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James (Toombs) of Manhattan

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Conversion to Canonical Orthodoxy and Episcopacy
[[File:Archbishop James 1950s.jpg|thumb|250px|Archbishop James in his chapel in the 1950’s]]
His Grace, the Most Reverend [[Archbishop]] '''James (Toombs) of Manhattan''' ([[August 30]], 1887 – [[November 1]], 1970) chartered the Orthodox American Church of which he was hierarch from 1959-1970. He had earlier served as head of the American Orthodox Mission and vicar of the Eastern American [[diocese]] of the [[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]] (ROCOR) from 1951-1959. Archbishop James is believed to have served the first [[Pascha|Paschal]] Liturgy in America entirely in English.
{{orthodoxyinamerica}}
==Life==
===Early Life===
===Initial Involvement in "Independent Orthodoxy"===
In 1942 Roy Toombs registered for the draft, listing his profession as "priest of the Holy Orthodox Church in America," an [[Independent_Orthodox_churches|independent Orthodox church]] led by George Winslow Plummer out of New York City. For the duration of the Second World War, Toombs is said to have worked intelligence for the US Government. Around this time, articles by Toombs appear in Plummer's Rosicrucian periodical "Mercury". HOCiA claimed succession from the [[American Orthodox Catholic Church]] of [[Aftimios Ofiesh]] through [[Ignatius (Nichols) of Washington]]. Plummer consecrated Theodotus Stanislaus de Witow S. DeWitow (Stanislaus Witowski) in 1936, who in turn consecrated Toombs on January 30, 1944, at which point Archbishop James became primate of the HOCiA. By this time Toombs had remarried to a woman named Maryangela, who'd founded the Better Human Resources Movement based on analysis of the Hawthorne Studies her stepson Farrell helped conduct.
Archbishop James moved to New York City and incorporated his mission into the Cathedral of Our Saviour at 226 West 69th Street, Manhattan, by 1947. He affiliated himself with [[Episcopi vagantes|''episcopus vagans'']] John Chrysostom More-Moreno (consecrated in 1933 by [[Bishop]] [[Sophronios (Beshara) of Los Angeles]]) and founded the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church in 1951, with John and Gregory R.P. Adair as his priests. Around this time, Toombs had somehow met and come under the mentorship of Archbishop [[Vitaly (Maximenko) of Jersey City]]. It is believed that after the events of the [[ROCOR_and_OCA#1946-1970:_Open_Hostility|Cleveland Sobor]], Toombs was pivotal through his old war contacts in swaying the opinion of the Federal Government away from acknowledging the complaints of the [[Orthodox Church in America|North American Metropolia]] against the relocation of [[Metropolitan]] [[Anastasy (Gribanovsky) of Kishinev]] and ROCOR's Synod of Bishops to the United States from Europe in 1949. During this time, Farrell was ordained a priest by his father under the name Thomas.
===Conversion to Canonical Orthodoxy and Episcopacy===
[[File:Abshp James consecration 6 29 1951.jpg|thumb|250px|Consecration of bishop Averky (Taushev), Feast of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, 1953. L to R: Bishop Nikon (Rklitsky), Bishop Seraphim (Ivanov), Bishop James, Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky), Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), Archbishop John (Maximovich)]]Archbishop Vitaly's mentoring culminating in the question of the EOCC's canonicity, which prompted Toombs and his second wife Maryangela to be tonsured monastics at [[Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville, New York)|Holy Trinity Monastery]] in Jordanville, New York in early July of 1951. A few days later Fr. James (Toombs) was consecrated on the [[feast day|Feast]] of the Holy [[Apostles]] [[Apostle Peter|Peter]] and [[Apostle Paul|Paul]] on July 21 as the Bishop of Manhattan in vicar the Diocese of Eastern America and Jersey City at the [[New Kursk-Root Hermitage (Mahopac, New York)|New Kursk-Root Hermitage]] in Mahopac, New York. Concelebrating with Metropolitan Anastasy were Archbishop Vitaly, Archbishop [[John (Maximovitch) the Wonderworker|John (Maximovich) of Paris]], Bishop [[Nikon (Rklitski) of Florida|Nikon (Rklitzky) of Florida]], and Bishop [[Seraphim (Ivanov) of Chicago|Seraphim (Ivanov) of Holy Trinity]]. Archbishop James was installed at as the first Bishop Archbishop of Manhattan and was tasked with heading a completely autonomous American Orthodox Mission within ROCOR, insofar that we he was allowed by the Synod to stay short-haired and clean-shaven to adequately perform his duty. In 1953, Bishop James single-handedly changed the practice of receiving [[Roman Catholic|Roman Catholics]] into the [[Russian Orthodox Church]] when he delivered a report stating that the American Orthodox Mission received all [[convert|converts]] by [[baptism]], where prior to the Russian Revolution, Catholic converts were accepted simply through [[confession]]. The change garnered no opposition.
Upon his entry into ROCOR, Gregory and John Adair engaged Bishop Archbishop James in a lawsuit over the Cathedral of Our Saviour on West 69th Street. Fearing that he would take the church with him, the Adair Brothers claimed rather that it was property of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church. There is speculation that a canon lawyer from the North American Metropolia came to the EOCC's aid and helped them win rights to the church in 1952, which was later sold for a great sum to make way for Lincoln Center. For the remainder of his life, Bishop Archbishop James would serve in the Chapel of the Holy Apostles, built into his apartment.
Though not part of the Synod of Bishops, during his tenure in ROCOR, Bishop Archbishop James was very active. He was a concelebrant at the consecration of Bishop [[Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse]] on the [[Pentecost#After Pentecost|Feast of the Holy Spirit]] in 1953 alongside Metropolitan Anastasy and others, attended Hierarchical Council meetings and celebrations at Holy Trinity Monastery and New Kurk-Root Hermitage, and in so doing, meeting most of the Synod of Bishops. Bishop Archishop James's attained a flock, but the language barrier between American and Émigré made much of anything outside the Mission difficult. Those who wished to study at [[Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (Jordanville, New York)|Holy Trinity Seminary]] in Jordanville could only be instructed by Archpriest [[Andrei (Rymarenko) of Rockland|Adrian Rymarenko]], with Archimandrite [[Lazarus (Moore)]] helping translate seminary materials. Bishop Archbishop James's former wife Maryangela couldn't join the Russian-speaking [[Holy Dormition Convent (Nanuet, New York)|Holy Dormition Convent]] "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, New York, and so was allowed to live separately on the second floor of his apartment.
However, his episcopacy was not without controversy. Bishop Archbishop James's past connections with the esoteric masonic Christianity of George Winslow Plummer, reminiscent of the Theosophy movement which raged in Pre-Revolutionary Russia, and association with wayward and wandering bishops led to rumors of occultist practices taking place within the Mission. Another sore point came with the inconvenient living arrangement of the formerly-married bishop and nun. Furthermore, to many of the Russian émigré mindset, English-language translations of services were seen as very taboo, compounded by the seeming isolationism of the American Orthodox Mission. [[Protopresbyter]] [[Gregory (Grabbe) of Washington|George Grabbe]] led the opposition against Bishop Archbishop James, drawing several members of the Synod of Bishops to his side. By 1955, Bishop Archbishop James expressed his desire to Metropolitan Anastasy to continue missionary work as hierarch of an independent American Church.
===The Orthodox American Church, Death, and Legacy===
In 1959 Archbishop James dissociated himself with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and founded the Orthodox American Church (formally, The Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic American Church), incorporating concepts of the Better Human Relations Movement. For the next decade Archbishop James continued his two-fold mission of bringing Americans to Orthodox Christianity and translating every text of the Church into English. He was known to be a very kind, patient, and loving pastor, and accepted the responsibility of being father confessor to a number of Orthodox bishops in New York.
One of Archbishop James's successes is the second and current primate of the OAC, Metropolitan John Schneyder, who joined the mission in 1952, was baptized and christmated in 1953, studied at [[Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (Jordanville, New York)|Holy Trinity Seminary ]] under Archpriest [[Andrei (Rymarenko) of Rockland|Adrian Rymarenko ]] from 1953-551955, and under Archpriest Damian Krehel at [[St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary]] from 1955-57. In November of 1961, Archbishop James ordained him a deacon, and in July of 1962 a priest. On April 25th, 1970, before his death, Archbishop James consecrated Fr. John to the episcopacy. Once the weakness of his advanced age set in, Maryangela took care of Archbishop James until his repose on November 1, 1970. Though no representatives of ROCOR attended his funeral, Metropolitan [[Andrew (Petkov) of New York]] of the [[Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia]] did. To this day, the Orthodox American Church considers itself an autonomous mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
Once {{start box}}{{succession|before=George Winslow Plummer|title=Primate of the weakness of his advanced age set Holy Orthodox Church in, Maryangela took care America|years=1944-1947|after=Theodotus S. DeWitow}}{{succession|before=&mdash;|title=Primate of Archbishop James until his repose on November 1, 1970. Though no representatives the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church|years=1947-1951|after=John Chrysostom More-Moreno}}{{succession|before= see created|title=Bishop of Manhattan<br>(ROCOR attended his funeral, Metropolitan )|years=1951-1959|after=[[Andrei Laurus (PetkovSkurla) of New York|Laurus (Škurla)]] }}{{succession|before=&mdash;|title=Head of the [[Bulgarian Eastern American Orthodox Diocese Misson<br>(ROCOR)|years=1951-1959|after=&mdash;}}{{succession|before=&mdash;|title=Primate of the USA, Canada and Australia]] did. To this day, the Orthodox American Church considers itself an autonomous mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.|years=1959-1970|after=[[John Schneyder]]}}{{end box}}
==Sources==
*[http://orthodoxamericanchurch.com/about_history.htm '''About Us: History'''] from Orthodox American Church*[http://orthodoxamericanchurch.com/about_bio_mjs.htm '''About Us: Bio: Metropolitan John Schneyder'''] from Orthodox American Church*[http://www.rocorstudies.org/church-people/lives-of-bishops/2011/12/07/archbishop-james-roy-c-toombs-of-manhattan-head-of-the-american-orthodox-mission-vicar-of-the-diocese-of-eastern-america-and-jersey-city/ '''Archbishop James (Roy C. Toombs) of Manhattan, Head of the American Orthodox Mission, Vicar of the Diocese of Eastern America and Jersey City'''] by Michael Woerl, October 2010 from ROCOR Studies*[http://www3.telus.net/oldfolk/farrell.htm '''Farrell''']*[http://abbeysanluigi.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/aecyearbook.pdf '''Yearbook of American Churches''']* Архiепископъ Никонъ (Рклицкiй). (1975). Мой трудъ въ виногадникѣ Христовомъ, томъ I. Diocesan Publishing House, Bronx.
[[Category:Bishops]]

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