Congratulations from us!

A lot of people celebrated a lot of memorable anniversaries in recent weeks. Among them, one of our brothers in faith, a choir, a number of congregations, a Regional Church, and even the church as a whole! And all of them celebrated around the same time. We offer our sincere congratulations!

Retired District Elder Günter Lorenz turned 95 on 25 April. To express their best wishes, the choir of the Langen congregation (Germany), along with the retired District Apostles Bernd Koberstein and Hagen Wend, decided to pay him a visit. Everyone took some time to enjoy conversation and fellowship—and, of course, join in a toast for the birthday child.

Choir puts on a concert to mark its own 25-year anniversary

There was a great deal of singing in addition to well-wishing on 1 May 2024. This was because the birthday child on this particular special occasion was the district choir of Nkawkaw, Ghana itself. Even Apostle Isaac Opoku came to join in the festivities. The choir was established in the year 1999 with a total of five singers. At its high point, it had grown to a total of 45, but owing to heavy migration into the cities in recent years, the number of singers has dropped to 20. It was for this reason that the district rector, along with the choir leader Gyimah, encouraged all enthusiastic singers to join. “Let us together do our part to make the work of God and our church choir grow, be it here in Ghana or elsewhere in the world!”

Congregations celebrate golden anniversaries

The congregation of Centro in Montevideo, Uruguay has exactly 50 years on the odometer. A total of 216 guests attended the birthday celebration of the building. It was on 5 May 1974 that District Apostle Frederico Lewitus dedicated the church building in a festive divine service, and it was on 5 May 2024 that Bishop Fernando Mendá feted the anniversary of its dedication along with all the participants. For this purpose he used a Bible text from Joel 2: 28: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” He went on to talk about God’s faithfulness, which can be felt through the Holy Spirit: “And it is a joy to know that His Spirit continues to work in the Church through the apostolate, the word, and the sacraments.” Afterward there was a slice of anniversary cake for all to enjoy.

The congregation of Allenby, South Africa likewise celebrated the 50-year anniversary of its church building. It was on 12 May 1974 that District Apostle Karl Rudolf Gut dedicated the building when it was still called Nectar Road Congregation. Fifty years later, the congregation celebrated its anniversary together with a concert the night before and a divine service on the Sunday. Apostle Bradley Bourne and Bishop Leon Ravell also came to the concert and enjoyed the performances of the orchestra, choir, and children’s choir along with all the other invited guests. Bishop Ravell celebrated the anniversary divine service with the congregation the next day.

Regional Church celebrates its golden anniversary

The whole country of Nigeria celebrated a special anniversary, because the New Apostolic Church has now been active in the country for 50 years. The first New Apostolic divine service took place on 19 May 1974 in Surulere Lagos. Exactly 50 years later, Lead Apostle Geoffrey Nwogu celebrated the anniversary divine service in the congregation of Umuola. This happened to coincide perfectly with the Pentecost divine service, which is also the birthday of the church as a whole. The day before, Apostle Nwogu travelled through the districts in the company of Apostle Ernest Onyebuchi Onwukwe, and rejoiced with the members about projects that they had initiated to mark the anniversary of the Church in their country. For example, the members in Umuguma had built a well for the church—which is also for public use—and renovated their church building. The central churches of the districts of Umuocham Ntu, Elelem, and Okehi were also renovated. Wherever he went, the Lead Apostle was received joyfully with singing and dancing, and asked to cut the ribbon for the official opening.

Celebrating the birthday of the church

Let us base our lives on the teaching of the Apostles—that was the message of the Pentecost divine service on 19 May. While this year’s Pentecost service with the Chief Apostle was only transmitted across Europe, believers around the world celebrated the birthday of their church. This was also the case in the congregations across Colombia, many of which put on concerts or enjoyed a meal of fellowship together.

The congregation of Wentworth, South Africa, also enjoyed a concert to commemorate the birthday of the church. Under the motto: “Our faith”, various orchestras and choirs—among them a children’s choir—had invited the members of the KZN district and any other interested parties to come together on the Saturday before Pentecost to set the mood for the special divine service.