Rooted in England
The roots of the New Apostolic Church date back to the 19th Century. Around the year 1830 individuals and groups in England and Scotland prayed for an “outpouring of the Holy Spirit”. These prayers expressed their hope for a renewal of Christian life within the various denominations that they felt had become formal and uninspiring. An “apostolic movement” developed which gradually turned into an organised church after twelve Apostles had been called by prophetically gifted persons between 1832 and 1835. The distinctive feature of what became known as the Catholic Apostolic Church was that it was headed by Apostles who by the laying on of hands dispensed the gift of the Holy Spirit to prepare the believers for the return of Christ, which they expected soon.
Beginning of the Work in Germany
In 1847, the Apostles started travelling to other countries and the greatest successes were visible in the north of Germany.
The British Apostles had come to believe that they would prepare a small number of “firstfruits” who would be taken away from this earth. They hence repeatedly declined the call of new Apostles by the Prophet Heinrich Geyer. Geyer nevertheless insisted that new Apostles should become active.
On 10 October 1862 Rudolf Rosochacky was called to be an Apostle by Prophet Henry Geyer. The congregation in Hamburg (Germany) acknowledged its new Apostle. However, the calling was not recognised by the leadership of the Catholic Apostolic Church and subsequently, Rosochacky withdrew from his new ministry.
A new Order
As of 1863, the Hamburg congregation went its own way and became the germ cell of the New Apostolic Church. In spring 1863, Carl Wilhelm Louis Preuß and Friedrich Wilhelm Schwartz were also called as Apostles there.
After the beginning of our church in 1863, its leaders used a variety of names for it, some of which had previously been used by other German “apostolic congregations”. This made it difficult for outsiders to decide whether a congregation belonged to the “old” or the “new order”. The designation “New Apostolic” was first used in the German kingdom of Saxony and settled the issue.