150 Years

1863 - 2013: 150 Years New Apostolic Church

In 2013 the New Apostolic Church looks back on 150 years of its existence. To commemorate this anniversary, congregations around the world are planning a variety of events. Originating from a small Catholic Apostolic congregation in Hamburg (Germany) the New Apostolic Church today has more than ten million members worldwide. New Apostolic Christians assemble in over 60,000 congregations. The highlight of the anniversary year will be the Pentecost service, which Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber will hold on 19 May 2013 in Hamburg (Germany).

The roots of the New Apostolic Church date back to the 19th Century. Around the year 1830 individuals and groups in England and Scotland prayed for an “outpouring of the Holy Spirit”. These prayers expressed their hope for a renewal of Christian life within the various denominations that they felt had become formal and uninspiring. An “apostolic movement” developed which gradually turned into an organised church after twelve Apostles had been called by prophetically gifted persons between 1832 and 1835. The distinctive feature of what became known as the Catholic Apostolic Church was that it was headed by Apostles who by the laying on of hands dispensed the gift of the Holy Spirit to prepare the believers for the return of Christ, which they expected soon.

In 1863 the congregation in Hamburg separated from the Apostles of the Catholic Apostolic Church. The reasons were fundamental differences of opinion concerning the role of the Apostle ministry in the preparation of believers for the return of Christ and on the possibility of completing the number of Apostles that had by then decreased from twelve to six. On 27 January 1863 Friedrich Wilhelm Schwartz, the bishop in charge of the Hamburg congregation, was excommunicated from the Catholic Apostolic Church. This date is considered the birth of the New Apostolic Church.

In the early years the Hamburg congregations approached the public under various names. More congregations were founded and to avoid confusion with those “apostolic congregations” they had separated from they eventually called themselves “New Apostolic Congregations” in their official correspondence. At the turn from the 19th to the 20th century the Church was called “New Apostolic Congregation” and from about 1930 “New Apostolic Church”.

The Making of the New Apostolic Church (6): The Testimony – Admonition and invitation

(04.06.2013) The Testimony of the British Apostles has often been mentioned. In 1871 the Catholic Apostolic theologian Ernst Adolf Rossteuscher called it “the most important piece of all the church documents that were produced after the last piece included in the New Testament.” However, in 1847 Apostle Woodhouse had written that he only considered it a document reflecting “the state of things” in 1836 “so far as God gave His servants discernment thereof”. more ...

The Making of the New Apostolic Church (5): Apostles seeking further light on their mission

(18.04.2013) Twelve men have had faith to accept their mission to serve as Apostles of the Lord. For the time being they minister to a comparatively small number of believers. While waiting to be sent out, they seek further light on God’s will concerning the church’s future course. more ...

The Making of the New Apostolic Church (4): A Church ruled by Apostles

(06.02.2013) It is Sunday morning on 14 July 1835. In the Central Church in London a large congregation has gathered, waiting for the Lord to give them the twelfth Apostle. They feel sure that this is the day when it must happen. However, they are kept on tenterhooks for hours. more ...

Launching of special church anniversary web pages

(16.01.2013) Zurich. For the New Apostolic Church the year 2013 is a special year. It commemorates its 150th anniversary. In many countries special activities have been planned on this occasion: District festivities, trans-regional communal activities and even church conventions. From now on a special section of www.nak.org, the New Apostolic church website, will provide a wide range of information concerning the anniversary and the history of the church. more ...

Chief Apostle officially ushers in the anniversary year 2013

(02.01.2013) Zurich/Herford. Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber, the international leader of the New Apostolic Church, chose the New Year’s Day divine service in his native city of Herford, Germany to officially usher in the 150-year anniversary of the Church: “The year 2013 is to be a year of profession!” In connection with this he referred to the great accomplishments of previous generations, without which the Church, as it stands today, would be inconceivable. more ...

The making of the New Apostolic Church (3): God gives an Apostle

(01.01.2013) He longed for the restoration of the Apostle ministry and finally became the first Apostle in modern times: John Bate Cardale. The course of events leading up to it was not always straightforward. In 1830 the solicitor Cardale had read the contradictory reports about miraculous healings, speaking in tongues and prophesying. Accompanied by two doctors and his sisters Mary Ann and Emily he had travelled to Scotland to find out for himself. As a result he felt convinced that the spiritual gifts were genuine and he said so in a report published with his name and address added. more ...

The making of the New Apostolic Church (2): Beginnings of a Catholic Apostolic movement

(01.01.2013) The association of believers from different denominations dispersed just as they were starting to receive answers to their prayers for an increased activity of the Holy Spirit. However, the end of the Albury Circle was the beginning of a Catholic Apostolic movement. more ...

The making of the New Apostolic Church (1): Eschatological expectation and spiritual gifts

(01.01.2013) In May 1830 the members of the various religious societies congregated in London as they had done in the years before. The annual conferences were attended by such large numbers of people that the hired hall with its 1,600 seats could often barely hold them. Those who attended were willing to donate considerable sums. more ...
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