The Lutheran Orthodox Church, inc

A Lutheran Church in Apostolic Succession

Our History

OUR IMMEDIATE HISTORY

The Lutheran Orthodox Church sprang from a controversy within the Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church(LEPC) over the issue of Apostolic Succession. The Lutheran Orthodox Church can trace its roots to the Reformation in Germany in the 1500's. A complete history dating back to the 1500's is being prepared for inclusion on this page. Check often as it is updated.

(Above, 1st meeting of original LOC clergy )

The following is the detailed correct and accurate history of the Lutheran OrthodoxChurch.

Previously, we had found it sufficient to place our immediate history from 2004 forward because our complete history had been archived on another web page. However, sadly, a new organization incorporated in 2005 and by their own admission, not connected with the LOC, had laid claim to the historical records of this church and as incredulous as it may sound, demanded that we remove all reference to our very own history. They demanded that we place the accurate history of The Lutheran Orthodox Church on our site.

After extensive research through our archives we have been able to reproduce the exact historical record of The Lutheran Orthodox Church through the Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC, inc (which was originally incorporated by Rev Sam Guido) and through past organizations, churches and ministries.


First,we saw that they had removed a very large part of the historical record on their own site. We had in the past, allowed them to 'claim' that they were an historical part of this church body, but since their demands became quite a nuisance, to say the least, we felt it important to present the accurate historical record and set the entire matter straight once and for all. A viewing of their own 'historical roots' leave off very important portions of the accurate history of the Evangelical Protestant Church, (whose history the LOC is intricately intertwined) to, we believe, purposely present a very skewed and incomplete history of the actual, historical record. The history presented here is the most accurate, complete historical record as can be reconstructed from documents, legal filings, letters, photo's, publications, and when called for, direct witness recollection, provided that it can be verified by 2 or more witnesses. Scans of actual court documents, concordats, intercommunion agreements and photographs are presented here as well. Also, 7 of the living past Presiding Bishops of The Evangelical Protestant Church or General Conference of Evangelical Protestant Churches General Overseers have been or are being interviewed to present their own inside knowledge and perspective. 

 The LOC HISTORICAL ROOTS

NOTE: As time and space permits, we are restoring the original historical record, including verifications and by placing scans of the actual documents on this page. We are also planning to interview the original historian who wrote the old page in an attempt to accurately restore the long and wonderful history of this church body. Much if not most of the pre-1950's history is taken from the book The Evangelical Protestant Movement, of which only one known copy is in existence. The copyright has expired and is, we believe , in public domain.

The Lutheran Orthodox Church is the true direct legal successor to The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc and the General Conference of Evangelical Protestant Churches. This can be verified by legal filings and Articles of Incorporation filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State Corporations Bureau, Harrisburg, Pa. The name Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church was the common use name of the Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc since 2002.

(Below, articles of inc, The Evangelical

Protestant Church, GCEPC, inc, July30,2001)

The modern history of the Lutheran Orthodox Church, inc through

the Evangelical Protestant Church GCEPC, inc. began in 1912, in the Ohio Valley. The EPC is the successor to the Evangelical Protestant Church of North America and the Evangelical Protestant Conference of Congregational Churches. The EPC is historically rooted in the Protestant Reformation.

The Protestant Reformation was a European movement of protest against many teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the main issues was the selling of Indulgences. This was a simple act of one person buying a relative out of Purgatory, the intermediate state between Heaven and Hell in Roman Catholic theology. The Indulgence would, according to the theology, guarantee a deceased loved one getting into Heaven and avoiding Hell. The selling of Indulgences was also available to the living. They could buy “extra credits” and thereby have some of their sins wiped away

LUTHER AND ZWINGLI REVOLT

When he discovered that Dominican Friar John Tetzel was engaged in the selling of these Indulgences, Martin Luther, a German priest, challenged this practice based on Holy Scripture. Luther had additional reservations about some of the other teachings of the Catholic Church as well. On October 31, 1517, on All Saints’ Day, he posted his famous Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Catholic Cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany.


A year later, Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss priest, listed his Sixty-Seven Articles of protest against the Church as well. One of Zwingli’s main concerns was that the proper focus of Scripture was being neglected as he witnessed a decline in moral righteousness, especially among the clergy.

OUR HISTORICAL LINKAGE

Luther’s 95 Thesis' can be summarized as the just shall live by faith, grace comes from God alone, the Scriptures are the sole authority in matters of faith and practice and Baptism and Communion are the only two Sacraments. These Theses were in direct opposition to the Catholic Church that believed in the selling of Indulgences, buying one’s way into Heaven, Papal authority and in seven sacraments.


Zwingli’s 67 Articles can be summarized as Christ alone is our righteousness and salvation, we pray only to Jesus Christ, there is no Purgatory, the clergy should be allowed to marry and shameful living among the clergy is to be avoided. Zwingli’s Articles, like Luther’s Theses, were in direct contrast to the Catholic teachings. His Articles spoke out against the selling of Indulgences, praying to Saints, Purgatory, the ban on clergy marriage and the sinful living of many clergy.


In summary, Luther, Zwingli and their respective followers, constituted the Evangelical Protestant movement. Luther’s followers became known as Lutherans; Zwingli’s, Reformed. Subsequently, Lutheran and Reformed churches were established all over Europe, especially in Germany and Switzerland.

MIGRATION TO AMERICA


Between 1720 and 1740, there was a great German migration to the United States. From the Palatinate, from Wurtemburg, from Darnstadt and from other parts of Germany, these immigrants settled around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Ohio Valley areas of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Cincinnati, Ohio. These immigrants were poverty-stricken, could not afford a church or school building and yet, they kept the faith.


These early settlers were devout, evangelical, God-fearing and industrious. Their motto was “To fear God and love work.” They were hungry for the Word of God and prayed mornings and evenings for spiritual leaders to perform baptisms, confirm their children, visit in times of affliction, speak comforting words in their dying moments and conduct funerals. At first, two lay preachers, Johannes Stauch and Balthaser Myer, performed these functions but an ordained clergy was more desirable.


In 1782, there were 100 families constituting 60 households in Pittsburgh with no churches in which to worship. The Lutheran and Reformed folks finally decided to take action. They called The Reverend John William Weber to become their pastor. He would serve four Lutheran and Reformed congregations in 1782. Throughout the Ohio Valley, many Lutheran and Reformed congregations shared ministers and efforts to merge the two groups into one were attempted.

The thinking was to establish one Evangelical Protestant Church. This attempt at uniting the Reformed and Lutheran bodies actually began in Germany. Luther and Zwingli met to discuss the union of the Lutheran and Reformed bodies but could not agree on certain points of doctrine. One point of disagreement concerned Holy Communion. Luther believed Christ’s blood and body were actually in the elements; Zwingli believed them to be symbolically present. Thus, a united Evangelical Protestant Church failed to materialize in Germany.


Many Reformed and Lutheran congregations formed 'Union' churches, where members of both denominations shared buildings and pastors. Union Church in Neffs, Pa is one of the largest Union churches in the world today, with more than 90 acres still remaining on their shared campus, despite the two congregations now having seperate buildings today. For more than 200 years the Reformed and Lutheran congregations shared in many ways.

CHURCHES ESTABLISHED


As previously stated, many Lutheran and Reformed churches in the Ohio Valley were already combining their services and referring to their churches as Evangelical Protestant Churches. As a matter of fact, in 1812, the First German Evangelical Protestant Church was established in Pittsburgh. This church holds the unique distinction of being the oldest union congregation in America as well as the oldest Evangelical Protestant Church in the world. In addition to German Lutherans and Swiss Reformed groups settling in the Ohio Valley, Evangelical Protestants settled in Missouri, Iowa, Southern Indiana, Texas and Alabama.

In St. Louis, Missouri, German immigrants established the Holy Ghost Evangelical Protestant Church on August 2, 1840. In 1851, the Swiss and Germans founded four Evangelical Protestant Churches in the Northwest corner of Iowa. Little is left in the historical record concerning these churches. What is known is they produced 27 teachers, 3 lawyers, 2 doctors, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a chief engineer to the New York City water works system. Eleven Evangelical Protestant Churches were established in Southern Indiana. Their history, like that of the Iowa churches, is scant. These churches were founded by The Reverend Frederick A. Francke and eventually joined other denominations or ceased to exist.

Only a scattering of German immigrants initially settled in the South. In Texas, The Reverend Gustav William Eisenlohr served as pastor of the Evangelical Protestant Church of New Braunfels, Texas. Not much history of the Texas church exists. In Alabama, Johann Gottfried Cullman, who had come to America from Germany in 1864, founded the St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church. This church, located in Cullman, Alabama, is currently a strong worshipping center. Although they have retained the Evangelical Protestant name, they are a member of the United Church of Christ. It is a strong church true and faithful to its Evangelical, Protestant and Reformed roots. The church claims a 1999 membership of 1172

EARLY LEADERS


Naturally it took strong leaders in the Evangelical Protestant movement to unite believers and establish churches. August Kroell left Germany in 1834, and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 5. From Baltimore he went to Wheeling, West Virginia; St. Louis, Missouri; Belleville, Illinois; and, finally accepted a call to pastor the German Evangelical Protestant Church in Louisville, Kentucky. From Louisville he went to Cincinnati to accept a call to the German Evangelical Protestant St. John’s Church. He served until his death on November 25, 1874.

Another early leader was Gustav William Eisenlohr. He came to America in the Fall of 1850, and accepted a call to pastor the New Richmond, Ohio, church. A few years later he began serving the Evangelical Protestant Church of New Braunfels, Texas. He served this church until 1857, when he was called to the Evangelical Protestant St. John’s Church in Cincinnati. He retired, moved to Texas, and passed away May 18, 1881, in Dallas.

Carl Rumpf was the scholarly pastor of the Evangelical Protestant St. John’s Church, Cincinnati. He came to America in 1884, spent time in Buffalo, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio, teaching prior to serving in the pastorate. In 1894, he pastored the Evangelical Protestant Church in Pittsburgh, and eventually accepted a call to the St. John’s Church. Rumpf married Carrie Hirt of Buffalo, in 1875. They had twelve children. Four children died within a five-day period: a little boy and girl died of diphtheria in one day; three days later a thirteen-year old daughter was killed by an accident and on the same day an infant son died. In spite of these tragedies Rumpf remained a man of faith until the end.

One additional early leader worth mentioning is Phillip G.H.E. Wittich. Wittich came to America in 1881. He attended the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1884. He was ordained to the Lutheran ministry on September 29, of the same year. After serving a number of Lutheran churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, he became the pastor of the Mt. Washington Evangelical Protestant Church in Pittsburgh. He is credited with helping establish a Christian Endeavor Society, the Ladies Aid Society and a Sunday School within the movement.

Other early leaders of the Evangelical Protestant Church were Gustav Schmidt, Ursinus Haengaertner, Gustav Lorch, Frederick Ruoff, Hermann H. Fleer, Carl V. Scheuermann, Alfred Schramm, Gerhard Weise, John Henry Demmler and Frederick Gwinner. These great men of God were very effectual in the promotion of the Evangelical Protestant movement. They worked primarily in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Of significant importance is the work they engaged in and promoted regarding humanitarian service.

THE EVANGELICAL PROTESTANT CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA


On September 16, 1885, a meeting of pastors from the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati areas met at the First Evangelical Protestant Church in Pittsburgh and formed the Evangelical Protestant Church of North America. This was a loosely organized group of believers with no organizational structure or constitution. However, on July 19th and 20th, 1912, the organization affirmed the body and a constitution was adopted at the Mt. Washington Evangelical Protestant Church in Pittsburgh. Thus, the Evangelical Protestant Church of North America was an official denomination.

From 1912, until 1925, the Evangelical Protestant Church of North America flourished. With missionary work increasing, a strong reputation for their reaching out to the less fortunate, their humanitarian and benevolent work highly and widely respected, and, with their strong, unwavering faith critically acclaimed, the Evangelical Protestant Church was on the way to being a major denominational force in American religion. The hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations of the leaders were commendable. Yet, poor insight, vision and judgment led to the decline of the denomination.

One of the critical moments in the history of the Evangelical Protestant Church was their steadfast stand against the atheism, secular humanism, and Higher Criticism of the 19th Century. Ironically, these criticisms of the Christian faith originated in German universities. The slogan of the day was “Die Kirche ist doch nur eine Verdummungsanstalt.” Translated this is “The church is only for the ignorant.” Evangelical Protestants in America took a firm, zealous stand against anti-Christian sentiment as it spread to the American universities. Ministers of the church were adamant in their warnings against such movements. Had the Church continued that kind of zeal, vigor and aggression, the decline might not have occurred.

DECLINE AND MERGERS

Many reasons have been given for the decline. Some of the reasons given were other denominational ministers pastoring Evangelical Protestant Churches and taking their congregations into their own denominational fold; the marriages of Evangelical Protestants outside the denomination; the lack of a denominational theological seminary; and, the decline of the “evangelizing spirit.”

At the time of the decline the Evangelical Protestant Church numbered about 80,000 members. In 1925, many Evangelical Protestant Churches merged with the Congregational Christian Churches into the Evangelical Protestant Conference of Congregational Churches. The merger name lasted until 1945, when nearly all Evangelical Protestant Churches dropped their original name and simply called themselves Congregational Churches. Some Evangelical Protestant congregations, in time, joined the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church, the Lutheran Church and the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in addition to the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.

The Congregational Christian Church itself was the product of a merger in 1931, between the Congregational Church and a number of Christian Churches. The Congregational Church developed in England. The Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower were Congregationalists. Famous Congregationalists were Henry Ward Beecher, Lyman Beecher, Horace Bushnell, Jonathan Edwards, who is credited with preaching America’s greatest sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Walt Disney and former President Calvin Coolidge.

United States Senator Bob Kerrey, of Nebraska, is a Congregationalist. The Christian Church fractured into the Christian Church (independent), the Christian Church/Churches of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Alexander Campbell, Thomas Campbell, B. Barrett Baxter, former Presidents James Garfield, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan were all members of the various factions of the Christian Church.

A New Beginning

Remnants of The Evangelical Protestant Church decided in 1999 to reorganize as The General Conference of Evangelical Protestant Churches.

This conference of churches was brought together as a direct result of the hard work of the first Presiding Bishop, Reverend Dr James Clifton, RevDr Michael Layne and Rev Dr David Moshier, all of Indiana. (Drs Layne and Clifton, the 'Founding Fathers' of the revived GCEPC are members of The Lutheran Orthodox Church, and Dr Layne serves a Bishop of Eastern Indiana). In 1999 Rev Sam Guido brought his ministry into the General Conference of Evangelical Protestant Church, as eventually many other ministers did, such as Rev Randy Wagoner, Charlton Courtney, James Groover, Jerry Bragg, Dale Anderson, Joesph Jacobs, Jack and Cindy Adams and others. By 2001 the GCEPC was exploding once again with new growth and dynamic leadership. But as with every organization, growing pains brought about controversy and discord as well. Due to the overwhelming requests by ministries wanting to associate with the GCEPC, ministries with far differing points of view on Scriptural matters were associating and boisterous (to say the least) discussions developed at every level.

It was decided that the church MUST establish a Statement of Faith and Core Beliefs. Rev Randy Wagoner was charged with that responsibility and drafted the Statement of Faith that was adopted in the GCEPC and stands to this day in the Lutheran Orthodox Church.


At that time, Rev Sam Guido, by then appointed Bishop of The Allegheny Conference of the GCEPC had begun work to establish a seminary specifically to train ministers of The GCEPC, and called it The Seminary of The Evangelical Protestant Church. He and his wife, Sandy developed a curriculum and began recruiting faculty to serve on the staff. Papers were filed with the Pa Dept of State. The State sent back the application stating that the word 'seminary' was a restricted use word owned by The Dept of Education. Lawyers were hired and a battle was about to erupt between the State and the Church. Instead, the name was changed to Concordia Theologica Institute for Lutheran and Biblical Studies, a name suggested to Rev Guido by Rev Cynthia Lindenmoyer, a chaplain at West Point, and a then member of the Board of Advisors. Since the main issue the State had was with our use of the word Seminary, by changing it, the controversy was settled.


In 2001, General Overseer RevDr James Clifton resigned to devote more time to his own congregation, family and personal ministry and he remained a member of the GCEPC. Dr Michael Layne was the Executive Minister and was appointed to fill the vacant Presiding Overseer's chair. He declined the following day citing his responsibilities as Dean of St Pauls Christian School and Seminary, so it was decided that Dr Clifton would appoint Rev Sam Guido as new Presiding Minister, citing his tireless effort in bringing ministries and congregations into the conference and his work at establishing a seminary to train future EPC ministers. Although honored, Rev Guido could not accept the position as an appointed one, since the By Laws required a vote of the membership. Two weeks later a vote was held and tabulated by Rev Randy Wagoner which formally elected Rev Guido as the new General Overseer of the GCEPC. James Clifton was awarded the title Presiding Bishop Emeritus for all of his hard work in re-establishing the conference.


All paperwork, records and archives for the church were sent to Rev Guido and he found while going through the archives that the church had always been a fellowship and not a corporation. He proposed to the membership that the church incorporate as The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC, inc and it was unanimously adopted in June, 2001. The necessary paperwork was filed with the Pa Dept of State and registered on July 30, 2001. The entity number for the corporation known as The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc as registered with the Pa Dept of State is 3017827, a non profit, non stock corp.


The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC became a legal entity. The Board of Advisors was chosen, and a new path was set out. The corporate officers were Sam Guido, Pres, Randy Wagoner, VP, Sandy Guido, Sec. and Christine Wagoner, Treas.

These were the corporte officers, with responsibilities far different than the Board of Advisors and Bishops Council. The Presiding Bishop, and all other clerical offices were elected to set terms. The corporate officers were permenate.


During the following years the EPC had tremendous growth through evangelizing, the seminary level training program and by ministries wanting to associate. However, there was still the issue of too many differing, and unscriptural practices and teachings. Rev's Wagoner and Guido informed the membership that to remain a member of the EPC they must adhere to the Statement of Faith and Core Beliefs, and if they did not, they were free to leave or be dismissed. Fully expecting a full scale revolt, only a handful of ministries left, and the result was the opposite of what was expected: The EPC grew to more than 1000 ministries and congregations worldwide, with churches once underground in the former Soviet Block, China, The Philippines, So America, Germany, England, Canada and elsewhere joined the Evangelical Protestant Church. Despite the growth of the church and its historical roots, many did not recognize the name Evangelical Protestant Church. Some of the 'oldtimers', pastors of the old Reformed Church and other long time congregations recognized the denominational name, but others did not hear it before. Our pastors had a hard time when applying for chaplaincy positions in hospitals or registering with court clerks who never heard of The Evangelical Protestant Church. When asked what denomination our pastors represented most just said "Evangelical Protestant' which usually received a response such as this: I know your evangelical and protestant , but what denomination?' Since we followed the teachings of Martin Luther rather than Zwingli or Calvin, Rev Guido proposed the addition of the name Lutheran in front of Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC. In the fall of 2002, the EPC became The Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church. Full Communion Agreements and Altar and Pulpit fellowships were established between the LEPC and many other church bodies. LEPC ministers and their ministries prospered and the growth was tremendous.

Beginnings of The Lutheran Orthodox Church

In late 2003 and early 2004, an offer was made to the leadership of The LEPC by another Lutheran, Anglican and a Catholic body to be consecrated in Apostolic Succession. This caused quite a stir in the church among its members, and Board of Advisors.


The immediate history of The Lutheran Orthodox Church began in 2004 when several Bishops of The Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC were offered the privilege and opportunity to be consecrated in the valid Apostolic Succession by Bishops of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican churches. The process began in January of 2004 and culminated on July 11th, 2004 when LEPC Bishops Samuel Guido, and Raymond Copp,both from Pennsylvania, as well as Bishop Tan Binh Phan Nguyen, an ECCL Bishop from Atlanta Georgia, were consecrated as Bishops in valid Apostolic Succession in a beautiful ceremony held in NYC.

The main consecrator, Archbishop Bertil Persson, Primate of the Order of Corporate Reunion,and Presiding Bishop of The Apostolic Episcopal Church (Holy Eastern Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox) and serving as Missionary General Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira, (Scandinavia), and Missionary General of The Philippine Independent Catholic Church, (Scandinavia and all of Europe), flew in from Sweden to conduct the ceremony, extending the lineage of Apostolic Succession to the Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church.

Co-Consecrators were the Most Reverend Irl Gladfelter, Primate of The Evangelical Community Church-Lutheran, of Kansas City and The Most Reverend Peter Paul Brennan, of the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New York. Many other Bishops,including Archbishop Francis C.Spataro, of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Bishop Paget James Mack, of the African Orthodox Church and Bishop Patrick E. Trujillo, to name a few, attended and extended their own lines of Apostolic Succession to these recipients.


Valid Apostolic Succession, (that which is recognized by both The Roman Catholic Church as well as Eastern Orthodox), had been denied to most Lutheran clergy for over 500 years. (Some Lutheran groupings in Europe maintained a type of lineage of Apostolic Succession). Today, however, by the Grace of God,it is being slowly restored. Some pastors of the LEPC understood and appreciated the importance of Apostolic Succession to the reunification of Lutherans with other denominations in the Apostolic Succession. They have come forward in enthusiastic support of it. Most at that time however,did not, and a debate continued in the church over its true significance. Rather than cause angry division and controversy, those consecrated into the holy Apostolic Succession had decided to follow a different path but ultimately one that leads everyone to the same goal; reunification of every Christian denomination under the banner of the one true Apostolic Church. 

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(Below, Change of Name filing with Pa Dept of State changing name of The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC, inc to The Lutheran Orthodox Church, March 3, 2006. Note, same entity number, which establishes the fact that the LOC is the holder of record of the history of The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc)

A Corporate Split

Since Bishops Guido and Copp had terms that were to expire in June of 2004 they decided that it was perhaps time to make a split in the corporation. They began to use the name The Lutheran Orthodox Church to recognize those in Apostolic Succession as to those of the EPC who were not. So, just as the Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church was a common use name for The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc, The Lutheran Orthodox Church became also a common use name under The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc. Sam Guido, Randy Wagoner and the others were still legally recognized as the President, VP, and corporate officers of The EPCinc. whether or not they served on the Board of Advisors or held clerical offices. They still had the legal authority to dissolve the corp, remove members add members or anything they wanted to do legally with the corporation. However, they took a hands off approach to see what would develop with the church on its own. 

At the completion of Bishop Guido's tenure, an election was held and a new PB was elected. Joseph Jacobs was elected as Presiding Bishop but he resigned a few weeks later due to health issues.Sandy Guido was appointed on an interim basis as PB until a new leader could be elected. Hans Haeuser was elected as the next Presiding Bishop and held that post for several months before resigning as well.

Below, Signed Concordat between LOC and LEPC Presiding Bishops recognizing each church as Sister Churches in Full Communion under the Evangelical Protestant ChurchGCEPC,inc)

A Corporate Split

Since Bishops Guido and Copp had terms that were to expire in June of 2004 they decided that it was perhaps time to make a split in the corporation. They began to use the name The Lutheran Orthodox Church to recognize those in Apostolic Succession as to those of the EPC who were not. So, just as the Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church was a common use name for The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc, The Lutheran Orthodox Church became also a common use name under The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc. Sam Guido, Randy Wagoner and the others were still legally recognized as the President, VP, and corporate officers of The EPCinc. whether or not they served on the Board of Advisors or held clerical offices. They still had the legal authority to dissolve the corp, remove members add members or anything they wanted to do legally with the corporation. However, they took a hands off approach to see what would develop with the church on its own. 

However, infighting began anew within the LEPC. The corporate officers, still with a hands off approach to the LEPC fully expected the LEPC to implode. Even the LEPC Presiding Bishop James Groover and a number of other LEPC ministers decided to move their ministry to the LOC.

A proposal was made to the corporate officers by a member of the LEPC to allow her to use a name similar to The Evangelical Protestant Church in her home state. The corporate officers saw no harm in that so allowed her use of a similar name. She then incorporated a new entity in South Carolina named Evangelical Protestant Church, inc (GCEPC). However, the registered corporation in Pennsylvania kept the original name, The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC, inc. The corporate officers of the original EPC agreed that the LOC would hold the historical records of the EPC inc but if she wanted to claim a shared history, we had no problem with that. (She was never a corporate officer of the LOC or EPC, inc, as incorporated in Pa and never elected to the position of president of the original Pennsylvania based corporation. According to the By Laws of The EPC, inc, she never had any position or authority as an officer of the corporation). In 2006, the Evangelical Protestant Church GCEPC,inc as registered in Pa filed a change of name paper with the Pa Dept of State in accordance with its By Laws and vote of the corporate officers. This was only a change of name paper, and the corporate entity number remained the same and was published to our membership in the spring of 2006. Therefore, the Lutheran Orthodox Church is THE holder of the historical record of The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC,inc. The South Carolina entity is a new entity not affiliated with this corporation in any manner. We will allow that entity to claim a historical linkage if they want to. However, we felt it absolutely necessary to set the record straight once and for all since they have demanded that we re-write history, which we will not.

A Legal Challenge:

That same disgruntled former member (as above) of the LOC who resigned in June of 2009 so she could, in her words, attend to problems she was having within her own organization decided to challenge the LOC and other affiliated ministries by conspiring with another individual in Pennsylvania, fraudlently changing our corporate filings in the State of Pennsylvania, naming her as president of this corporation and he as an officer. And then, as incredulous as it sounds, used those changed documents to file suit against The Lutheran Orthodox Church, inc and several affiliated ministries as well as against The Presiding Bishop personally.

(For the record, the fraudulent filings have been corrected at The Pa Dept of State and returned to the rightful officers, namely The LOC, inc). She then thought it of no consequence to place a disclaimer on her own web page stating alleged facts which were simply untrue, to put it mildly. She also claimed on both letterhead and web pages that she was the president of several other organizations, and has since been ordaining ministers, and building a ministry under names she simply never incorporated. To prove this, we have included scans from The South Carolina Dept of State, of corporations which were incorporated not by her, as she is misleading people into believing, but rather corporations formed and incorporated by Sam Guido, the founder and Presiding Bishop of this church. We find it sad that we are in a position of having to post this information on this site, but we believe that the public and especially her 'ministers' learn the real truth. Churches should be in the business of proclaiming the Good News of Christ and not wasting valuable time and precious resources defending against baseless suits brought on by wolves in sheeps clothing.

Update:

On Dec 17th, 2010 by an order of The Court of Common Pleas, Monroe County, Pa, The Honorable Judge Linda W. Miller presiding, the suit brought against the LOC and affilated ministries by that same disgruntled former member and her organization was dismissed in favor of a Motion filed by The LOC.

We will continue to pray for her and her organization.

(Below, corporations a former member claims she incorporated, but in fact never did, despite representing on her letterhead, web pages and ordination certificates that she did. These corporations are controlled by Samuel Guido as registered in the State of So Carolina and can be verified at The SC Dept of State).

An Interesting Note:

All past Presiding Bishops of The Evangelical Protestant Church, GCEPC inc and LEPC (incorporated in Pennsylvania) with the exception of two are now active ministers or Bishops of The Lutheran Orthodox Church. And one who is not currently a member had approached the LOC in 2006 inquiring about membership.

So, here we are, The Lutheran Orthodox Church, a small but strong, conservative Lutheran denomination, on a mission to reclaim the faith that Martin Luther once delivered to us all. We believe that many Lutheran churches have so far deviated from the teachings of Martin Luther that they can hardly be recognized as Lutheran anymore. You

will find us as a church to be very '

Catholic' in style, as we wish a return to the practices and teachings of Martin Luther, who after all, was a Catholic priest. We also firmly believe that the Catholic Church of today is not the Catholic Church of 500 years ago, just the same as we believe that Lutheran churches of today also are not the Lutheran churches of yesterday. We would like to see an eventual reunification with Rome, in a type of 'communion arrangement' similar to the Eastern Orthodox churches without compromising Scriptural truths that separated Lutherans from Catholics in the first place. There is a growing trend rapidly moving forward with many fine scholars, Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox working on just such a goal. The Lutheran Orthodox Church, already being in valid, recognized Apostolic Succession seeks to be a part of this ecumenical movement, where the Body of Christ will become united as one, the way it was in the beginning.

We do not claim, nor would we ever be so bold to assert that we are 100% correct in every single interpretation of the Lutheran faith, and we recognize there are many other interpretations, which is why there are so many different churches calling themselves Lutheran. In other words, while we believe we are correctly interpretating the Lutheran Confessions, we accept our other Lutheran brothers of different synods recognizing that we are all imperfect and fall short of the Glory of God.

We also extend an invitation to those who desire to enter the ministry or transfer their credentials to contact us. We will gladly discuss opportunities and possibilities with you one on one at your convenience.


There is never a fee nor any dues payable for any congregation or clergyman to affiliate with The Lutheran Orthodox Church