NEW APOSTOLIC CHURCH

East Africa

Tanzania, also called the United Republic of Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa with a Total area of over 900,000 square Kilometers and a population of 46.2 million people. It contains Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro and the World’s second largest fresh water Lake Victoria. The country is divided into 30 regions: five on the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar and 25 on the mainland in the former Tanganyika. The head of state is President John Pombe Magufuli. The capital city of Tanzania is Dodoma. Dar es Salaam is the commercial capital. Tanzania's population consists of approximately 62% Christians, 35% Muslims and 3% followers of indigenous religions.

 THE BEGINING

 The earliest known activity of the New Apostolic Church dates back to the year 1934. In March 1934 a short report with pictures was in the "Unsere Familie," when the late District Apostle Heinrich Schlaphoff stopped in Dar-es-salaam enroute from Germany to South Africa. We are not aware of any further activity until the year 1978 when two District Evangelists from Zambia journeyed to Dar es salaam to make an application with the Government to register the church as a religious organization; and at the same time, they testified to three men whom they invited to Zambia to be sealed by District Apostle Andrew Fernandez. The Church was formally registered in April, 1979.

 In 1979, the responsibility for Tanzania was given to District Apostle Kraus, and he assigned it to Apostle Wilbert Vovak who made several trips there in 1979 and 1980. In 1981, District Evangelist Donald Kratt from U.S.A. and Shephered Adolf Eichsteller from Germany went to Tanzania and followed up the previously made contacts. They gathered the Brothers together and conducted Seminars. One of the first Administration Brothers was Zacharia Deuly, who had been sealed in Zambia, and he accompanied the two Brothers during their four trips in 1981. Few baptisms were performed but our heavenly Father seemed to arrange many encounters with men who accepted the testimony, and later developed into faithful Brothers who accepted many responsibilities. In December 1981, District Evangelist Kratt and Shephered Eichsteller took six Tanzanian Brothers to Malindi in Kenya, where Apostle W. Vovak sealed five who were not formerly sealed, and ordained three as Priests and three as Deacons. These were the first local Administration Brothers for Tanzania.

 In 1982, District Evangelist Kratt and Shephered Eichsteller made another four trips to Tanzania, and Apostle Vovak was able to seal 1,943 souls. He also ordained Mathias Nzarombi as a Priest and Justin Mwegoha as an Evangelist. They later became the first two Apostles for Tanzania.

The work in 1983 commenced in January with Seminars being held in various areas of the country where the work was now taking form and new areas opening up. In April, Apostle Samson Ogutu from Kenya was called upon to serve the Brethren, and 1,799 new souls were added into God's work. In August, Apostle W. Vovak sealed 2,501 in twelve divine services. To gain access to remote areas it was sometimes necessary to rent private planes and arrange ground transportation. In November of 1983, Apostle Simon Anokoli from Kenya also visited Tanzania, and conducted 32 divine services in thirteen days, and sealed a total of 2,463 souls. At the conclusion of this trip, two Tanzanian Brothers, Justin Mwegoha and Mathias Nzarombi were taken to Zurich, and ordained as Apostles on December 4, 1983. Now even the most remote areas could be served.

 At the close of 1983, Tanzania had a membership of 9,462 souls, and 151 congregations. For all of this, no credit belongs to us, everything comes under the words of our late Chief Apostle Schmidt: "Everything is grace”. (Report by District Evangelist Donald Kratt: - 29th December , 1983)

NEW APOSTOLIC CHURCH IN TANZANIA TODAY

The Overall leadership of the New Apostolic Church in Tanzania was placed under the District Apostle Joseph Opemba Ekhuya since 19th April 2015. The Lead Apostles are the closest co‐workers of the District Apostle. They lead the church in Tanzania by bringing together all the Apostles in the country. Tanzania has 13 Apostles and 12 Bishops. Two of the Apostles are lead Apostles. The working area of a Lead Apostle consists of several Apostle working areas. Lead Apostle Zachariah Deuly is responsible for Eastern Tanzania and Sebastian Maneno for Western Tanzania. The total membership is approximately 219,791 and is served by 4,705 ministers in 1,827 congregations. Majority of the members are children and youth. There are vibrant youth and children choirs around the country.

COUNTRY OFFICE

The country office of the New Apostolic Church in Tanzania is located in Dar- es Salaam. The office  employees provide administrative services to the Apostles and Rectors of districts and congregations. The main tasks of the country office include:-

  • Organization of special events and divine services
  • Construction, monitoring and maintenance of church property
  • Bookkeeping and controlling administration of membership data
  • Coordination of church activities and public relations work

KEY MILESTONES OF GOD'S WORK IN TANZANIA

1978

Two District Evangelists from Zambia travelled to Dar-es-salaam to make an application with the Government to register the church as a religious organization and at the same time, they testified to three men whom they invited to Zambia to be sealed by District Apostle Andrew Fernandez. Among the first souls sealed in 1979 was the 17 year old Zachariah Deuly (Now Lead Apostle). Apostle Frank Mwape (South Africa) was one of the two District Evangelists who traveled from Lusaka to Dare salaam in 1978.

1979

New Apostolic Church was formally Registered in Tanzania in April 1979

The responsibility for Tanzania was given to District Apostle Michael Kraus (Canada), and he assigned it to Apostle Wilbert Vovak from USA.

1981

December 1981, District Evangelist Kratt and Shephered Eichsteller took six Tanzanian Brothers to Kenya, where Apostle W. Vovak sealed five who were not formerly sealed, and ordained three as Priests and three as Deacons. These were the first local Administration Brothers for Tanzania.

1983

Justin Mwegoha and Mathias Nzarombi were ordained as Apostles in Saarbrucken, Germany on 04 December 1983 by Chief Apostle Hans Urwyler.

1984

Priest Sebastian Maneno (Now Lead Apostle) brought the testimony to the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.

1985

District Apostle Michael Kraus visited Tanzania for the first time.

1986

Zacharia Deuly and Japhet Runyoro were ordained as Apostles in Kitchener, Canada on 08 June 1986 by Chief Apostle Hans Urwyler.

1987

District Evangelist Hecht-later Apostle was commissioned to missionary work in Tanzania by District Apostle Michel Kraus. He ministered in Tanzania for 21 years.

1988

Anthony Bataki and Godwin Mwezi were ordained as Apostles in  Hamburg, Germany on 24 January 1988 by Chief Apostle Hans Urwyler.

1991

Sebastian Maneno and Asumile Mwakanyamale were ordained an Apostles in Holland on 25 August 1991 by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr

1993

Lackson Mgalla was ordained an Apostle in Esslingen, Germany on 14 February 1993 by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr.

1994

In August 1994, Chief Apostle Richard Fehr visited Tanzania and ordained 8 bishops for the country

1998

Wilson Mtiga and Emmanuel Nchimbi were ordained as Apostles in Johannesburg, South Africa on 31 October 1998 by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr.

2000

Frederick Mwaipopo was ordained an Apostle in Kinshasa (DRC) on 28 May 2000 by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr.

2001

George Chitemo and Kennedy Samwel Kabome were ordained as Apostles in Nairobi, Kenya on 28 January 2001

2002

Pheston A. Kabuje was ordained an Apostle in Lusaka, Zambia on 27 January 2002 by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr.

2006

Ellias Ambokile Mwaisaka and Vincent Wofile were ordained as Apostles in a divine Service by Chief Apostle Wilheim Leber in Nairobi, Kenya on 14th May 2006

2007

In March 2007, Chief Apostle Wilheim Leber announced his intention to create more self-sustaining district churches in Africa that is: Self-Governing, Self-Supporting, and Self-Propagating.

 

On 10 November 2007, during a Divine Service by Chief Apostle Wilheim  Leber conducted in Dar-es-Salaam, he ordained Enock Ntibingwa Mateo as an Apostle and commissioned Apostle Shadreck Mundia Lubasi as District Apostle Helper for East Africa. He was to assist the District Apostle Richard Freund (USA) in leading the church in the three countries of East Africa namely, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

2009

On 29th March 2009, District Apostle Helper Shadreck Mundia Lubasi was ordained into the District Apostle ministry. The District Apostle District of East Africa was officially created consisting of three countries namely Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and having its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

2011

Chief Apostle Wilheim Leber visited Tanzania and conducted two divine services. One in Mbeya on 13th August 2011 and in Mwanza on 14th August 2011.

 

The Chief Apostle ordained Apostle Steven Shaban Nhende in the Mwanza divine Service

2013

On 14 July 2013, during a Divine Service by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted in Kampala Uganda, the Chief Apostle commissioned Apostle Joseph Opemba Ekhuya from Kenya as District Apostle Helper. He was to assist the District Apostle Shadreck Lubasi in leading the church in East Africa.

2014

Anyemike Igonda was ordained an Apostle in a divine service by Chief Apostle Schneider in Nairobi, Kenya on 29 June 2014.

2015

On 17th April 2015, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider Visited Tanzania and ordained Watson Kalyembe, Elisha Meleine and Emmanuel Macheho as Apostles in a divine service in Mbeya.

 

On 19th April 2015, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a festive divine service in Dodoma in which District Apostle Shadreck Mundia Lubasi went into retirement. District Apostle Joseph Opemba Ekhuya from Kenya was ordained as District Apostle for East Africa District.