Changes in the circle of the Apostles
Following is an overview of the retirements, ordinations, and appointments that took place in the first half of the year 2016.
Apostle Hans-Jürgen Berndt was born in 1950. He was sealed in 1960 together with his family. In April 1974 he was ordained as a Deacon. Other ministries followed. On 30 May 1993 he was ordained as an Apostle by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr. On 14 February 2016 Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider placed him into retirement during a divine service in Berlin in Germany. His working area was divided among two of his colleagues: Apostle Marat I. Akchurin will look after the congregations in Kazakhstan while Apostle Katens will care for the congregations in Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany).
Apostle Afonso Avelino was placed into retirement during a divine service in Luanda on Sunday, 21 February 2016. He was born in 1951 and sealed as an adult by Apostle Brinkmann. This was in June 1984. In 1985 he was ordained as a Deacon. Further ministries followed. Chief Apostle Fehr ordained him as an Apostle in 2003. Chief Apostle Schneider went on to ordain District Elder José Calenga Baza . He will assist District Apostle Helper João Uanuque Misselo in his working area.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
A week later, on 28 February, Chief Apostle Schneider ordained Bishop Mankuiza Tsumbu as an Apostle during a service in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mankuiza Tsumbu was born in 1972. He lives in Kinshasa, the country’s capital. Together with 80 other Apostles, he looks after the members in this part of the Congo.
Apostle Michael Dabula Dimba was placed into retirement during a service on 20 March 2016 in Kimberley (South Africa) by Chief Apostle Schneider. District Apostle Mkhwanazi said about the Apostle: “Apostle Dimba is the embodiment of a faithful, humble, and mature spiritual leader, who has the unique gift to teach any subject. That was the reason for his appointment as chairman of the NACSEA Ministry Work Group. It is not easy to let him go.” Apostle Dimba’s working area in Johannesburg will be taken over by Apostle Sipho Mogane and his working area in Botswana by Apostle Aubrey Page. Michael Dabula Dimba was ordained a Sub-deacon on 15 May 1977. Further ministries followed. On 1 January 2000, he was ordained as an Apostle by Chief Apostle Fehr.
Bishop Jacques Eugené Cronjé (born in 1966) of the Cape district was ordained an Apostle in the same service in Kimberley on 20 March. He will succeed Apostle Walter R. Diedericks, who will be going into retirement at the end of July.
The death of Apostle Acacio Francisco Munguambe in August 2015 left a gap that was recently filled with the ordination of Apostle Armindo Mazuze. Chief Apostle Schneider ordained him on 20 March 2016 in Kimberley (South Africa). Armindo Mazuze (born in 1962) is the administrative coordinator at the Church offices in Maputo in Mozambique. He speaks four languages: Portuguese, Changana, English, and German.
Apostle Segundo Pedro Marin was placed into retirement on 6 April 2016 during a divine service in Pucallpa in Peru. He was born in 1951 and sealed as a young adult in 1976. That same year, he received the Deacon ministry. Other ministries followed, and on 10 April 2005 Chief Apostle Fehr ordained him an Apostle. District Apostle Leonard R. Kolb describes Apostle Marin as follows: “He was a fearless servant of God and went on long trips into the remote mountain and jungle regions of Peru. He never complained about the dangers and difficulties these trips involved, but served the brothers and sisters joyfully.” The working area of Apostle Marin was taken over by Apostle Miguel Angel Flores Cordóva.
Republic of the Congo
Edouard Degbia was active as a minister in the Republic of the Congo for a total of 24 years, 19 of these as an Apostle. In a divine service on 30 April 2016 in Pointe Noire, the country’s capital, the Chief Apostle placed Apostle Degbia into retirement. In the same service, Bishop André Bitsindou, who is the administration manager of the New Apostolic Church in the Republic of the Congo, was ordained as an Apostle.
Central African Republic
Also retired in the same service on 30 April in Pointe Noire (Republic of the Congo), was Apostle Marcel Mbolode. For a total of 27 years he served as a minister in the Church, the last 11 of these as an Apostle. Bishop Albert Kalombo (born in 1958) was ordained an Apostle to succeed him.
Rwanda also has a new Apostle. District Elder Joseph Tuyisabe Serubibi (born in 1971) was ordained into the Apostle ministry and will be responsible for congregations in Rwanda. The ordination took place on 30 April 2016 in Pointe Noire (Republic of the Congo).
On Sunday, 19 June 2016, Chief Apostle Schneider placed District Apostle Wilfried Klingler into retirement. The divine service in Hanover in Germany marked the start of the new District Apostle Area Northern and Eastern Germany. The two former districts of Northern Germany and Central Germany were amalgamated. District Apostle Rüdiger Krause was assigned responsibility for the new area.
In a divine service in Chișinău in Moldova on 26 June, the Chief Apostle placed Apostle Semion Cazacu into retirement. Semion Cazacu was born in 1952 in a small village in Moldova. He went on to study medicine and became a doctor. He was already older when he received testimony about the New Apostolic Church; he was sealed in 1994. That same year still, he was entrusted with the ministry of Priest. Other ministries followed. On 17 August 2003 he was ordained as an Apostle by Chief Apostle Fehr. Apostle Vasile Cone of Romania and Bishop André Kreis of Switzerland will now look after the congregations in Moldova.