The motivating force for ministers
What do church districts and cars have in common? Both need a motor. This is something the Chief Apostle illustrated on his recent trip to Africa where he ordained a total of eleven new Apostles.
“No matter how beautiful a car may be, if the motor does not work, it is no good.” This is what Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said in Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire on 12 January 2016 when he ordained seven men as Apostles. “You are the motor, the force that motivates the ministers,” he said at the ordination.
To love, comfort, and encourage
To the seven Bishops, District Elders, and District Evangelists who had been designated to receive the Apostle ministry, the Chief Apostle said, “The Apostle has to be a motivating force, a source of energy for the ministers. And how do you do that? Love, comfort, and encourage the ministers and let them feel the nearness of Jesus like this.”
“The Lord wants to appoint you as ambassadors of Christ,” the Chief Apostle continued. When it comes to ambassadors, the person per se is unimportant, “Important is what he represents.” And this applies all the more in our life of faith: “Children of God are not interested in what you think. What they want to hear is the voice of the Lord through you.”
Already two days before, Chief Apostle Schneider had ordained four new Apostles in Nigeria, in the city of Uyo. “You have been called by God and not by man,” he said. And the divine promise applies: “I will be with you wherever you do My will.”
Reasons for the ordinations
The death of Apostle Lekie Baovi in March 2013 and the retirement of Apostle Augustine Namnse (both Nigeria) in April 2014 had left a gap. Adding to this were the retirements of Apostles Brandy Felix Emanerame of Nigeria and Isaac Newton Amoah of Côte d’Ivoire, which took place in January while the Chief Apostle was there. Both men had turned 65.
The following Apostles were ordained
- for Nigeria: Chima Okpara Ibekwe (55), Paul Ufuoma Ogboru (57), Samuel Peter Usoro (52), and Godday Otunuya Odili (48);
- for Côte d’Ivoire: Seudie Firmin Zran (40);
- for Guinea: Saa Marc Leno (35);
- for Ghana: Timothy Akubia (61), Robert Asampong (47), Eward Nzimah Hayford (61), Moses Otchere Ayarkwa (58), and Paul Kyereme Yaw (47).
The ordination of additional Apostles had also become necessary because of organizational changes in Nigeria, Ghana, and Guinea. Until the end of 2015, Apostle Volker Kühnle had been responsible for Nigeria. Responsibility for Nigeria has now been entrusted to the local Apostle Geoffrey Odinakachi Nwogu.