South Carolina Episcopalians

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Earlier Postings in 2018


Breakaway Convention Facing Out-of-Control

Spending, while Boosting $$$ to ACNA

March 7, 2018


Episcopal Church Moves to Consolidate Schism

Issues in Pending Federal False Advertising Case  

March 1, 2018


Lawrence 'Diocese' Swimming in Red Ink

as Representatives to Annual Meeting Convene

​March 1, 2018


Annual Meeting of Breakaway Group Promises

Heartache and Delusion

February 22, 2018


Smoking Gun Shows Lawerence Still

Putting His "War" against the Church Ahead

of Best Interests of his Parishes

February 21, 2018



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An Independent Journal of News & Commentary for Anglicans

March 20, 2019
Church Asks State Supreme Court to Force Circuit Judge to Implement its August 2017 Ruling

Breakaway congregations repeatedly rebuffed Bishop Adams' attempts to negotiate a mutually advantageous resolution

Their patience worn out, the Episcopal Church and its Diocese in eastern South Carolina have asked the state’s Supreme Court to order Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson of Orangeburg to implement its August 2017 decision, declaring that 29 parishes once-loyal to breakaway Bishop Mark Lawrence belong to the Church. 

The justices had sent their ruling to Dickson nearly a year-and-a-half ago, but he has given no indication that he is even working on the matter.  Judge Dickson had two somewhat aimless sessions with the lawyers from both sides last year, but has since given no indication that he’s even thought about the case. 

During one of those sessions, Dickson made it clear he didn’t know what he was supposed to do with the assignment and even asked the lawyers for their suggestions.  


In the other session, he appeared to want to retry the case, even allowing the breakaways’ lead attorney to present his arguments for overturning the court ruling.  The attorney, Alan Runyan, also was allow as much time as he wanted to attack the opinions of the three justices who voted in the majority, with a particular aggressiveness toward that of Chief Justice Don Beatty.   Ironically, it was Beatty’s opinion that kept the Church from winning a complete victory. 


Read official announcement by the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.  (Response by Bishop Lawrence will be published when it is available)


In the view of SC Episcopalians, the high court should reassign the case to a more credible judge.   Not only has Dickson stated publicly that he has no idea what he is doing, he formerly practiced law with the most politically influential law firms Lawrence has retained to help with the case.

Attorneys for the Church and the local diocese did not offer any explanation why they chose this time to file their request.  There have been reports of some of the Lawrence congregations taking things out of their church buildings, failing to maintain the buildings, and using the buildings to borrow money.  Most have had financial troubles since trying to leave the Church with Lawrence

The leader of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the Rt. Rev. Skip Adams, has tried repeatedly to engage dissident congregations in dialogue to explore their futures either in or outside the Church.  His last such attempt was Saturday in Florence where only seven members of breakaway congregations showed up.



February 13, 2019

Sluggish Federal Court May Be Waking Up

It took eight years for the San Joaquin case to be resolved by the courts and Church property transferred back to its rightful owners.  South Carolina is just beginning its seventh year.


Slightly more than six years after it was filed, the Federal case of "false advertising" against former SC bishop Mark Lawrence may finally get its day in court.  VonRosenberg v. Lawrence is a lawsuit claiming that the breakaway cleric is impersonating an Episcopal Church bishop even though he left the Church in late 2012.


The case is focused on the corporate "marks" of the legitimate Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina that Lawrence insists he -- not the Church's duly elected bishop -- leads.   If you are scratching your head over what that means, consider that the real purpose of the case is to decide who is the legitimate owner of the corporate entity known as "The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina."


The case was scheduled to be heard next month, but we learned today it has been rescheduled for May.  Courts don't have to explain these things, but we think the fact that both sides have told the judge they are willing to forgo a trial and have him rule directly is probably the reason.


The case was originally assigned to the late Federal Judge Weston Houck in Charleston in April 2013, but he refused to hear it until a seemingly related case in state court was resolved.   That state case was resolved in August 2017 and, after several miscues following Houck's death, the Federal case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel.


The legal momentum behind the case is clearly with the Church. 


The courts in California ruled in a similar schism in Lawrence's home diocese of San Joaquin that the breakaways' claim to owning a diocese of the Episcopal Church was ludicrous.  Several years ago, Gergel's colleague, Federal Judge Michael Duffy ruled in a related insurance case that the Diocese led by then-Bishop Charles vonRosenberg was, in fact, the legitimate "Diocese of South Carolina."


However, the most immediate cause for worry for Lawrence and his crowd is that the South Carolina Supreme Court believes the corporate "Diocese of South Carolina" belongs to the Church.  In their August 2017 decision, the justices ruled that only seven parishes of the 36 plaintiff parishes in that lawsuit could leave the Church with their properties, leaving it to the Federal court to oversee the disposition of the corporate entity.



February 5, 2019

Clashing Egos Continue to Divide Anti-Church Movement as Nigeria Engineers Snub of ACNA

Beyond a shared fear of gays, lesbians, and women in positions of spiritual authority, ACNA's African founders rarely seem happy with their American and Canadian proxies

The struggle between out-sized egos that lead ultraconservative provinces of the Anglican Communion and their western offspring has erupted again.  This time it’s the Anglican Church of Nigeria apparently clashing with the leadership of its American protégé, the so-called Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). 

Last month Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh and his College of Bishops announced the appointment of four new missionary bishops in the United States and Canada to operate independently of the Nigerians’ already-established missionary presence. 

The move was an apparent snub to Foley Beach, the leader of ACNA and its Anglican primatial look-a-like.    
Read full story



January 6, 2019
Stall, Stall, Stall

Can Lawrence's crumbling parishes afford his promise of years of litigation?   Latest filings in Federal court little more than a cutting-and-pasting of rejected legal arguments and debunked half-truths.


Last month lawyers for what remains of the Mark Lawrence breakaway organization unloaded 38 motions on Federal Judge Richard Gergel as part of a request for summary judgment in the six-year-old "false advertising" lawsuit facing former Bishop Mark Lawrence.   They contained little more than a rehashing of silly ideas without a factual grounding and old legal arguments that have been rejected by other courts.

The avalanche of meaningless filings with Gergel is more evidence the Lawrencians have abandoned any real hope of reversing the state Supreme Court's August 2017 ruling in the Church's favor. 
Read more




December 13, 2018(rev. 12-15-18)
Lawyers' Lukewarm Defense of Lawrence's "False Advertising" Offers Nothing New, Ignores Courtroom Defeats

At the heart of the case is ownership of the corporate entity, known as "The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina"... and, uh, yes that same question has already been decided by Federal Courts, and the State and U.S Supreme courts.  Read on.


December 10, 2018

Episcopal Church, Local Diocese Ask for Summary Judgment in Federal False Advertising Case

Church and Breakaway group's lawyers say there is no disagreement on the facts, as they ask the judge to skip a trial and rule directly.


December 6, 2018
Tear It Down!  Anxiety Rises Among Lawrence Clergy as Reality Closes In

St. Philip's clergyman prays God will destroy historic St. Philip's rather than allowing false gospel Episcopalians to continue to own it

As if it was needed, last month St. Philip's in Charleston gave us yet one more insight into why the Mark Lawrence schism is in shambles.  It also helped us understand how the historic "mother church" of Anglicanism in South Carolina has lost more than half its membership since Lawrence became Bishop of South Carolina in 2008.  Read full story here.


December 2, 2018

As Orangeburg Judge Dithers, Rebel Congregation Thumbs its Nose at State and U.S. Courts

Parish is led by out-of-state Lawrence zealot and ex-Bishop's own attorney


The Vestry of St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Walterboro is apparently moving forward with the sale of what it calls "miscellaneous property" in spite of a 2017 ruling by the state Supreme Court that it has no authority to dispose of any property without the consent of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.  


Thumbing its nose at the high court, the vestry told the members of the congregation this week that it is moving ahead with plans to offer the properties for sale ... and, if they need anyone's consent, they will get it from ex-bishop Mark Lawrence's breakaway organization.  


Here's the notice: 


"Parish Property Sale - Charles Lucas recommended that certain miscellaneous properties owned by the Church be offered as a bundle for a price of $29,900 with a hope to receive possibly $15,000‑$20,000.  The Vestry agreed to send a letter to the Diocese to seek permission if any is needed.  The Vestry approved a motion to adopt the recommendation with the limitation that St. Jude's would only give a limited warranty deed."    Read the full story



November 19, 2018 (rev. 11/20)


Oral Arguments before Judge Dickson Yield Nothing New, even as Lawrence's Attorney Steps Up Attack on  Supreme Court Ruling  

Click here to read more about the hearing



November 18, 2018
Tomorrow's Hearing in Orangeburg Not Likely to Produce Immediate Actions
Judge will hear arguments then most likely ask the lawyers to submit proposed orders for him to issue


The Episcopal Church, its continuing Diocese in South Carolina (TECSC) and those representing Mark Lawrence and parishes once aligned with him are heading to court tomorrow in Orangeburg to make oral arguments before state Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson, who's been charged by the state Supreme Court with implementation of its August 2017 decision declaring that 29 parishes and Camp St. Christopher are part of the Episcopal Church.


November 16, 2018

Bishop's Call to Convention:  Christ's Love Must be at the Heart of Our Diocese... and Our Lives



November 9, 2018
Mission Accomplished
The extraordinary journey of  the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina comes to an end as its legacy lives on
With the same thoughtful, dignified, and hopeful tone with which it began 15 years ago, the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina announced today that its work is done.  In a letter to EFSC members, President Warren Mersereau reported that the organization was closing its doors, and transferring the remaining $2200 balance in its bank account to the Episcopal Church of South Carolina.  Read more


October 23, 2018

Judge Schedules Hearing on Implementation of Supreme Court Ruling for November 19th

First Judicial Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson of Orangeburg will preside over what many believe will be beginning of the end for ex-Bishop Lawrence's schism.  SC Episcopalians will be there and posting all the latest news as it happens.


October 22, 2018

No Word on Hearing by Orangeburg Judge Charged with Implementing Supreme Court Ruling

South Carolina's judicial system continues to get a failing grade for its incompetent handling of the January 2013 lawsuit brought by ex-Bishop Mark Lawrence. 


First Judicial Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson was charged by the state Supreme Court with implementing its largely pro-Episcopal Church ruling in the case nearly a year ago... and  has not even held a hearing. Last August he told lawyers on both sides that he would schedule a hearing on the case  before the end of October, but so far nothing is scheduled.


October 16, 2018
Lawrencians Throw Everything plus Kitchen Sink at Judge Hoping to Force Re-Opening of 2013 Lawsuit

In court filings today in Orangeburg, breakaway lawyers continued to bash the state's 2017 Supreme Court ruling, while furiously battling the Church's request for a full accounting of Diocesan and parish finances.


October 11, 2018
Bishop Adams, Diocesan Leaders Take to Facebook to Talk Reconciliation & Legal Cases

South Carolina Bishop Skip Adams and his leadership team took to social media tonight to ramp up their reconciliation efforts with followers of former Bishop Mark Lawrence, while offering insights into his vision for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.  Read more.


September 24, 2018

Breakaway Lawyers Still Resisting the Inevitable, as Both Sides Submit Final Briefs to Judge Dickson

Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson has only been authorized to implement the August 2017 state Supreme Court decision that ended Mark Lawrence's aborted schism, but that has not stopped breakaway lawyers from pummeling the Orangeburg jurist with demands that he overturn key parts of the decision. 


In routine filings in Dickson's court today, Lawrence's lead attorney Alan Runyan continued his attacks on the Court majority, using quotes from the opinions of the losing side to hammer away at what he argues is a ruling that is too vague to be enforced.  Read full story.  


September 4, 2018

Judge Dickson Schedules Late October Hearing on Pending Motions in Implementation of Court Decision

In 2015, his colleague rendered one of the most reckless and costly decisions ever handed down in the state's First Judicial District, so perhaps Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson should not be cussed too much for being painfully careful in implementing the state Supreme Court's 13-month-old decision in Lawrence's lawsuit.


August 9, 2018

Federal Court Sets False Advertising Trial for March


August 8, 2018
Lawrence's Last Hurrah Tour Leaves Followers with Confusion about the Future, & Blame for Everyone Else

Rambling commentary touches on 2015 settlement offer, revisionist history, human genitalia, and questionable legal advice


August 3, 2018
Church, Breakaway Attorneys Lay Out Concerns over Implementation of S.C. Supreme Court Decision
Judge had asked them to come up with a list of their expectations for his work ahead; Each list reflected positions taken in prior filings


July 31 - August 7, 2018

Lawrence's  Diocesan Tour Gets Underway


Part I (July 31) 

Same Ole, Same Ole

In Sumter, Lawrence still blames others for imaginary "war";  sadly insists his lawsuit is still alive


Part II (Aug 1) 

Betterments Lawsuit Will Go Nowhere

By bringing a nuisance lawsuit under the Betterments law,  returning parishes concede defeat and accept the 2017 Supreme Court decision


Part III (Aug 2):
Lawrence Plays the Victim Card

In Walterboro former SC bishop demonizes Church leaders, refuses to admit any blame, then urges his supporters to raise money for lawyers.   He appears to be more aware of his own legal culpability than in the past.


Part IV (Aug 3)

Adams Actually Tried to Help Nearly Insolvent Breakaway Parish in Binghamton Buy its Building
Lawrence is trying to smear Bishop Adams during his tour by exploiting the sale of a vacant parish building in Adams' former Diocese ten years ago.  Court records shows Judge was infuriated by financial irregularities and apparent hiding of assets when controversial rector was in charge.


Part V (Aug. 4):

Lawrence 'Conversations' Still based on Old and Misleading Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Even Lawrence loyalists are confused over his insistence the lawsuit is still alive;  His high command still can't prove there was ever any threat to the Diocese from the wider Church  (This link takes you to our July 1st response to each FAQ)


July 26, 2018

Implementation of 2017 Supreme Court Ruling Begins
Judge Dickson:  I don’t want this case to drag out.  I need to move this along, and you all need to get some resolution


July 25, 2018

Out of Options?  Attack, Attack, Attack

From secret Muslim to Snake, Bishop Adams' reputation is just the latest target in a long line of character assassination and ugly innuendo aimed at Lawrence's perceived enemies


July 23, 2018
His Episcopate in Shambles, Lawrence Planning Rally to Stem Defection as Legal Reality Set In


July 20, 2018
Lawrence's  Allies Lash Out at Reconciliation Initiative

Letter from Peter Moore is one of the milder attacks; SC Episcopalians offers comments on anti-Muslim prejudice, GAFCON, Sin, Anglican Jesuses, Matt Kennedy, and much more


July 18, 2018
Bishop Adams Upbeat about Reconciliation Initiative after Meetings in Conway, Bluffton, & Charleston

'Three Conversations' to help heal broken Diocese were well-attended and productive, in spite of pharisees' efforts to undermine him


July 15, 2018

Bishop Adams Invites Returning Congregations to Restore Their Ministries within the Church

Post & Courier publishes his invitation to Reconciliation


July 11, 2018
Church Attorneys Demand Full Accounting, Audits of Lawrence Organization & Parishes
Worst kept secret of the Lawrence schism was that its leaders were attempting to hide assets from the courts in the event secession effort failed
; Judge sets July 26 for status conference in the case

July 2, 2018
Setting the Record Straight:  SC Episcopalians Responds to Lawrencian Spin Doctors
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions leave even Lawrence fans confounded


June 28, 2018

Episcopal Bishop Invites One-time Breakaway Congregations to Information & Listening Sessions

With the end of their lawsuit, Bishop Skip Adams hopes to hear from communicants who may want to stay with the Church and in their buildings


June 24, 2018
Part I:  Three Breakaway Wardens Reject U.S. and State Supreme Court Decisions

Three Charleston parishes have lost half their members, but still say they'll continue fighting the Courts and the Church.  Wardens at St. Michael's, St. Phillip's, & St. Luke & St. Paul blow off  S.C. and U.S. Supreme Courts: "We have a far different perspective." 


Part II:  Lawrence, Wardens Slam Chief Justice

Chief Justice Beatty actually secured the emancipation of seven breakaway parishes in last August's decision.  Now leaders of three former breakaway parishes say he lied.


June 19, 2018

Despite Unprecedented Deficit, High Flying Lawrence and Guests are Jerusalem-bound
Out of control spending suggests Lawrence knows the party's over; Breakaways won't say who's paying for last hurrah with GAFCON


June 19, 2018
Lawrence Team Struggles with Unreality as  Church Presses Forward for Implementation of  2017 Ruling
In spite of rejections from the South Carolina and United States Supreme Courts, Lawrence still "confident that the law and the facts of this case favor our congregations."


June 12, 2018

Adams Offers Message of Welcome & Reconciliation to Returning Parishes

Episcopal bishop envisions robust Christian witness in every parish


Implementation:  Beyond the Recent Unpleasantness

Diocesan Chancellor says focus now shifts back to Dorchester County for implementation of Court ruling


June 11, 2018

Part I:  Supreme Court Rejects Appeal
Without comment, Justices leave South Carolina's pro-Church Supreme Court ruling intact;  From near death in 2009, Church's Dennis Canon is now the law in South Carolina


Part II:  Angry Lawrence Promises to Fight Implementation of the Court Ruling 
Stung by back-to-back losses, ex-Bishop Mark Lawrence rejects the August 2017 ruling of the state's Supreme Court and plans to fight its implementation in the Dorchester County court.


May 9, 2018
Legal Tide Turns in Church's Favor


April 17, 2018
Judge Expands False Advertising Case to Include 54 Pro-Lawrence Parishes & Trustees as Defendants

In January 2013, hubris led the attorneys for ex-Bishop Mark Lawrence to make a foolish blunder in their legal strategy to leave the Episcopal Church.   Today, it came back to haunt them in spades. 


April 5, 2018
Texas Appeals Court Finds in Favor of Episcopal Church and its Diocese in Fort Worth
If it is possible that another schism in another diocese could be more bitter and more of a mess than ours, it would be in the Diocese of Fort Worth.
   Read Dr. Ron Caldwell's comments on the decision


Today loyal Episcopalians got long awaited good news as an appeals court in Fort Worth reversed a lower court ruling favoring the breakaway cousins of our former bishop, Mark Lawrence, making it clear that they own their own Diocese and its property.
Read the full story