Bermuda, a set of some 150 islands in the Atlantic due east of the state of Georgia, was uninhabited when in 1609 British shipwreck survivors arrived. Deciding to stay, they invited others to join them. A group of Scottish Presbyterians accepted the invitation and became the majority party on the island. Their church at Warwick is believed to be the oldest Presbyterian church in the former British colonies. St. Peter's, erected in St. George in 1612, is the oldest Anglican church in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere.
   In the early 18th century, the Anglicans won their current place as the largest group in the islands, holding the allegiance of some 35 percent of the population. A bishop resides in St. George; the church is unique as one of only a few extraprovincial dioceses directly tied to the archbishop of Canterbury.
   During the American Revolution, Bermuda developed close ties with Canada, its fellow loyalist colony. A number of Canadian churches took root, including the United Church of Canada, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, and the Presbyterian Church of Canada. once the hostile feeling generated by the Revolution and the later War of 1812 subsided, Bermuda's proximity to the United States ensured the eventual arrival of a spectrum of U.S. Protestant groups.
   British Methodists built a significant work that was tripled by the African Methodist Episcopal Church mission starting in the 1870s. Other prominent American-based groups are the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the New Testament Church of God that originated from the Church of God (Cleveland,Tennessee). The latter group is the largest Pentecostal body.
   several Protestant groups began to meet together in 1957. When joined by the Catholics in 1966, the Joint Committee of Churches emerged as the major expression of ecumenism in Bermuda. Most of the churches operating in Bermuda are related to the international ecumenical bodies through their denominational affiliates in England, Canada, or the United States.
   See also Caribbean.
   Further reading:
   ■ Barrett, David. The Encyclopedia of World Christianity, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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