Meeting with delegation from the United Apostolic Church

The first official meeting between the leaders of the New Apostolic Church Cape and the United Apostolic Church of South Africa took place in early February 2016. The discussions took place in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.

The United Apostolic Church of South Africa was founded in the 1950s. This goes back to a break with the New Apostolic mother church in South Africa and several countries in Europe at the time.

On 6 February 2016, for the first time, representatives of the New Apostolic Church travelled to Port Elizabeth for a first official meeting with the delegation of the United Apostolic Church. The delegates of the United Apostolic Church were Apostle Johannes Erasmus, Bishop Robert Swiegelaar, District Elder Colin Richter, and Community Elder Carel Smith. District Apostle Helper John Kriel, the Apostles Gerome Mintoor, and Brian Swartbooi, as well as Bishop Frans Flores represented the New Apostolic Church.

The meeting was of an exploratory nature. The representatives wanted to get to know and understand the contents and teachings of the other church. Both churches have undergone great changes and important developments since their separation.

Meetings will continue

The United Apostolic Church forms part of the United Apostolic Community in Germany. Apostle Johannes Erasmus, their spokesman, said that they followed the process of reconciliation in Europe with great interest. The signing of the Statement of Reconciliation in November 2014 between the New Apostolic Church and the United Apostolic Community in Düsseldorf (Germany) did not go unnoticed in the South African congregations.

The cordial atmosphere of this first meeting gives rise to hope that more meetings of a similar nature will take place. The two delegations were unanimous in this. Apostle John Kriel of the New Apostolic Church extended an invitation to Apostle Erasmus when he travels to Cape Town again. The meeting was concluded by collectively praying the Lord’s Prayer.

A historic step

The United Apostolic Community is a collective term for legally and financially independent apostolic denominations. There are several apostolic churches and many reasons for the split from the New Apostolic Church that took place mostly in the 1950s. Some of these denominations work together closely, others meet occasionally, and still others go their own ways.

The New Apostolic Church and the United Apostolic Community in Europe signed a joint declaration of reconciliation in November 2014. This historic step was widely perceived by many also outside of the two churches.

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Peter Johanning
South Africa, Denominations