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General Conference of Evangelical Protestant Churches

FAQ

Board of Advisors/

Synod Region Bishops


- Rev. Dr. David Church
- Rev. Linda Dabney 
- Rev. Dennis Overlein 
- Rev. Dr. William Dorn 
- Rev. Dr. Israel Ikpeka 

Frequently Asked Questions about the EPC GCEPC/LEPC


What sacraments do you observe? 

We observe Baptism and Holy Communion. 


Does a person have to be a member of your church to take communion with you?

No. All believers are welcome to partake at the Lord’s Table.


Do you require wine to be served for communion? 

We usually use wine but we are aware that there are circumstances where grape juice is preferred. The answer is no; we consider the situation, the culture and the people. The Lord will bless His Body and Blood for His purposes and look on the hearts of those involved.


Are you Trinitarian? 

Yes. We believe in the traditional teaching regarding the Trinity of One God  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Are you missions oriented? 

Yes. We are. We believe in training indigenous ministers to reach their own people. We have Concordia Theologica Kenya for example which is headed by our Kenyan Bishop. We also accept ministry credits from a school in Nigeria for ordaining ministers there.  


What is your organizational structure? 

We have an Executive Board that handles the everyday administrative affairs of the Community, a Board of Advisors and a Council of Bishops from the synods/regions. The Presiding Bishop is the Chief Executive Officer of the ministry and is president of our non-profit corporation. The Executive Bishop serves as vice-president.


How do you treat reports of child abuse? 

We are mandatory reporters. Such information will be given to the proper authorities.


Are you evangelistic? 

Yes, we are. Our focus is to the lost. We have noticed a decline in new converts across Christendom. Many people move back and forth between churches and some have "dropped out" all together. We are interested in the lost, the unchurched and the dischurched.


I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and consider myself charismatic. Will I be welcome in your Church?

Yes, you will be welcome. We are a diverse group. We do not call ourselves charismatic but we do believe in the present day work of the Holy Spirit and the ministries that Jesus placed in His Church that He meant to be part of "normal" Christian life.


I notice that you talk a lot about the Holy Spirit leading. I come from a background where I have always been told what to do and what I am to believe. How do I participate?

That is a good question. Yes. We do fully believe that the Holy Spirit will lead regarding His Church. We just have to trust that He will do that. A relationship has to be cultivated in prayer, worship, study and daily walk. It is a practicing of His Presence. Yes. It is an adventure and it might seem a little scary or unsure or even irresponsible if this is not what you are use to but it is scriptural and God honors His Word. This is how Jesus ran His ministry and the Apostles after him. We will assist you as you launch into this new but old and Christ centered way of ministry.


What is meant by "evangelical"?

It means that we place emphasis on a personal faith in Jesus Christ and in the authority of scripture or orthodoxy. Orthodoxy means adhering to the accepted or traditional and established faith, right thinking, true praise in this case to God.


What form of liturgy do you use? 

We have a broad spectrum of worship;  traditional and contemporary depending on the locale and culture of those being served. The point is to serve God, worship and exalt him as he desires and directs by his Holy Spirit in the region. What is best in one region may not be best in another. God will lead. He knows His people and His ministers and how He wants them to participate in His worship.


Do you ordain homosexuals?

No. We do not knowingly ordain homosexuals.


Do you support same sex marriage?

No, We believe scripture states that marriage is between a man and a woman and that they are to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion together over the earth and its occupants.


Do you subscribe to the Book of Concord and the Augsburg Confession? 

We do in so far as they agree in the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and in the common confessions of all Christendom. The Reformation was key to the transformation of Christianity. Luther brought the teachings of faith and grace again by the Holy Spirit without which we cannot know God.


What is Concordia Theologica? 

Concordia Theologica is our Bible Institute. When we have someone who is called to ministry but who has no educational or theological background they may attend Concordia Theologica. We provide this training to assist them in meeting our educational requirements. This educational opportunity is for those individuals who are committed to the EPC GCEPC/LEPC for ministry with us and is offered at no charge.


What is Apostolic Succession? 

Apostolic Succession is the consecration into a valid historic lineage dating back to the early Apostles. This is done by the laying on of hands during our ordination services of Word and Sacrament. Apostolic Succession for us indicates that the teaching of the Apostles is continuing as we are exhorted in Scripture .


Can you provide ecclesiastical endorsement for Military Chaplaincy?

Yes, we can. We have an Office of Chaplaincy.Let us know how we can assist you.


Do you ordain women to the ministry? 

Yes, we do.


I am called to ministry but not to pastoring a church. I would like to start a crisis care ministry. Can you help with ordination and credentialing for this? 

Yes, we can. We will be happy to talk to you about your ministry plans and vision.


Do you have to plant a church to be a part of the LEPC/GCEPC? 

No. While we do have those ministers who pastor and plant churches we have a number of other diverse ministries also. We will be happy to talk to you about your ministry plans and vision.


If I am a minister of the LEPC/GCEPC can I still be involved/participate in other Christian faith community activities such as weddings, ordinations, funerals etc?

You are free to attend gatherings, ordinations or any activity you choose keeping in mind the requirements of scripture and civil law. We are one body, one faith, one baptism with one Lord and Father in Heaven as a part of the Church universal.


Will you ordain members of secret societies?

We do not ordain to ministry members of secret societies. We will consider an application with the understanding that the applicant would be required to resign membership in secret societies. Freemasonry is an example of a secret society.


Do you allow house churches? 

Yes. We are very interested in the house church movement especially as the economy has shifted. This is very much a New Testament Model.


What are the backgrounds of your ministers? 

We have people from Lutheran, Lutheran Brethren, Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, Episcopalian, Non-denominational, Catholic, Charismatic, Gospel Deliverance, Messianic and other backgrounds. We have a diversity of peoples and ministries. We endeavor to promote "In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty and in all things charity." We work to promote the unity of the Body of Christ when at all possible. 


I would like to form a One New Man congregation. Are you familiar with this concept? 

We are and would be very interested in chartering a work such as One New Man.


If I cannot send in or forget to send in my offering will I be penalized? 

We will send out reminders across the community from time to time but we will not "track down" an individual to force them to pay tithes or offerings (we know some religious organizations practice this model).We do expect ministers to honor the vows they make as a matter of practice and integrity as we depend on these gifts to run our budget and do the work of the ministry. Letting us know of any difficulty that a minister could be facing would allow us to try to assist or understand the situation.


How do I begin the process of making application to the EPC GCEPC/LEPC? 

Our application packet is on-line under "Ordination." The information that you need is in that packet with instructions. Follow the instructions and complete the packet as stated. If you are unable to download the packet please contact us and we will make arrangements to get a packet to you. If you have any questions, please email us at generalconference@lutheranepc.com.  Each application is considered on an individual basis. Once we have your packet we will contact you if further clarity is needed. Further along in the process a member of our Candidate Selection Committee will contact you. We will email you when your application is received.


Our Church/ministry needs an umbrella or oversight. Can we transfer as a group to the EPC GCEPC/LEPC? 

Yes, we make different arrangements in the transfer of units or groups that are already established and have a little different application process. Usually we are able to take the group as a whole but we still require information for each ordained minister in the group/unit for our files and they will come under Minister Expectations. Minister Expectations is the norm and practice for EPC GCEPC/LEPC ministers.


I am in a country where little money is found but I want to be a minister. Can I still apply for ordination with your Community? 

Yes. Please do not let money hold you back from sending an application to the EPC GCEPC/LEPC. If you truly have a financial difficulty we will work with you in your application process. We are here to get the gospel out and we will not keep you back from God’s call because of finances. We are here to help.


I was involved in a church split and my credentials were removed. Does this mean you will not consider my application? 

We are aware that the Body of Christ is full of schisms of various natures. We are aware that there are some very authoritarian religious communities out there. It will depend on the situation. We take each application individually and consider each circumstance separately. We are interested in the restoration and healing of God’s servants and wounded warriors. If we can help you, we will.


I am non-denominational but I want to be with a faith community. Do I have to be Lutheran to join your Community? 

We have a unique situation. When our community voted to add "Lutheran" to our name it was for clarity regarding the Evangelical Protestant Church but we kept the caveat that those members who desire to remain and use only "EvangelicalProtestant" could do so. Even Luther did not want his name placed on a denomination. This caveat continues to be practiced by those who desire to use EPC GCEPC ony. Short answer-you can be Evangelical Protestant and be part of our faith community as long as you agree and adhere with our Statement of Faith and Core Beliefs.


Do I have to wear a clerical collar? 

You do not have to but you get to. The collar does make you recognizable as a minister and once you learn the significance spiritually of clerical garments and vestments you may decide that you like using them but it is your choice. Again this is a matter of choice of congregation and ministry or culture and how it assists in getting the gospel out and promoting ministry. Most of our ministers wear collars at some point but it is their choice for the situation. There are some celebratory events where a clerical collar or vestment might be required. A stole is required for ordination as it signifies the Lord’s yoke and is used in the ceremony.


Where are you located? 

Our General Conference Office is located in Cayce, West Columbia SC. MAPS


Have a question?

Please contact us. We will answer as soon as possible.




- Rev. Dr. Francesco Reale
- Rev. Dr. Fred Macharia 
- Rev. Dr. Elijah Ruboneka 
- Rev. Dr. Michael Norton
- Rev. Dr. Harvey Menden 
- Rev. Dr. Ralf Muller

ADMINISTRATION 

Executive Board: 


- Rev. Nancy K. Drew Presiding Bishop/President

- Rev. Jessica Johnston Executive Bishop/Vice President

- Rev. Dr. David Church, Director of Missions

- Rev, Ralf Muller, Rev. Patrick Pierce, Ecumenical Affairs  

- Rev. Dennis Overlein, Director of Chaplaincy  


Media Ministry:

- Rev. Steve Bacon, Rev. Brian Jones



 Empowering  — Equipping — Sending