Today we celebrate the feast of Blessed John A. Parker Jr, former Bishop of the Anglican Rite of the Ancient Apostolic Communion. The Ancient Apostolic Communion is now part of the International Old Catholic Churches.
Blessed Parker, former head of the Diocese of the Anglican Rite for The Ancient Apostolic Communion, came from a life-long study of religion and service to the Lord. He was raised an Episcopalian, he left the Episcopal church in 1979, when changes in doctrine and liturgical practices made it impossible to continue with that church. Since then, he has been associated with several of the continuing Anglican churches in a lay capacity.
Born in Houston, Texas on March 23, 1943, he was educated in the South, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree from William Carey College, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He Was a student of Erskine Theological Seminary until his health failed. When his health decline to the point that he could no longer walk or speak, he took to the internet to help others who had learned they had cancer to deal with their diagnosis.
Blessed Parker was ordained a non-denominational minister in 1995, and he had served as the chaplain for Revolutionary History Interpreters throughout the Southeastern United Sates over the past several years.
He was consecrated Bishop and designated Ordinary of the Diocese of the Anglican Rite in the Ancient Apostolic Communion on August 11, 2002. He also served as Rector for Saint Peters Church, North Augusta, South Carolina, and was a life professed member of the Province of Saint Peregrine. Cardinal Parker served the Province as Prior General for a short time.
In October of 2001, Cardinal Parker was diagnosed with terminal Cancer. His prognosis was not good. Being a man of God, he threw himself into the service of the Lord, signing on with Erskine Seminary for a three-year degree program. The doctors had given him one year. He lived almost 2 years.
He tirelessly worked with people who needed support and prayers as they too battled cancer. He never turned anyone away and continued to minister to people right up to the hour before his death. He constantly told others that “Trust (in God) is not an option”.
On the feast of his patron, St. Augustine of Hippo, August 28, 2003; surrounded by his family and Bishop Gregory Godsey, Blessed Parker Passed from this life into his eternal reward. His words of wisdom will always ring in our minds and hearts. Witnesses to his departure from this life said that his final act as he died was to indicate that he loved those around him, then to make the sign of the cross before expiring.