This article examines two failed schismatic movements that emerged in 1863 and 1876 within the Liberian Episcopal Church. The goal in both schisms was the creation of an autonomous Liberian Episcopal church that would be ruled by blacks but remain part of the Anglican Communion. The failure of both attempts can be attributed to the same two factors: race and ecclesiastical politics. Both movements were created by Americo-Liberian clergy, yet it failed to integrate indigenous clergy and therefore the movements only represented a portion of Liberian Episcopalians. Additionally, both movements stopped short of a full declaration of ecclesiastical independence and desired to remain part of their parent denomination. In being renegade Anglicans yet not exactly “Ethiopians,” the movements’ leaders lacked the legitimacy to consecrate their own bishop. Yet while both attempts to establish the Protestant Episcopal Church in Liberia failed, agitation from multiple parts of the black Atlantic, including Liberia, did contribute to bringing about an Anglican moment of black bishops from the 1860s to the 1880s.

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