→Conversion to Canonical Orthodoxy and Episcopacy
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.
===Conversion to Canonical Orthodoxy and Episcopacy===
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 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 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]]. James was installed at the first Bishop of Manhattan and was tasked with heading a completely autonomous American Orthodox Mission within ROCOR, insofar that we 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 James, drawing several members of the Synod of Bishops to his side. By 1955, Bishop 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 Seminary under Archpriest Adrian Rymarenko from 1953- 55, 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 [[
Andrei (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.
after=John Chrysostom More-Moreno}}
title=Bishop of Manhattan<br>(ROCOR)|
*[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''']