Changes in the circle of the Apostles
Twenty-two Apostles were ordained in the past year by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, and eighteen went into retirement. Three active Apostles passed away in 2017.
On 31 December 2017, there were 355 Apostles active around the world. Together with 260,000 additional ministers—who carry diaconal or priestly ministries—they look after 60,000 congregations. Of the 355 Apostles, eleven are District Apostles Helpers and 17 are District Apostles.
Ordinations and assignments
Three new Apostles were ordained for Kenya. In a divine service on 30 June 2017 in Thika, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider ordained three Apostles: Patrick Otuo Baridi (born 1954), John Were Wesonga (born 1965), and John Ngaga Dianga (born 1959).
On Sunday, 16 July 2017 more than 30,000 people assembled in and around our church in Kawama (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The divine service there was broadcast on national television. The Chief Apostle ordained six new Apostles: Moise Mulumba Mulumba (born 1966), Liévain Munganga Teo (born 1975), Baudouin Mununga Wayiva (born 1966), Jean Pierre Muleku Badibanga (born 1972), André Claudel Bapanda Wa Bapanda (born 1971), and Vincent Inyamueni Punga (born 1965).
Bishop Rolf Camenzind (born 1963) received the Apostle ministry in a divine service in Barcelona (Spain) on 23 July 2017. The Chief Apostle commissioned him to look after the members in Spain, Italy, and Cuba.
Two official acts, one minister. From 22 September to 2 October Chief Apostle Schneider visited the working area of District Apostle Andrew H. Andersen. In a divine service in Melbourne (Australia) on 24 September 2017, District Elder Peter Schulte (born 1963) was ordained as an Apostle. Directly after this the Chief Apostle assigned him as a District Apostle Helper.
On Sunday, 12 November 2017 the Chief Apostle celebrated a divine service in Raipur (India). He ordained the Bishops Devadas Basappa (born 1977) and Fred Charles Marihal (born 1976) as well as District Evangelist Prabhakar Beergi (born 1978) as Apostles.
Bishop Manfred Schönenborn (born 1956) was ordained as an Apostle on 19 November 2017 in a divine service in Backnang (Germany). He succeeds Apostle Dieter Prause, who retired.
On 8 December 2017, the spiritual leader of the New Apostolic Church ordained six Apostles in a divine service in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Six Bishops received the Apostle ministry: Paul Kibambe Kima (born 1960), Hyacinthe Kinguba Kitona (born 1963), Pushi Pitshou Mangamba (born 1974), Lutetu Frédéric Matondo (born 1966), Luvunga Antoine Sosa (born 1972), and Denis Tshimanga Wa Tshimanga (born 1965).
In a divine service on Saturday, 9 December 2017 in Gemena (Democratic Republic of the Congo), the Chief Apostle ordained Bishop Clément Malenge Malika (born 1963) as an Apostle.
During a divine service on 30 June 2017 in Thika (Kenya), Chief Apostle Schneider retired the Apostles Zacharia Gathondu (born 1952), Daniel Otumba Okeno (born 1950), Peter Jarubi Okubasu (born 1951) from Kenya and Francis Webisa (born 1956) from Uganda.
Four Apostles went into retirement during a divine service on 16 July 2017 in Kawama (Democratic Republic of the Congo): Keka Bernard Hianda (born 1961) after 23 years in the Apostle ministry, André Kakubu Mubengayi (born 1952) after 20 years, Célestin Munamba (born 1951) after 15 years, and Emmanuel N’Dondji (born 1950) also after 15 years.
Apostle Erhard Suter (born 1953) was placed into retirement by the Chief Apostle in a divine service in Barcelona (Spain) on Sunday, 23 July 2017. Apostle Suter retired a little earlier than originally planned for health reasons. He had served as a minister for 43 years, 16 of these as an Apostle.
In October 2017 Chief Apostle Schneider travelled to South Africa, where he celebrated two divine services. In Claremont he placed Apostle John G. Stephens (born 1952) into retirement. He had served the Church in various ministries for 44 years, 17 of these as an Apostle.
On 12 November 2017 Chief Apostle Schneider celebrated a divine service in Raipur (India). Four Apostles retired in this service: Egnati Lukas Jagtap (born 1963) after 13 years in the Apostle ministry, Mahesh Austin Lal (born 1960) after 16 years, Aruna Kumar Naik (born 1957) after 18 years, and Michael Naik (born 1958) after 28 years.
Dieter Prause (born 1951) retired on 19 November 2017 after 42 years as a minister, 27 of these as an Apostle. The retirement took place in a divine service celebrated by the Chief Apostle in Backnang (Germany).
Two Apostles were retired in a divine service in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on Friday, 8 December 2017: Kabinda Hyacinthe Azangi (born 1952) after 33 years in ministry, three of these as an Apostle; and Di-Bilufuene Lambert Matita (born 1951), after 31 years as a minister, eleven of these as an Apostle.
Apostle Kalonji Isidor Kayembe (born 1950) retired on Saturday, 9 December 2017 in a divine service in Gemena (Democratic Republic of the Congo) after 35 years of serving the Church in various ministries, the last five of these as an Apostle.
In memory of …
On Saturday, 15 July 2017 Apostle Charles Nabru Tita passed away at the age of 65. He had been admitted to hospital, but died unexpectedly two days later. His retirement had been planned for March 2018. Charles Tita was ordained as an Apostle for Cameroon in the 2002 Pentecost service by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr. He was the first local Apostle in the country. He is survived by his wife, Esther, and their five children.
Apostle Félix Manuel Díaz Salazar (born 1954) from Venezuela passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, 4 August 2017 in Coca, Ecuador. He served as a minister in the Church for nearly forty years, 13 of these as an Apostle. In 2009 Apostle Díaz was appointed as the lead Apostle to oversee the work of the Church in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. Apostle Díaz is survived by his wife, Juana Omaira.
On Wednesday, 11 October 2017 Apostle Patrick Otuo Baridi. passed away. He died of complications suffered in a road accident a week earlier. He had only been ordained into the Apostle ministry at the end of June 2017.
District Apostle Areas
There are seventeen District Apostle Areas around the world. They are led by the following District Apostles:
- Andrew H. Andersen (Australia)
- Michael David Deppner (DR Congo-West)
- Michael Ehrich (Southern Germany)
- Joseph Ekhuya (East Africa)
- Markus Fehlbaum (Switzerland)
- Urs Hebeisen (South-East Asia)
- Bernd Koberstein (Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland)
- Leonard Richard Kolb (USA)
- Rüdiger Krause (Northern and Eastern Germany)
- John L. Kriel (Southern Africa)
- Enrique Eduardo Minio (Argentina)
- Raúl Eduardo Montes de Oca (Brazil)
- Wolfgang Nadolny (Berlin-Brandenburg)
- Charles S. Ndandula (Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe)
- Rainer Storck (North Rhine-Westphalia)
- Tshitshi Tshisekedi (DR Congo South-East )
- Mark Woll (Canada)
Some of the District Apostles are supported by District Apostle Helpers who, as a rule, work in specific countries:
- David Devaraj (India)
- Frank Stephan Dzur (Canada)
- John William Fendt (USA)
- Edy Isnugroho (South-East Asia)
- Arnold N. Mhango (Malawi)
- Mandla Patrick Mkhwanazi (Southern Africa)
- João Uanuque Misselo (Angola)
- Robert Nsamba (Zambia)
- Peter Schulte (Australia)
- John Sobottka (Canada)
- Jürg Zbinden (Switzerland)
Currently, there are 18 retired District Apostles, six retired District Apostle Helpers, 168 retired Apostles, and one retired Chief Apostle.