Two Chief Apostles together—a rare thing indeed
When the Chief Apostle visits a congregation, he is usually the only Chief Apostle there. Not so in the congregation of Nordheide. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider celebrated the divine service while the retired Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber played the organ—something rare indeed.
Nordheide in Germany is a thirty-minute drive from the city of Hamburg, Germany’s big port and gate to the world. And Nordheide is the place where Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber goes to church. Since his retirement on Pentecost 2013 he has been a member there and plays the organ now and then; also this past Good Friday. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider had announced his visit and was thrilled to have his predecessor at the organ for the service. It was a special service also for Chief Apostle Schneider: no transmission, just the small congregation, and the region’s District Apostle, Apostles, and Bishops as guests.
There was a special atmosphere in the small congregation that somehow lightened the normally solemn and mournful mood on a Good Friday. In his sermon—which was based on Isaiah 53: 10—the Chief Apostle explained that a Christian has every reason to look on Good Friday with gratitude. He made clear that the Son of God made Himself equal to mankind. “He overcame evil. If we are confronted with evil, we can find strength in Christ so that we can remain faithful to God and do His will, serve Him, and forgive our neighbour,” the Chief Apostle said.
Kedoya is a district in the western part of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. The congregation there celebrated Family Day on 9 March 2016: the motto was “One Kedoya”. About 100 members participated. The day started with prayer, breakfast, and singing. Next on the programme were games, for which the participants were divided into groups. After lunch, seminars were offered on the topics of “Sacraments” and “Oneness”. The Family Day ended with a divine service in the evening for the whole congregation, which was conducted by District Elder Susiyanto.
Kimberley is the capital of Northern Cape Province in South Africa and has a population of nearly 100,000. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service there on Sunday, 20 March 2016 based on Mark 11: 17. The Chief Apostle focused on the house of prayer that is mentioned in the Bible text and explained what people have made of it over time. At the end of the divine service he ordained two new Apostles; one for Mozambique, where the congregations are looked after by the District Church South-East Africa, and one for the Cape district. They are Armindo Mazuze (53, Mozambique) and Jacques Eugené Cronjé (49, Cape).
The retired Apostle Yaovi Afoutou has died after a long illness. He was born in Togo in 1942. At the age of 44 he became New Apostolic and together with his family was sealed in June 1986. In 1988 he was ordained as a Priest. Other ministries followed. In 1998, then, he received the Apostle ministry from Chief Apostle Richard Fehr. While still active Apostle Afoutou was diagnosed with diabetes that required the amputation of one of his lower legs. His vision was also affected, leaving him almost blind. Despite all these burdens, he continued to minister with the fear of God until his retirement on 16 November 2008 through Chief Apostle Leber.