Fellbach, a church with global reach
Fellbach, the name rings familiar in New Apostolic circles. Chief Apostle Richard Fehr was both ordained and retired there. And his successor, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber, was ordained there. On Sunday, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will visit the congregation.
From Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Fellbach is easy to reach by public transport. The New Apostolic maintains a stately church building in Fellbach with a large car park and underground parking. In its function as a central church, it is not only used by the members of the immediate district, but serves a large catchment area. As a central church, special transmission services take place there regularly. It was dedicated by District Apostle Karl Kühnle in August 1982. In December 2003 his funeral service took place there.
Fellbach and Pentecost
Over time, the church in Fellbach became well-known beyond the borders of Germany and found itself in many an international calendar. Chief Apostle Richard Fehr even referred to it as his “church of fate”. In the 1988 Pentecost service he assumed the leadership of the global Church there. Unforgotten is his citation of a saying by Emanuel Geibel: “Whoever aspires after lofty goals …,” spoken at the altar in Fellbach. All District Apostles, several District Apostle Helpers and Apostles from overseas, as well as all European Apostles witnessed this solemn act—a total of 58 Apostles at the time. The divine service was transmitted by cable to 921 congregations—more than ever before.
On Pentecost 2005 he was retired in Fellbach by his successor. For a brief moment, between the ordination of the new Chief Apostle and the retirement of the outgoing Chief Apostle, the New Apostolic Church had two international Church leaders.
Fellbach on the second Sunday of Advent
This coming Sunday, 8 December 2019, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will celebrate the second Sunday of Advent in Fellbach. The eleven congregations from the church district of Stuttgart/Ludwigsburg are invited to the divine service in the imposing church building. Another 380 congregations will receive a video transmission of the service, including congregations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, Croatia, the Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, the Ukraine, and the Persian Gulf region. Since District Apostle Michael Ehrich, the host, is also responsible for the New Apostolic Church in West Africa, the congregations there can also participate by webstream.
The Chief Apostle has invited the Apostles Anatolij Budnyk (Ukraine), Peter Klene (Netherlands), and Helge Mutschler (Germany) to Fellbach. Also there, of course, will be the seven Apostles from Southern Germany.
Retirements and ordinations
The divine service will have a very special character on account of two retirements that are planned: Apostles Volker Kühnle and Wolfgang Zenker. Apostle Kühnle was ordained as an Apostle already in 1990 and worked untiringly as a missionary in Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon and Nigeria. As chairman of the Working Group Contacts to Denominations and Religions (WG KKR) he contributed significantly to the good relationships we enjoy with other churches today.
Apostle Wolfgang Zenker comes from Munich. He has been an Apostle since 1996. District Evangelist Andreas Sargant from Prien in Bavaria, southern Germany, is his designated successor.