Changes in the circle of the Apostles
Currently, there are 345 active Apostles around the world. Following is an overview of the retirements, ordinations, and appointments that took place in the second half of the year 2016.
There are nine million New Apostolic Christians spread over 60,000 congregations around the globe. They are cared for by 260,000 ministers and receive instruction from thousands of teachers. The Church is divided into 17 District Apostle Areas. There are a total of 345 Apostles, including the Chief Apostle, eight District Apostle Helpers, and 17 District Apostles. The spiritual leader of the Church is Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider.
Ordinations and appointments
In a divine service in our Silvertown church in Cape Town (South Africa) on Sunday, 18 December 2016, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider ordained John Leslie Kriel a District Apostle and appointed him to lead the newly created District Apostle Area Southern Africa—comprised of the former districts Cape and South-East Africa. In the same service, the Chief Apostle appointed Patrick Mandla Mkhwanazi a District Apostle Helper. There are 660,000 New Apostolic Christians in the newly merged church district.
In Blantyre (Malawi) the Chief Apostle ordained Jacob Mwansa an Apostle for Zambia on Sunday, 6 November 2016. He and 24 other Apostles assist District Apostle Charles S. Ndandula in a region in which there are more than a million New Apostolic Christians.
District Apostle Noel Edward Barnes went into retirement during a divine service in Silvertown (Cape Town/South Africa) on Sunday, 18 December 2016 after more than 30 years as an Apostle. From December 1996 to his retirement, Noel Edward Barnes led the Cape district assisted by 11 Apostles and 24 Bishops.
Apostle José Mário Cambinda of Angola had to retire early for health reasons on 4 December 2016. Chief Apostle Richard Fehr had ordained him an Apostle in a divine service in Lusaka (Zambia) on 13 March 2005.
Apostle Hans-Peter Schneider went into retirement on Sunday, 14 August 2016 in Heilbronn. Chief Apostle Schneider expressed his thanks to the retiring Apostle from southern Germany. Hans-Peter Schneider exercised various ministries in the Church over a period of 39 years, the last 18 of which he carried the Apostle ministry.
Apostle Norbert Shamba Lupongo of the District Church Congo South-East went into retirement on Sunday, 17 July 2016. He served the Church in ministry for a total of 36 years, 18 of these as an Apostle. Chief Apostle Schneider carried out the retirement in a divine service in Kananga.
Apostle Walter Reginald Diedericks retired in a divine service on Sunday, 31 July 2016. Walter R. Diedericks was active as a minister in the Cape district for 44 years. District Apostle Noel Barnes carried the retirement out in our Kensington Central church.
In 2016, one District Apostle and 19 Apostles were ordained, and one District Apostle was appointed a District Apostle Helper. There were a total of 16 retirements. One retired District Apostle and six retired Apostles passed away in the past year.