top of page

Governing Body of The Lutheran Orthodox Church

(Below, ordination of Joseph Jacobs)

The Lutheran Orthodox Church,which is headquartered at St Pauls Lutheran Orthodox Chapel in northeast Pennsylvania, is governed by Spirit filled men and women consecrated in valid Apostolic Succession. These men and women are appointed according to our By Laws and Constitution, (copies of which are available upon request, and also published on this web site), and may serve in that position for life. There are 2 separate bodies which govern this church: The Council of Bishops and The Corporate Officers. Both serve different functions. The Council Of Bishops handles the spiritual affairs of the church, and the Corporate Officers handle the secular business affairs of the Lutheran Orthodox Church

Left: Rev Dr Michael Layne, Bishop of Diocese of Eastern Indiana. Dr Layne. Bishop Layne, now retired was a founding member of the LOC and served as Executive VP for many years prior to retiring.

Council Of Bishops

The ReverendDr Bradley A Varvil

Presiding Bishop

Installation as Presiding Bishop, President and CEO, Nov 14th 2015 at NYC. 

Pastor Sam Guido,

Archbishop and Founder; Presiding Bishop Emeritus (retired)

Board of Directors

The Lutheran Orthodox Church, inc

Diocese of Allentown

Founder, LOC

The Reverend Dr Richard Wagner,

Archbishop, Executive VP, Director of New Member Services

Diocese of Delaware

President, Angus Dei Ministries, inc

The Reverend Robert Viancourt,


Diocese of Ohio.

The Reverend Dr Sandra L. Guido, EccD, KSP Archbishop,

LOC Sec/Treas

Founding Member, LOC 

The Reverend K.Sak Thomas, KSP, DD, Bishop of India and All The East.

The Reverend Jerry Bragg, KSP,

Bishop Elect of Arkansas,

Pastor, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Benton, Ark. Editor, The Evangelical Christian Magazine.

. The Reverend Dr Jerry Curry,

Bishop, Retired

Diocese of West Indiana,USA

The Reverend Dr Michael Layne



Diocese of East Indiana.

The Reverend Dr Joseph Jacobs


Diocese of South Western Ohio

The Reverend Dr Dale Anderson


Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pa

The Reverend Dr John McMahon


Diocese of Ontario, Canada

The Rev Juan Laracuente


Diocese of Puerto Rico

The Reverend Bradley Varvil

Archbishop, Presiding Bishop

Diocese of St Louis

The Reverend Ken Cates:

Bishop, Deceased

Diocese of South Central Texas

The Reverend Ken Ursin


Diocese of Spartanburg/Greenville (SC)

The Reverend Eliott Cruz


Diocese of The Bronx, NY

The Reverend Charlton Courtney


Diocese of Central Pennsylvania

Executive VP Emeritus

Founding member, LOC

The Reverend Mike Byus


Diocese of Seattle.

Office of Educational Standards

The Reverend Jesus Sierralta


Diocese of Venezuela

Women in Ministry

The Lutheran Orthodox Church accepts the ordination of qualified women into the ministry up to and including The Council of Bishops. Our position on female ordinations is posted on this web site and can be accessed by clicking on the links to the left of this page.

Corporate Officers

The Legal Corporate Structure

The Lutheran Orthodox Church,inc is a Non-Profit/Non Stock corporation as registered in the Commonwealth of Pa. There are 8 Officers of The Board of Directors of the corporation:The offices are: President, Exec VP, Secretary /Treasurer and VP. There may be more than one VP serving in different capacities, but the Exec VP is the immediate successor to the president, (see our By Laws). As with other corporations there is a Board of Directors which oversees the entire LOC corporation. In this position,(Board of Directors) these members care for the legal, secular and worldly affairs of the church.

President and CEO

Bradley A Varvil

Richard Wagner

Executive Vice President, Director of New Member Services, 

Vice President of Media Relations

Richard Stoecker


Sandy Guido

Charlton Courtney

Vice President, Diocese of York

Vice President of Chaplaincy Services

Eliott Cruz

President and CEO Emeritus (retired)

Board of Directors

Samuel Guido

Michael Byus

Vice President

Director of the Office of Educational Standards

Spiritual Affairs of The LOC

On the more important spiritual aspect of the church, (and its main mission, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ), The LOC is governed by a Council Of Bishops.

The number is usually but not necessarily limited to twelve plus a Presiding Bishop, or Primate.

These thirteen men and women serve as Archbishops and make up the governing body of the Lutheran Orthodox Church.

They are responsible for the care of large regions intheirassignment .

Bishops are appointed to serve in their diocese, overseeing and caring for the congregations in their area.

Pastors care for their own congregations, as chartered by the denomination.

All Bishops who serve on the Governing Body do so as volunteers, no salary is paid to any member of the Governing Body.

Pastors are paid by whatever arrangement is made on a congregational level. Most pastors however, are bi-vocational, meaning they serve their congregations for little or no salary, (including the current Presiding Bishop) and maintain secular employment to support their families.

All churches of The Lutheran Orthodox Church are congregational in polity, meaning they own (or rent)their own property. Congregations wishing to withdraw from this denomination are free to do so upon written notice according to our By Laws.

Congregations may only call pastors consecrated in valid Apostolic Succession as recommended by the local Bishop or Archbishops.

East meets West: Bishop Curry of Western Indiana Diocese and Bishop Layne of Eastern Indiana Diocese, at Bishop Laynes consecration and installation. 

World Headquarters:

St Pauls Lutheran Orthodox Chapel

Mailing Address:

PO Box 74

Neffs, Pa, 18065


For Parishoners

We cordially invite you to join us for services if a congregation is in your area. We welcome all who thirst for life's water, free. You will find our services easy to follow, and you will leave refreshed in spirit and soul


For Congregations:

We welcome interested congregations to inquire about affiliating your church with us. We do not charge a fee, nor do we solicit funds. If you are an independent church that desires denominational affiliation, or are from a church that seeks to change affiliation feel free to contact us with no obligation.

For Pastors

Those who are already ordained, but seek a change of affiliation, or those who are not currently ordained but feel called by God to serve Him as a minister and seek information on true ordination,( as opposed to the proliferation of 'mail order companies' that offer ordination) email our headquarters and we will gladly discuss your options, again, with no obligations.

We do require that all candidates for transfer or ordination submit to an interview and criminal background check, and every pastor of The Lutheran Orthodox Church must be consecrated in valid Apostolic Succession. The ceremony is usually performed at St Pauls Lutheran Chapel, in Pennsylvania. There is never a charge for the ceremony when conducted at our main headquarters. Travel expenses are borne by the candidate seeking ordination.

We do not recognize dual ordinations(except in unusual circumstances such as military endorsements, or other circumstances which require a specific waiver by The Presiding Bishop), and no pastor shall represent The Lutheran Orthodox Church until the formal consecration ceremony has been performed. Licenses to preach may be issued to those already pastoring churches, and seeking to change affiliation. We will however, accept ordained clergy from most other Lutheran synods and any other church which shares Full Communion and Pulpit and Altar Fellowship with The LOC as supply pastors, temporary interim pastors and possible permanate pastors if called and qualified as per each individual congregation without change of credentials required. Any non-LOC pastor permitted by his or her Bishop to accept a call to an LOC church on an interim or supply basis would remain under the jurisdiction of his or her ordaining body. A criminal background check and psychological testing as well as verification of current credentials is still required.

00:00 / 01:42
00:00 / 02:14
00:00 / 03:20
bottom of page