A week in Africa for the Chief Apostle
For a whole week, the leader of the New Apostolic Church will be travelling in the African continent. From 26 February to 4 March 2018, he will visit the countries of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon—a pastoral trip that has been planned long in advance.
The New Apostolic congregations in these neighbouring states on the Atlantic—Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon—are in the administrative and pastoral care of the District Church of Southern Germany. In addition to the Southern German District Apostle Michael Ehrich, District Apostle Joseph Ekhuya (East Africa) and District Apostle Helper Patrick Mandala Mkhwanazi (Southern Africa) will accompany the Chief Apostle on this journey. This will be the international Church leader’s first visit to these countries. The itinerary for this trip is correspondingly tight:
Three countries — three divine services
The first divine service will already take place in Yaoundé, Cameroon at 12:00 PM. The journey will continue later that same afternoon to Douala, the largest city of the country. From there, the party will fly to Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea, on Thursday morning. It is located on the offshore island of Bioko. The ministers will get little rest before the journey continues on the Friday: their flight will take them to Bata, the largest city of the country and the centre of the mainland region of Mbini and the province of Litoral. It is there that the second divine service will take place on the same day at 12:00 PM.
And the journey goes on—there is still one country left to visit: following the divine service in Bata, the aircraft will take them onward to Libreville, Gabon. There they will be joined by all the Apostles from the African countries represented by Southern German Church president Michael Ehrich. All in all, 49 Apostles will participate in an Apostle Meeting with the Chief Apostle in the afternoon.
It is also in Libreville that the divine service for the departed is scheduled to take place on Sunday morning. This will surely be a special moment for all involved, as it is only the second visit of a Chief Apostle to the region, after a visit from Chief Apostle Richard Fehr, who travelled to the countries last in 1995.
It will be close to midnight when the international Church leader takes his flight back to Paris. Hopefully it will be punctual.
Some 40 percent of the population is Christian. In addition to approximately 230 local languages, French and English (two of the ten regions are English-speaking) serve as common languages. The first New Apostolic missionaries came to the country in 1976. Chief Apostle Richard Fehr was in Yaoundé in 1995, and now, in 2018, the country will receive its first visit from Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider. Around 10,000 Church members in 200 congregations are awaiting his visit with great anticipation.
At least 90 percent of the population of this rather small African country is Christian. The main local languages are Fang and Bubi, and the official language is Spanish, although French is also on the rise. The New Apostolic Church has been active in the country since 1987. Chief Apostle Richard Fehr was there in 1995, and now, 23 years later, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will also visit the country. The approximately 12,000 members here are looking forward to this event.
Here 75 percent of the country’s 1.8 million inhabitants live in a Christian setting. In addition to the 30 local languages, such as Fang, Mbere, and Siraand, most also understand French, which is also the official language. The first visit of a New Apostolic minister to the country occurred in 1988. Around 5,000 members in 90 congregations are awaiting the visit of Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider. In addition to the Apostle Meeting on Saturday, he will conduct the divine service for the departed here in Libreville on Sunday. Chief Apostle Fehr also visited this country while visiting the two neighbouring countries in the year 1995.