Changes in the circle of the Apostles (2/2018)

Nine Apostles were ordained by Chief Apostle Schneider in the second half of last year. He also appointed two new District Apostles. One Apostle passed away, seven Apostles and two District Apostles retired, and one Apostle was dismissed.

On 31 December 2018 there were 355 active Apostles. They are supported by an additional 253,000 priestly and diaconal ministers in 59,000 congregations across the globe. Including the Chief Apostle, there are a total of 355 Apostles, of whom nine are District Apostle Helpers and sixteen District Apostles.

Ordinations and appointments

On Sunday, 22 July 2018 District Evangelist Kalenga Roger Kabengele (1965) was ordained an Apostle in Kindu (Democratic Republic of the Congo) by the Chief Apostle. More than 4,000 brothers and sisters attended the divine service.

Chief Apostle Schneider ordained four Apostles in a divine service in Kinshasa-Limete (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on 29 July 2018: these are the Bishops André Mutanga Sukadi (1964), Merlin Wamba Basolo (1960), and Kayembe Muteba (1966) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and District Evangelist Aldin Makoundi Bifiga (1978) for Congo-Brazzaville. The service was attended by 9,000 people, while many more in the country were able to watch a broadcast on national TV.

Bishop Oscar Sibota Kalumiana (1964) received the Apostle ministry for Zambia on Sunday, 12 August 2018. The Chief Apostle carried the ordination out in a divine service in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

On Sunday, 30 September 2018, Chief Apostle Schneider celebrated a divine service in Brisbane (Australia). He appointed District Apostle Helper Peter Schulte (1963) as District Apostle for the newly established District Apostle Area Western Pacific. Besides Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and many islands in the Pacific, the congregations in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan now also belong to this district.

Bishop Samuel Handojo Tansahtikno (1971) was ordained into the Apostle ministry for the Philippines and District Evangelist Prem Mohan Ray (1970) for India. The Chief Apostle carried these ordinations out on 18 November 2018 in Manila in the Philippines. In the same service he appointed District Apostle Helper Edy Isnugroho (1963) District Apostle for South-East Asia.

Bishop Ralph Wittich (1960) received the Apostle ministry on Sunday, 23 December 2018. The Chief Apostle carried the ordination out in a divine service in Weimar (Germany).

Retirements and dismissal

After 21 years in the Apostle ministry, Benjamin Tshiamala (1953) was retired in a divine service on 21 July 2018 by Chief Apostle Schneider in Kindu (Democratic Republic Congo).

In a service on 29 July 2018 in Kinshasa-Limete (Democratic Republic Congo), the Chief Apostle placed the Apostles Kum-Bading Handjamba (1953) and Sadisa Kumala (1953) into retirement. For many years the two men had been responsible for numerous congregations, 240 and 350 respectively.

By commission of the Chief Apostle, District Apostle Charles S. Ndandula retired Apostle Stanley Munsaka (1953) in a divine service on 5 August 2018. He had been an Apostle for 26 years.

On Sunday, 12 August 2018, the Chief Apostle conducted a divine service in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). In this service, which was broadcast on national television, Apostle Francis Charo Kazungu Kingura (1953) from Kenya went into retirement after 21 years as an Apostle.

Apostle Matthew Arendse (1958) had to retire early for health reasons. The Chief Apostle had commissioned District Apostle John L. Kriel to carry out the retirement, which took place in Strand Gustrouw (South Africa) on Sunday, 23 September 2018.

In the second half of 2018, two District Apostles retired. The first retirement was carried out by the Chief Apostle on 30 September 2018 in Brisbane (Australia). District Apostle Andrew H. Andersen (1951) retired after 30 years in the Apostle ministry, seventeen of which he served as a District Apostle.

On Sunday, 18 November 2018, the Chief Apostle conducted a divine service in Manila (Philippines) and placed District Apostle Urs Hebeisen (1952) into retirement after 36 years in the Apostle ministry, ten of these as a District Apostle.

On Monday, 19 November 2018, Chief Apostle Schneider dismissed Apostle Songseang Phat (1973). He had worked in Cambodia since 2015.

In a service on 23 December 2018 in Weimar (Germany), the Chief Apostle placed the Apostle Rolf Wosnitzka (1953) into retirement.


Apostle Zuhuke Hungito (1959) of Papua New Guinea passed away unexpectedly on 19 October 2018 at the age of 59. He was on his way to visit members in Madang province. The funeral was held by District Apostle Peter Schulte on 31 October 2018 in Lae (Papua New Guinea). Apostle Hungito served almost 30 years as a minister in the Church, twelve of these as a Bishop and seven as an Apostle. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and their six children. In a letter informing the Apostles of their fellow Apostle’s death, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider expressed his sincere sympathy to the Apostle’s family and all those mourning his death. “May our heavenly grant them much comfort, strength, and confidence during this difficult time.”

District Apostle Areas

The sixteen District Apostle Areas across the globe are led by the following District Apostles:

  • Michael David Deppner (DR Congo West)
  • Michael Ehrich (Southern Germany)
  • Joseph Opemba Ekhuya (East Africa)
  • Edy Isnugroho (South-East Asia)
  • Leonard Richard Kolb (USA)
  • Rüdiger Krause (Northern and Eastern Germany)
  • John Leslie Kriel (Southern Africa)
  • Enrique Eduardo Minio (Argentina)
  • Raúl Eduardo Montes de Oca (Brazil)
  • Wolfgang Nadolny (Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany)
  • Charles Sakavumbi Ndandula (Sambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe)
  • Peter Schulte (Western Pacific)
  • Rainer Storck (Western Germany)
  • Tshitshi Tshisekedi (DR Congo South-East)
  • Mark Woll (Canada)
  • Jürg Zbinden (Switzerland)

Some of the District Apostles have District Apostle Helpers as assistants who, as a rule, are active in specific countries:

  • David Devaraj (India)
  • Frank Stephan Dzur (Canada)
  • John William Fendt (USA)
  • Arnold Ndakondwa Mhango (Malawi)
  • Mandla Patrick Mkhwanazi (Southern Africa)
  • João Uanuque Misselo (Angola)
  • Robert Nsamba (Zambia)
  • John Sobottka (Canada)
  • Kububa Soko (Zambia)