Zurich. "I have returned from my trip to the Congo with many joyful impressions," wrote Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber to the apostles around the world. "The brethren in faith there are full of enthusiasm, and their joy in singing knows no bounds," he reported. On Saturday, 6 August 2005 he conducted a divine service in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, and on Sunday, 7 August 2005 he held a service in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
It was the first time that a chief apostle had conducted a divine service in the Republic of Congo. In Brazzaville, the capital of the country, 2,000 souls came to enjoy this premier service. The journey on to Kinshasa was somewhat of an adventure according to the chief apostle. In the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo the service was transmitted by satellite, reaching a total audience of some 230,000 souls. The service was also broadcast live on public television.
During this service the chief apostle ordained a new bishop: Philemon Bingbi (*56) who will now work in the province of "Orientale", in the northeastern part of the country.
Around 64,000 people confess the New Apostolic faith in the Republic of Congo, where they are served by some 2,300 ministers. The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to more than 2.5 million members of the New Apostolic Church, who are served by some 96,000 ministers in 18,000 congregations.
15 August 2005