Wilhelm Leber

Wilhelm Leber ( born July 20, 1947 in Herford ) was since his inauguration on May 15, 2005 ( Pentecost) in Fellbach Chief Apostle of the New Apostolic Church. On May 19, 2013, Pentecost Sunday, he was transferred by his successor, Jean- Luc Schneider, whom he had already appointed as Chief Apostle Helper on March 23, 2013, to retire. Liver followed as the eighth incumbent Richard Fehr, who designated him as his successor. Fehr explained that the choice of liver was also due to clear signs of God.


Wilhelm Leber was born on July 20, 1947 in Herford, North Rhine -Westphalia, in a neuapostolisches parents' house and knew from childhood and adolescence to the family of Chief Apostle Bischoff. He studied mathematics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. 1973-1977 he worked as an assistant at a business professor at the University of Hamburg.

In 1975 he became a Doctor of Science (Dr. phil. Nat. ) On the subject of convergence concepts for linear operators and stability statements. From 1977 to 1991 he worked for a hamburgische life insurance.

On September 9, 1990 Wilhelm Leber to be an apostle of the district of Bremen was ordained, and since 1991 he has been working exclusively for the New Apostolic Church.

His responsibilities expanded to include the districts of Hamburg (22 November 1992), Mecklenburg -Western Pomerania (16 January 1994) (these three districts currently form the area churches of northern Germany ) and North Rhine and Westphalia ( 1 January 2003). He also spent 6 years for the coordination group of the Church ( Advisory Committee ) and 5 years for the church group strategy (finance) act.

Today he lives with his family in Buchholz in der Heide Nord, but still has an apartment in Wetzikon in Zurich as his official work seat is the NAC in Zurich - Schwamendingenstrasse. In 1972 he married Barbara Bischoff, a granddaughter of the Chief Apostle Johann Gottfried Bischoff ( 1871-1960 ). The marriage produced a son and a daughter were born. On May 19, 2013 Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber has been set at rest. His successor is the Frenchman Jean- Luc Schneider.

Offices in the New Apostolic Church

  • Under deacon (21 December 1969)
  • Deacon (21 April 1974)
  • Priest (6 December 1975)
  • Evangelist (2 July 1986)
  • District Evangelist (20 December 1987)
  • Bishop (7 May 1989)
  • Apostle (9 September 1990)
  • District Apostle (22 November 1992)
  • Chief Apostle (May 15, 2005)
  • Retirement (19 May 2013)

Developments of his term of office

Dissemination and Mission

As Chief Apostle Richard Fehr retired, there were approximately 10,850,000 New Apostolic Christians worldwide. Until 31 December 2007, ie one and a half years under Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber, the number of members on 11,239,935 Apostolic Christians, ie increased by about 3.6 %, which is a significantly smaller increase than previously Richard Fehr. Reasons for this are, firstly, that under the previous Chief Apostles intensive missionary work was operated, but which weakened from liver, as in the various area churches, there was an uneven financial burden. The voluntary sacrifice revenue of the NAC are up to 70 percent from Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Canada, which then must be sufficient for vast area churches in Africa and Asia.

In brief, the Chief Apostle on a re- organization of the Church, as far as the communities, officials and finances.

Therefore, one of the most important developments is under Wilhelm Leber, the autonomy of the area churches. So far, African countries were to handed over to care for African Area churches and so-called " District Apostle Helper " commissioned to promote independence where membership numbers are sometimes very high. In practice: Madagascar, where 60,000 New Apostolic Christians, previously managed by Southern Germany, was acquired by East Africa. Apostle Shadreck Mundia Lubasi was commissioned as District Apostle to come up with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to become independent East Africa with two million New Apostolic Christians.

Church Internal and Public Relations

In Germany, there are currently 2,500 New Apostolic churches, ie more than is necessary for the church council. Since many communities are too small or in foreigners neighborhoods whose residents are hardly any Christians, are, are still 10% of the communities will be merged. This also high maintenance costs would go down.

Chief Apostle Leber sought after especially to strengthen the New Apostolic Church from the inside out in teaching and oneness. It will be carried out for teacher seminars and defines the self image of the Church. This is a clearly structured communication are made possible through brochures or public appearances. In addition, it was hoped that it a prevention of prejudice of other denominations and a higher level of awareness in Europe.

In countries of South and Central Africa, the NAK is by external news and information by radio and television, well known since the 1980s. District Apostle or services are transferred in Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and São Tomé and Príncipe nationally televised.

In addition, the New Apostolic Church is interested in a reconciliation and common past history with the United Apostolic Church. With dropouts and critics dialogues are to be performed.


Even Chief Apostle Fehr called on 28 October 1999, the Ecumenism Project Group to life. Ecumenical dialogue itself, however, was properly promoted only under the liver. Chairman of the Ecumenism Project Group 's Apostle Volker Kuehnle ( Southern Germany, Nürtingen ) of a large-scale presentation on this subject already held: New Apostolic Church and Ecumenism - Risk or Opportunity?

In the Council of Christian Churches ( ACK), the New Apostolic Church is at the local level in Memmingen and Aschaffenburg in the host state.

Andreas Fincke, employees in the Evangelical Centre for Religious and Ideological Issues, published it in the brochure And yet it moves - News from the New Apostolic Church. He presented it as the religion Commissioner of EKS, Georg Schmid, the development of the Church, not least because of the processes in the area ecumenism positively represents the New Apostolic Church in turn emphasizes, however, that the statement of the necessity for salvation of the apostles would never qualified by ecumenism. Fincke said it was a big problem that the New Apostolic Church is a great disadvantage even in everyday life today.

The New Apostolic Church, baptisms of other Christian denominations recognized by the Chief Apostle, indicating strongly on the step to ecumenism, provided they are carried out in the rite of the Trinity of God.

Official Statement to the embassy

In an interview with the evangelical periodical idea spectrum of liver said the announcement by Chief Apostle Johann Gottfried Bischoff 1951 that Jesus would not come in his lifetime:

"That has been the prediction of Chief Apostle Bischoff not met, an unanswered question ... about the real relationships remains for me I want to make a final judgment. Perhaps Chief Apostle Bischoff has interpreted something wrong, or were called conditions, we do not know ... The issue is no longer a dogma, everyone can make his own judgment about it. "

Chief Apostle Leber took on May 13, 2013 again in a five-page document detailed statements on the message. He emphasized that the New Apostolic Church no longer holds on to the presentation of the message of Chief Apostle Bischoff as divine revelation. He also stated that shortly after the death of Johann Gottfried Bischoff commissioned by the church leadership declaration that God had changed for unknown reasons, his will is not consistent with the image of God, the Church and the Bible. Furthermore, it states:

" According to our present understanding of Chief Apostle Bischoff should not have let it that the message has been made an essential object of faith. While it is subject to the teaching authority of the chief apostle to preach further " outcrops of the Holy Spirit " and to explain the binding doctrine of the New Apostolic Church. "-. Thus the Catechism But starting point and basis of doctrinal statements must be the Scriptures Thus, it would have been necessary to establish the embassy in a sound and reliable manner according to the Bible. a personal conviction may not be sufficient. "

Challenges of his tenure

  • A sermon at a church service in Osnabrück as well as statements about the self-image of the New Apostolic Church 4 December 2007 brought liver criticism, especially since many church members do not want to be satisfied with the statement that salvation " by the will of God " in other could be attained churches, however, the NAK is the work of God and Church of the true apostle of Jesus. Less drastically, this statement is seen by other denominations, as the Roman Catholic Church, for instance, has practically the same self-image. The fail -understood statement that the forgiveness of sins is tied to the NAK apostleship relativized Chief Apostle Leber end of 2008 and put them in order, so that sin would finally adopt "sovereign" by God himself.
  • Actually, the information evening of 4 December 2007 ( also ) a historical presentation in cooperation with the United Apostolic Church ( ISA) should be. However, as District Apostle Klingler could take no more contact with the VAG due to an illness, this meant that the history lecture without the consent of the VAG was put forward which Chief Apostle Leber earned harsh criticism. Although the history lecture is based on written sources, but has been partially nevertheless presented subjectively and without consideration of other sources, which also led itself to massive criticism in church circles. Chief Apostle Leber has subsequently asked the VAG pardon and assured to provide a new and more objective workup.
  • In March 2011, the New Apostolic District Elder Thomas Feil did publicly expressed his protest against the new understanding of the church of the New Apostolic Church. This had recently in a special issue of the guiding principles set out in a circular to all officers, the new understanding of the church. With Thomas Feil and his opinion, hundreds of officers and members expressed their solidarity in public.


  • Convergence concepts for linear operators and stability statements. Dissertation in the Department 12 (mathematics) at the University of Frankfurt am Main, 1975