Heilbronn goes international

The city of Heilbronn, located in south-western Germany, is more than 1,200 years old. It was the birth place of District Apostle Karl Gutbrod (1869−1940). Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will be in Heilbronn on 14 August for a divine service. Three reasons for a closer look.

“We are hoping to receive new impetus through the activity of the Holy Spirit that we can carry over into our religious practice!” District Apostle Michael Ehrich says, who will be hosting the Chief Apostle on the coming weekend. There will be more guests. Expected are District Apostle Andrew Andersen from Australia, the Apostles Jens Lindemann and Franz-Wilhelm Otten from Germany, and Jürg Zbinden from Switzerland. The Apostles from the district of Southern Germany will, of course, also be there.

Apostle Hans-Peter Schneider from Heilbronn will be placed into retirement during this service.

Divine service in a concert hall

The Chief Apostle will be celebrating the divine service in the city’s concert and congress hall, the Heilbronn Harmonie, which offers seating for 2,000. The members from the 18 congregations in the district of Heilbronn have been invited to the hall. Moreover, the service will be transmitted to 380 churches in the south of Germany. Congregations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine will also be connected.

At the beginning of May, the children from the Heilbronn district planted some sunflower seeds , and watered and tended the young shoots. On 14 August these sunflowers will be used in the flower arrangements for the service with the Chief Apostle.

Heilbronn—city with a mineral spring

The city takes its name from a mineral spring. Heilbronn was first mentioned in 741. In 1281, the village, which by then had become quite significant, was created a free imperial city. It is located in the Neckar basin and today has a population of about 120,000. Karl-Heinrich Knorr, the founder of the company known for its dehydrated soups, Wilhelm Maybach, the car manufacturer, or Theodor Heuss, a former President of the Federal Republic of Germany—are all famous sons of the city.

Karl Gutbrod, well-known in New Apostolic circles, also lived here. He had been employed by the city in the building department and was a master both professionally and as District Apostle in the district of Heilbronn. With his ordination in 1924, the New Apostolic congregations in the states of Württemberg and Bavaria were amalgamated into one district: Heilbronn. Over the years, there was a thriving development. When Karl Gutbrod died in 1940, there were 400 congregations in the region.

Photo: Stefan Schierle - Fotolia

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