the REC on his personal credit and when some investments went bad he became bankrupt. Dr. Richardson then moved to Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, where he died in 1907.
By 1896 Bishop Chechemian was living in London, and he and Bishop Martin discussed the idea of merging the Free Protestant Church and the Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia into one larger church body geared to Anglicans and Free Church folk as part of the Church Reunion Movement. Archbishop-Patriarch Charles Isaac Stevens (known by his religious name of Mar Theophilus) of the Ancient British Church also would semi attach his jurisdiction to this new church body. Hence, the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England was born. The organisational Synod of the FPEC was held on 2 November 1897 in St. Stephen's Church, Shrewsburg Road, East Ham, London. Events at this synod occurred in the following order:
1. The Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia and the Free Protestant Church of England were formally merged into the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England with the Nazarene College continuing on as the theological school of the FPEC. The Ancient British Church and the United Armenian Catholic Church of the British Isles enter into intercommunion with the FPEC and each other in order to share resources and in some cases clergy;
2. The 1878 Constitution and Canons of the Reformed Episcopal Church of the United Kingdom plus its version of the Book of Common Prayer were adopted, with modifications pertaining to the FPEC, as part of its Canons Ecclesiastical. One notable modification was that a canon was passed stating that the FPEC as an entity would not own any buildings, each individual congregation in communion with her providing its own building and supporting its clergy. The sad fate of Dr. Richardson mentioned above probably figured in the minds of the founding bishops and they wished to avoid personal financial ruin;
3.Dr. Chechemian was elected as Archbishop-Primus of the FPEC and Dr. Stevens was elected as his Coadjutor;
4. Consecration of Bishops Frederick W. Boucher (Baucher), George W. L. Maeers, and Andrew C. A. McLaglen - the first two for independent ministries and Bishop McLaglen for the FPEC and the Ancient British Church as "Mar Andries".
5. Subconditional Consecration of Bishop James Martin into the succession of the Ancient British Church by all bishops present as "Mar Jacobus I Antipas";
6. Formal Enthronement of Dr. Stevens as Coadjutor;
7. Formal Enthronement of Dr. Chechemian as Archbishop-Primus.
In addition to being bishops of the new FPEC the following were also on the episcopal benches of the Ancient British Church and the United Armenian Catholic Church:
Mar Theophilus I (Charles Isaac Stevens), Patriarch of the Ancient British Church & Archbishop of Caerleon, Caertroia, and Verulam
Mar Leon (Chechemian), Primate of the United Armenian Catholic Church of the British Isles & Archbishop of Selsey
Mar Jacobus I Antipas (James Martin), Archbishop of Caerleon-upon-Usk
Mar Andries I (Andrew Charles Albert McLaglen), Bishop of Claremont
In 1917 the FPEC was undertaking mission work in America however no documentation survives as to its nature. It may have been under the oversight of Dr. McLaglen as by that year several of his sons had emigrated to Canada and the USA. He may have been visiting them during the years 1916 and 1917 which would explain his not assisting Dr. Martin at the 1916 consecrations (he was the only other functioning FPEC bishop and would naturally be involved in that service) and his absence in 1917 as a member of the church's General Synod.
Dr. Martin died on 29 October 1919 at the home of his youngest daughter, Mrs. Ruth C. Clark, 199 Maple Road, Penge, Kent. For some nine days before his death, he had been suffering with broncho-pneumonia. He had been predeceased by his wife sometime between 1908 and his death and by his son Antipas James Martin in 1908. Daughter Ruth had married Arthur Walter Clark of Penge, Kent on 19 August 1908 in All Saints Church of England, Sydenham, London; witnesses were Eliza Jane and James Martin. The officiating priest was Fr. Farnham Edward Maynard (1882 to 1973), who in 1910 moved to Australia and became a noted Anglo Catholic cleric in the Australian Anglican Church and an advocate of socialism.
The episcopal succession of the FPEC arrived early in the USA and Canada through a curious manner. On or before 19 February 1905 William Patterson Whitebrook (1871 to 1915) of Lambeth, England was consecrated by Bishop Andrew Charles Albert McLaglen. In 1908 Bishop Paulo Miraglia Gulotti (1852 to 1918) of the Italian National Episcopal Church travelled to England in order to conditionally consecrate +Whitebrook into the line of Archbishop Rene Joseph Vilatte as +Whitebrook had joined the English branch of +Vilatte's church. This occured on 27 December 1908 in +Whitebrook's domestic chapel of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Bishopsthorpe, Stone Hill, Headley Down, Hampshire and in turn Bishop Whitehead sub conditional consecrated +Gulotti bestowing the FPEC and Order of Corporate Reunion lines of succession on him. Back in North America Bishop Gulotti consecrated the following bishops - Carmel Henry Carfora (1911), Paul A. R. Markiewicz (16 Nov. 1913), Josef Zielonka (16 Nov. 1913), and assisted at the consecration of Frederick Ebenezer John Lloyd (29 Dec. 1915) - bringing an Anglican episcopal line into Vilatte's jurisdiction.
Apostolic Succession of Edwin Duane Follick:
Alfred Spencer Richardson (1842 to 1907) consecrated on 11 April 1888 in +Richardson's church in London, probably Christ Church, Carlton Hill
James Martin (1843 to 1919) who assisted in the consecration on 2 November 1897 at St. Stephen's Church, Shrewsburg Road, East Ham, London of
Andrew Charles Albert McLaglen (1851 to 1928) who consecrated on 4 June 1922 at St. Andrew's Mission Church, Retreat Place, London
Herbert James Monzani-Heard (1866 to 1947) who consecrated on 18 May 1939 at St. Andrew's Church, later renamed as St. Andrew's Collegiate Church in 1954, Stonebridge Road, Tottenham, London, N.15
William Hall (1890 to 1959) who consecrated on 6 April 1952 at St. Andrew's Church, later renamed as St. Andrew's Collegiate Church in 1954, Stonebridge Road, Tottenham, London, N.15
Charles Dennis Boltwood (1889 to 1985) who consecrated on 28 August 1968 at his home chapel at 1 Aldborough Road, St. Leonards-On-Sea, Sussex
Edwin Duane Follick (born 1935)
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