USA initiates a generational shift
The New Apostolic Church in the USA is preparing to write a new chapter in its history. In little over a year, District Apostle Leonard R. Kolb (born 1956) will retire. His designated successor is to be assigned as a District Apostle Helper this coming Sunday.
Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider is currently in Mexico. Prior to this, he conducted three divine services in Suriname and in the northern part of South America, which were on his agenda. This coming Saturday there will be a Pan-American Apostle Conference, followed by a divine service in Mexico City on Sunday.
It has only been seven months since District Elder John Schnabel was ordained as an Apostle—on 9 January 2022 in Calgary. On Sunday, the Chief Apostle will give him an additional task and assign him as the current District Apostle’s deputy. In a circular to the congregations in the USA, District Apostle Kolb shared some personal thoughts on the subject:
“There is something further I would like to share with you. As you may know, both Apostle John Fendt and I will go into retirement in 2023. Apostle Fendt will be retired in a Chief Apostle divine service on March 12th, and I, later in September of next year. To prepare for this transition, Apostle John Schnabel from New York will be assigned as a District Apostle Helper in the divine service in Mexico on August 7th. This will allow him to work across the USA district and more closely with me in preparation to be my successor as the next District Apostle. Please join with us in prayer as all the Apostles and I fervently work together to ensure the Lord’s work in our district may continue to evolve and grow as we prepare for Christ’s return.”
John Schnabel was born on 28 June 1964. He lives in Mill Neck, a village on the north shore of Long Island, New York. He and his wife have four children and four grandchildren. Already at the age of 16, John received his first ministry: Sub-deacon in New York. Asked about his feelings concerning the upcoming weekend, he answered briefly: “My wife and I have been blessed in so many ways by our loving God, and we think that this next step in supporting the District Apostle Kolb is likewise a part of that blessing.” He looks forward to getting to know the many different areas and the brothers and sisters that make up the USA District.
John Schnabel works as an investment manager. Besides his mother tongue English, he also speaks Spanish.
District Apostle Leonard R. Kolb was also a District Apostle Helper for a time, so he knows what it means to be prepared early on for greater responsibilities. He received the Apostle ministry in May 2000 and was appointed District Apostle Helper for the USA four years later by the then Chief Apostle Richard Fehr in San Francisco. Another four years on, in October 2008, he was appointed as the new District Apostle for the New Apostolic Church USA. At the time, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber welcomed him with solemn words to the circle of the international Church leaders who had all gathered in New York. “You have many helpers at your side who will support you.” He wished him many divine blessings in both spiritual and administrative matters, as well as a closeness and a heart for all Church members.
District Apostle Helper John W. Fendt Jr (born 1957) has been an Apostle since 1999 and was commissioned as a District Apostle Helper in 2001. He too will retire next year. In addition to the congregations in the USA, his working area includes the Central American countries of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
New Apostolic Church USA
The New Apostolic Church in the United States faces many challenges. The NAC USA serves congregations in the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. Needless to say, this is an enormous task indeed.