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: - December 29th 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 two Lead Apostles, 11 Apostles and 12 Bishops. 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 200,000 and is served by over 4,500 ministers in over 2,000 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. It is has a total of 17 employees. These employees provide services to the Apostles and Bishops 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 D. Ap. 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.

1979

New Apostolic Church was formally Registered in Tanzania in April 1979 The responsibility for Tanzania was given to D.Ap. Kraus, and he assigned it to Apostle Wilbert Vovak from USA.

1981

December 1981, D.Ev. Kratt and Sh. 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

Mathias Nzarombi and Justine Mwegoha were ordained as Apostles in Germany 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 Japheth Runyoro were ordained to Apostle Ministry in a Divine service held in Canada 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.

1994

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

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 11 November 2007, during a Divine Service by Chief Apostle Wilheim  Leber conducted in Dar-es-Salaam, Apostle Shadreck Mundia Lubasi was commissioned as District Apostle Helper for East Africa. He was to assist the District Apostle Richard Freund 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.

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.

2013

14th July 2013, The Chief Apostle Helper Jean-Luc Schneider visited Tanzania for the first time and conducted a festive divine service in Dar-es-salaam.

2015

On 19th April 2015, District Apostle Shadreck Mundia Lubasi went into retirement. District Apostle Joseph Opemba Ekhuya from Kenya was ordained as District Apostle for East Africa. The retirement and ordination took place in Dodoma and was broadcast live to all congregations in East Africa.