Dieburg. The festive divine service on 7 May 2006 took place in Dieburg in the administrative district of Darmstadt: Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber retired two long-serving apostles and went on to ordain two new apostles, namely Bernd Koberstein and Jens Lindemann.
Some 20,000 New Apostolic Christians watched and listened—both live and via satellite—as the international Church president, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber, retired two tried and tested clergymen. Apostle Heinz Kreuzberger (65) was able to look back on 41 years of ministerial activity, the last ten of which he served as an apostle. Among other things, he was also rector of the congregation of Athens, Greece for eight years. Apostle Willi Sommer (65) had been a minister of the New Apostolic Church for 48 years, during which time he also served in Turkey and in the Middle East, among other places.
The names of their two successors had already been announced weeks before: Bernd Koberstein (54) lives in Bensheim, and Jens Lindemann (43) lives in Linden. The chief apostle wished both servants of God much strength for the new ministerial commission they had received. They will take over the districts of their predecessors.
Chief Apostle Leber based the festive divine service on a portion of a Bible passage from Colossians 1: 18: “He … is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.” The Church leader explained that we too should allow Christ to have first place in our lives. Those who give Him first place cannot help but make clear decisions, he said.
The divine service was set to a musical backdrop of choir and orchestra. The sermon was simultaneously translated into several languages.
The District Church of Hessen/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland numbers some 40,000 members. You can find other reports from the District Church on its homepage.
8 May 2006