Church media through the ages
nac.today is moving to new premises, well, actually the computers and servers are. The website can still be reached, but up to and including Monday we will be featuring our articles on www.nak.org and on nacworld.net. We thought this was a good time to take you on a journey through the media landscape of the New Apostolic Church and take a look back.
New Apostolic publications have a long-standing tradition and go back to the year 1863. Already in July 1863, several months after the Hamburg congregation separated from the Catholic Apostolic Church, a publication called the Sendbote was published by the Prophet Heinrich Geyer. It was designed as a Sunday paper, but later evolved into a monthly magazine.
Black on white: the magazines
Among the early publications—which were all published in the German language and in Germany—the Herold (starting in 1884, and published by Apostle Friedrich Wilhelm Menkhoff), the Wächterstimme aus Ephraim and the Apostolische Sonntagsblatt (1895/1907, Apostle Ernst Heinrich Bornemann) deserve special mention. They were all merged in a magazine called the Neuapostolische Rundschau in 1909. Publisher and head writer was Friedrich Wilhelm Krause in Leipzig. His District Apostle Carl August Brückner, however, came into conflict with Chief Apostle Hermann Niehaus.
On account of this, the Chief Apostle instructed his assistant, Johann Gottfried Bischoff, to move the publishing activities of the Church to Frankfurt. By 1929, his son, Friedrich Bischoff, had established a printing shop and a publishing company: Verlag Friedrich Bischoff. The New Apostolic Review, the Word of Life, and the Youth Guide were joined in 1933 by the German Our Family magazine, and in 1952 by a publication for the children called The Good Shepherd. This was replaced in 1998 by the magazine Our World.
Around the world: internationalization
With the advent of the Our Family—first published in South Africa by Assistant Chief Apostle Heinrich Franz Schlaphoff—the internationalization of the Church’s central publications gained in momentum. By 1990, the Our Family, or parts of it, were available in 22 languages. This is only topped by the Divine Service Guide, the monthly guide for ministers of the Church, which is produced in nearly 70 languages.
Meanwhile the activities of the New Apostolic Church have moved on to include other fields as well. Starting in 1949, there were regular transmissions of divine services. In the 1980s, the first video broadcasts took place in the then East and West Germany and in the USA. And since 1990 there have been worldwide transmissions of the annual Pentecost service.
Multimedia: internet, television, radio
The New Apostolic Church International has been on the Internet since 1997. In April of that year, the official home page went online under www.nak.org.de. What started as a calling card and an information service, has grown into an online news room over the years. Exchange is the word when it comes to www.nacworld.net, a social network and a platform especially for members of the New Apostolic Church. It was started in 2009 as an organizational platform for the preparation and organization of the European Youth Day in Germany at the time. Today the website has many thousands of registered users.
In the broadcasting sector there is nothing central as yet, but quite a few regional initiatives—above all NACTV in South Africa. The Church-run television station is based in Cape Town and broadcasts on three days a week for a total of 13 hours. The programming includes church choirs, children’s programmes, motivational programmes, social programmes, and documentaries with audiences in South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia. The New Apostolic Church USA has gone on air with its own Youtube channel. The New Apostolic Church Southern Germany and Berlin-Brandenburg have slots on public radio networks.
The New Apostolic Church is also found on many a smartphone. Many members have apps to receive news, to help them find a congregation, or to help them retrieve information from the Catechism.
News: every day except Sundays
The Church opened a new chapter at the beginning of 2015 with its launch of the central news magazine nac.today, which offers news from around the world on a daily basis except Sundays. The online magazine is available in four languages and has users in 190 countries worldwide. community, the quarterly magazine, is available in print or in digital format. Its core contents is also featured in the German-language magazine Unsere Familie and in the African Joy newsletter, and so appears around the world in some 40 languages.
While we are in the process of relocating to the new premises, the nac.today server will continue to be available. News items will be published until Monday, 3 August on www.nak.org and on www.nacworld.net. No email notifications will be sent during this time, nor will new users be able to register or existing users change their profile.