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.