Apostolic around the world
A total of 351 Apostles are currently active around the world, including one Chief Apostle, 19 District Apostles, and eight District Apostle Helpers. Who are these men and what are their tasks?
“The fellowship and the way I was accepted by them is wonderful,” District Apostle Helper John Kriel said of the first conference of District Apostles he attended in March 2016. “They all promised to pray for me, which I am going to need quite a bit of. And the Chief Apostle made me feel very welcome. So I feel quite at home,” the most recently appointed District Apostle Helper said.
“I believe that the Lord Jesus rules His church and thereto sent His Apostles, and until His return still sends them, with the commission to teach, to forgive sins in His name, and to baptize with water and Holy Spirit.” This is the wording of the Fourth Article of Faith, an article with which New Apostolic Christians profess their belief in the Apostle ministry. There is no mistaking it, the New Apostolic Church is an apostolic church.
“The word ‘apostle’ derives from the Greek apóstolos which means ‘ambassador’ in the New Testament. Jesus Christ Himself directly gave His church only one ministry, namely the Apostle ministry. In His stead and by His commission, the Apostle ministry is to build the church and make redemption in Jesus Christ accessible to human beings who long for salvation. Furthermore, the Apostle ministry is mandated to prepare believers for the return of Jesus Christ,” we read in the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church (chapter 7.4).
Highest spiritual authority
One of these 351 Apostles is Jean-Luc Schneider, who is the ninth Chief Apostle of the New Apostolic Church and has been exercising this ministry since 2013. He is the highest spiritual authority. His primary commission is to proclaim Jesus Christ’s doctrine continually and conscientiously, and to preserve its purity. He appoints and ordains District Apostles and Apostles, and also retires or dismisses them. He determines the boundaries of District Churches, sets up new District Apostle Areas, and assigns areas of responsibility for pastoral and administrative care to the District Churches.
Nineteen District Apostle Areas and numerous District Churches
District Apostle Areas and District Churches are structures that belong together, but they are not the same. District Churches are legally independent. A District Apostle may be in charge of several District Churches, which together comprise a District Apostle Area; such as the District Apostle Area of Zambia, for example, which includes the countries of Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
One District Apostle is in charge of each of these 19 District Apostle Areas. The District Apostles are as follows:
- Andrew H. Andersen (Australia)
- Noel E. Barnes (Cape)
- Michael David Deppner (DR Congo-West)
- Michael Ehrich (Southern Germany)
- Joseph Ekhuya (East Africa)
- Markus Fehlbaum (Switzerland)
- Urs Hebeisen (South-East Asia)
- Wilfried Klingler (Central Germany)
- Bernd Koberstein (Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland)
- Leonard Richard Kolb (USA)
- Rüdiger Krause (Northern Germany)
- Enrique Eduardo Minio (Argentina)
- Mandla Patrick Mkhwanazi (South-East Africa)
- 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)
District Apostle Helpers appointed to assist in extensive working areas
There are eight District Apostle Helpers, who assist District Apostles in specific countries or with special tasks:
- David Devaraj (India)
- Frank Stephan Dzur (Canada)
- John William Fendt (USA)
- John Leslie Kriel (Cape)
- Arnold N. Mhango (Malawi)
- João Uanuque Misselo (Angola)
- Robert Nsamba (Zambia)
- John Sobottka (Canada)
A total of 323 Apostles work in the various District Apostle Areas around the world; many of whom have been Apostles for decades. They are supported by 331 Bishops and 260,000 ministers who look after 60,000 congregations worldwide.
The District Apostle Area with the most Apostles is currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: the District Church Congo South-East with a total of 46 Apostles. Assisted by an additional 60,000 ministers the Apostles are responsible for 1.7 million members.
The latest changes in the circle of the District Apostles
In December 2015, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider appointed Apostle John Leslie Kriel as a District Apostle Helper for the Cape District Church in South Africa. District Apostle Noel E. Barnes has been leading the New Apostolic Church Cape for 20 years and is approaching retirement age. He is responsible for the pastoral and administrative care of 290,000 brothers and sisters in the Eastern, Northern, and Western Cape Provinces in South Africa, in Namibia, St Helena Island, and the Falkland Islands.
In June 2016 District Apostle Wilfried Klingler will go into retirement. He commented on this a few days ago in an interview with nac.today. Upon his retirement, the two District Apostle Areas Northern and Central Germany will merge and be called “The New Apostolic Church of Northern and Eastern Germany”. It will be headed by District Apostle Rüdiger Krause.