Changes in the circle of the Apostles (1/2023)
It was mainly in Africa that the Chief Apostle ordained new Apostles in the first half of 2023. But there were also two ordinations on other continents: one in America and one in Europe.
Around 241,000 women and men are currently active on a voluntary basis in the diaconal or priestly ministry. They care for some 56,000 congregations across the globe. A total of 358 Apostles, ten District Apostle Helpers, fourteen District Apostles, and one Chief Apostle are currently active in the New Apostolic Church.
With a total of six ordinations, the year got off to a good start for the District Apostle Areas of Joseph Opemba Ekhuya (East Africa) and Kububa Soko (Zambia). For Tanzania in East Africa, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider ordained Bishop Julius Mathayo Msambula (1977) and Evangelist Charles Godwin Anangisye (1989) as Apostles during his visit to Lodwar, Kenya, on 8 January 2023. The members in Zambia were very happy over the ordination of four Apostles: Obed Chisenga (1964), Michael Macha (1979), Maeke Njunju (1968), as well as Ring Munkobwe Ndambo (1976).
During his visit to Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo on 5 February, the Chief Apostle ordained Bishop Nestor Ndamba (1974) as an Apostle. The newly ordained Apostle will be responsible for Chad.
Bishop Walter Peter Schmidt (1964) received the Apostle ministry on 12 March in New York (USA).
Five new Apostles were ordained for District Apostle Michael Ehrich’s African working area during a service in Lomé, Togo, on 25 March: District Elder Josias Houenou (1985) became an Apostle for Benin; District Elder Alain Serge Leghanza (1977) was ordained an Apostle for Gabon; District Elder Alexander Poku-Akubia (1963) and Evangelist Isaac Kofi Annan Mensah (1983) became Apostles for Ghana; and District Evangelist Ablam Degbe (1975) was ordained as an Apostle for Togo.
In the Easter service on 9 April in Mannheim in Germany, Bishop Arne Herrmann (1975) was ordained as an Apostle for Southern Germany.
During an open-air service on 11 June in Solwezi, Zambia, the Chief Apostle ordained three Apostles for Zambia and two Apostles for South Africa. For Zambia, he ordained Bishop Nawa Linyango (1982), District Elder Graham Mafulo (1976), and Evangelist Sakeni Duncan Mwelwa (1978) as Apostles. And District Evangelist Fredericks Daniel Lekay (1970) and Evangelist Neville Williams (1969) were ordained as Apostles for Southern Africa.
District Apostle Michael Ehrich ordained District Elder Emmanuel Quansah (1968) as an Apostle in Cape Coast, Ghana, on 18 June on behalf of the Chief Apostle.
In the very first divine service of the year in Lusaka in Zambia on 1 January, District Apostle Kububa Soko retired five Apostles on behalf of the Chief Apostle. These were Apostles Edwin Mweemba Kasamu (1957), Steven Lishebo Lindunda (1957), Michael Muzuma Milupi (1957), Jacob Mwansa (1957), and Remmie Muyenga (1957).
At the divine service in Lodwar in Kenya on 8 January, Apostle Watson Kalyembe (1965) from Tanzania retired.
Apostle Dakoua Nadjikouma (1955) was retired in a divine service in N’Djamena, Chad, on 29 January. District Apostle Mark Woll carried the retirement out on behalf of the Chief Apostle. District Apostle Woll is in charge of the New Apostolic Church in in Chad.
Apostle André Bitsindou (1956) retired on 5 February during the divine service with the Chief Apostle in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo.
During the divine service in Praia in Cape Verde on 26 February, the Chief Apostle retired Apostle António Nelson de Jesus Rocha Semedo (1955).
There was a special official act in New York, USA, on 12 March: District Apostle Helper John Fendt (1957) was retired by the Chief Apostle.
Apostle Jörg Steinbrenner (1957) was retired on 19 March in Lüneburg in Germany.
Apostle Komlan Abalo (1956) from Togo and Apostles Timothy Akubia (1954) and Benjamin Darko (1957) from Ghana retired during the service on 25 March in Lomé, Togo.
On Easter, the Chief Apostle retired Apostle Manfred Schönenborn (1956).
District Apostle Michael Ehrich placed Apostle Robert Ashie Kotei (1958) into retirement during his visit to Cape Coast, Ghana, on 18 June. He did so on behalf of the Chief Apostle.
Leave of absence and resignation
Apostle Sipho Mogane (1983) from South Africa and Richard Kawuma (1962) from Uganda were granted a leave of absence in May. The former for personal reasons, the latter for health reasons.
In March, the resignation of Apostle Antoine Sosa Luvunga (1972) from Inkisi (Democratic Republic of Congo) was announced. On account of his personal situation he could no longer exercise his ministry, it said in the circular to the Apostles.
Apostle Mwolansie Martino Mukenzi (1969) died on 19 March 2023 as a result of a chronic illness. He was active in the western region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Apostle João Vasco Tekamona (1964) from Angola died completely unexpectedly on 15 April. And he had just recovered from complications caused by a stroke he had suffered a year earlier.
District Apostle Areas
The New Apostolic Church is structured into fourteen District Apostle Areas. These are led by the following District Apostles:
- Michael David Deppner (1961) – DR Kongo West
- Michael Ehrich (1959) – Southern Germany
- Joseph Opemba Ekhuya (1969) – East Africa
- Edy Isnugroho (1963) – South-East Asia
- Leonard Richard Kolb (1956) – USA
- Rüdiger Krause (1960) – Northern and Eastern Germany
- John Leslie Kriel (1956) – Southern Africa
- Enrique Eduardo Minio (1960) – South America
- Peter Schulte (1963) – Western Pacific
- Kububa Soko (1969) – Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe
- Rainer Storck (1958) – Western Germany
- Tshitshi Tshisekedi (1972) – DR Congo South-East
- Mark Woll (1959) – Canada
- Jürg Zbinden (1958) – Switzerland
Some of the District Apostles are supported by District Apostle Helpers who as a rule work in specific countries:
- David Devaraj (1959) – India
- Frank Dzur (1959) – Canada
- Peter Lambert (1964) – Southern Africa
- Arnold Mhango (1957) – Malawi
- João Uanuque Misselo (1965) – Angola
- Mandla Patrick Mkhwanazi (1963) – Southern Africa
- Helge Mutschler (1974) – Northern and Eastern Germany
- Robert Nsamba (1962) – Zambia
- Stefan Pöschel (1968) – Western Germany
- John Schnabel (1964) – USA