The history of the New Apostolic Church in Sierra Leone

First church member in Sierra Leone

In 1977, the Sierra Leonean Abdul M. Conteh is selaed in Cairo/Egypt and becomes thus the first Sierra Leonean member of the New Apostolic Church.

More members

In May 1979, 29 Sierra Leoneans are seled and the first three Deacons ordained by the than responsible District Apostle Gottfried Rockenfelder (Germany).

New responsibilities

In April 1984, District Apostle Klaus Saur succeeds the retired District Apostle Gottfried Rockenfelder and takes over the responsibility also for the New Apostolic Church Sierra Leone.

Responsibilities change again

In July 1985, Chief Apostle Hans Urwyler commissions District Apostle Karl Kühnle as newly responsible for the Church in Sierra Leone. Bishop Werner Kühnle is commissioned to organize the word in close connection with the Apostles from Baden-Württemberg who visit the country frequently. At that time the church has 285 members, among them 17 church ministers.

Official registration

In February 1986, the New Apostolic Church in Sierra Leone is officially registered.

Bishop Kuehnle is ordained Apostle

In August 1986, Bishop Werner Kühnle is ordained Apostle and takes over responsibility for the work in Sierra Leone, assisted by District Evangelist Bernd Dittus. Both are commissioned by District Apostle Karl Kühnle.

Dedication in Freetown

In February 1987, District Apostle Karl Kühnle dedicated the first solid chapel in Sierra Leone: the central church in Freetown.

The first native Apostle

On Pentecost 1988, after a remarkable growth in the two years before, District Elder Barda K. Gborie from Kenema is ordained Apostle. He is the first native Apostle for Sierra Leone.

Day of the Youth in Bo

In November 1989, the first Day of the Youth takes place in Bo. More than 3000 young brothers and sisters experience a divine service with District Apostle Karl Kühnle in a big school playground.

Growth of the Church in Sierra Leone

From 1990 on, many new congregations are established. Solid church buildings are constructed with the help of the local members and the support from the Church in South Germany. In many congregations the members found a church choir to beautify the divine services. The church offers seminars for newly ordained ministers, teachers for sunday school and choir masters.

A new Apostle and a new Bishop

In June 1990, Chief Apostle Richard Fehr ordains District Elder Sanpha Sesay as Apostle and District Elder Alex Bangura as Bishop for Sierra Leone in Stuttgart (South Germany) in order to support the growing church in the country.

First visit of Chief Apostle Fehr in Sierra Leone

In November 1990, Chief Apostle Richard Fehr visits Sierra Leone for the first time. He serves 2000 brothers and sisters in a festive divine service in the YWCA Hall in Freetown. The service is transmitted to Freetown Central church and other centres in Freetown.

A new Apostle

In September 1992, Bishop Alex Bangura is ordained as Apostle for Sierra Leone.

District Apostle Saur again responsible for Sierra Leone

In December 1996, District Apostle Karl Kühnle is set in retirement by Chief Apostle Richard fehr after serving more than 20 years as District Apostle. District Apostle Klaus Saur is commissioned to serve in future in the regional church of South Germany as District Apostle. Thus, after 11 years, he regains responsibility for the church in Sierra Leone.

Civil war in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2001

The terrible civil war makes the work very difficult and causes also much suffering to our church members. Thousands flee to the neighbour country Guinea. Nevertheless they remain strong in faith and establish even there new congregations. Many chapels are plundered and destroyed, however, on the whole, our church gets off without serious consequences.

The church grows again

From 2001 on, many refugees return to their home country. Our humanitarian organization "NAC Mission Work" helps with seeds and rice but also in building health care stations in cooperation with other humanitarian organizations in order to alleviate the suffering of the people. The church in the country grows again. In the meantime the church has more than 70.000 members. Several primary schools are established around our churches by our brothers and sisters to educate the children.

Another Apostle for Sierra Leone

In January 2001, Robinson Saidu is ordained as Apostle for Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Sickness of Apostle Kuehnle

In January 2006, Apostle Werner Kühnle, who worked since 1985 intensively in Sierra Leone, unfortunately falls sick and cannot visit the country anymore.

First visit of Chief Apostle Leber

In March 2006, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber visits Sierra Leone on the occasion of the divine service for the departed in Freetown Central church. The church continues to grow. So Bishop Albert Garber from Bo is ordained Apostle for the country.


New District Apostle for South Germany

After 45 years in the ministry, among them 25 years as a District Apostle, District Apostle Klaus Saur is set in retirement by Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber on April 23, 2006. His successor, the newly ordained District Apostle Michael Ehrich, takes over responsibility also for Sierra Leone as District Apostle.

New leading Apostle

In December 2007, Apostle Werner Kühnle is put into early retirement due to his serious illness by Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber. Apostel Hans-Peter Schneider, and one year later, Apostel Hans-Jürgen Bauer, who also works in the Eastern areas of Africa, follows him. He is commissioned by District Apostle Michael Ehrich to serve in future also as lead Apostle in Sierra Leone.

Apostle Bangura in retirement

In January 2009, Apostel Alex Bangura is retired.

New developments

In 2010, the church in Sierra Leone has about 100.000 members and more than 3.000 ministers in 900 congregations. Most of them have church buildings. The NAC Mission Work together with the Jörg Wolff Foundation constructs various buildings for the church schools. They also provide food an material for the suffering ones in the amputee camps.

More self-dependency

To lead the regional churches unter his care into self-dependence, District Apostle Michael Ehrich ordains in July 2013 another 32 District Elders and 54 District Evangelists for the country.

First visit of Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider

In May 2014, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, visits Sierra Leone for the first time. In a festive divine service in our church in Freetown Central, Apostle Barda Gborie and Apostle Robinson Musa Saidu are retired. Thaimu Kargbo is ordained as an Apostle for Sierra Leone.