The Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches, founded in 1988 in Astoria, New York, is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to performing activities that are exclusively religious, charitable, and educational. The Association was founded by The Rev. Dr. +Peter Paul Brennan, The Rev. Dr. +Pedro Bravo-Guzmán, and The Rev. Dr.+Francis Spataro.
The Association declares and accepts the manifestations of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior sent in love and mercy to reconcile us to the Father. So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.- - Philippians 2:10-11
We accept the canonical writings of the Old and New Testament as the true written Word of God sufficient for faith and practice. The Apostles' Creed and The Creed of 1803 are viewed as true declarations of faith. We subscribe to no other creed. Our theological and doctrinal positions are based on the biblical expositions of Martin Luther and we find inspiration from the Book of Concord which contains the following:
1. The Augsburg Confession
2. The Smalcald Articles
3. The Small and Large Catechism
4. The Treatise
5. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession
We profess a Quatenus subscription regarding the doctrines in the Book of Concord, meaning we subscribe to them insofar as they conform to the Holy Scriptures. The Association endorses the Evangelical Heritage Bible and The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts.
Believing in the priesthood of all believers, both clergy and laity are free to interpret the Scriptures according to the dictates of his or her own conscience as they feel led by the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. However, theological statements of each AIELC congregation or other ministries must be approved by the Presiding Bishop.
Each congregation owns its property, governs its affairs, and finances its operations. The Presiding Bishop and Synodical Bishops oversee clergy and congregations making sure there is no deviation from the doctrine and theology of the Church. The Bishops monitor the conduct of its clergy members. The Bishops have the authority to intervene should it become necessary to maintain the integrity of the Church.
The Association is part of the worldwide Evangelical Catholic community.
For Association logo items, please visit our Presiding Bishop's store.
The Most Rev. Dr. +Pedro Bravo-Guzmán
March 6, 1948 – October 15, 2018
Past Presiding Bishop
The Most Rev. Dr. +James Walter Clifton, Presiding Bishop
The Most Rev. +Rogerio Sidaoui, Supervising Bishop
The Rev. Donna Kay Clifton, Administrative Assistant
The Rt. Rev. Dr. +Peter Paul Brennan, Supervising Bishop, R.I.P.
The Most Rev. Dr. +Pedro Bravo-Guzmán, Former Presiding Bishop, R.I.P.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. +Francis Spataro, Presiding Bishop Emeritus
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