Church congregations in Munich
The congregation is the centre of church life. It offers a wide variety of possibilities for active involvement in fellowship.
In the city of Munich there are 14 New Apostolic congregations with a total of 2,800 members. Pastoral care is provided by 160 ministers working in a voluntary capacity.
Would you like to visit a service in Munich and inform yourself about one of the congregations? You can find initial information here.
Church structures in the Greater Munich area
In the Greater Munich area (city and surrounding region), the New Apostolic Church is structured in two districts: Munich-North and Munich-South.
The Munich-North district comprises the congregations M-Allach, M-Bogenhausen, M-Harthof, M-Laim, M-Moosach, M-Neuhausen, Dachau, Erding, Freising, Fürstenfeldbruck, Garching, Gröbenzell, and Oberschleißheim. The Munich-South district comprises the congregations M-Giesing, M-Mittersendling, M-Berg am Laim, Bad Tölz, Geretsried, Gilching, Gräfelfing, Grafing/Bahnhof, Miesbach, Ottobrunn, Penzberg, Starnberg, Vaterstetten, and Unterhaching.
Munich is also the seat of Apostle Wolfgang Zenker, responsible for the Munich area, parts of Swabia, and Upper Bavaria ("Apostle District Munich"). The Bishop in this area is Paul Hepp from Augsburg.
The Apostle District Munich comprises the following church districts: Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Munich-North, Munich-South, Peiting, and Rosenheim – with a total of 79 congregations and approximately 12,300 members.
In turn, the Apostle District Munich belongs to the District Church of South Germany. This District Church is one of the six German District Churches; it comprises Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
A look at the Church's history in Munich
The first traces of the New Apostolic Church in Munich lead back to the year 1896. A craftsman called Valentin Schmidt was commissioned by the church leader at that time, Chief Apostle Friedrich Krebs, to attract people to listen to God's word. At that time, the Church was still considered as a sect, and therefore only secret meetings could be held initially. Only in 1906 was it permitted by royal decree that the few members of the Apostolic Congregation (today: New Apostolic Church) could hold services.
In contrast to other areas in Germany, the church only gained a foothold slowly in Bavaria. In 1933 the two congregations in Munich counted approximately 270 members. Services were held in rented rooms. In 1936 the members in Munich received their first visit of a Chief Apostle – this was Chief Apostle J.G. Bischoff at the time.
First own church in Munich: in Schwabing
From 1940 onwards, the members could at last gather together for services and other church events in their own church building in Munich-Schwabing, Germaniastraße 20.
Large services – with the Chief Apostle or Youth Days – took place, among others, in the Circus Krone Building, in the Congress hall of the German Museum, or in the Herkulessaal in the Munich Residenz.
Currently a total of 2,800 members gather together in 15 own church buildings.
The chronicles of the Munich congregations report about many activities involving the youth, choirs, and children which already took place in the 1930s.
Hikes in the beautiful alpine world in Upper Bavaria, swimming outings to lakes close to Munich, or visits to other Church congregations close by or further away – one also experienced fellowship outside of divine services. And this has remained the case until today.
Own Church District
The New Apostolic Church in Bavaria with its main town of Munich was vested with corporate rights on February 25, 1950.
A separate Church District ("Apostle District") with the Bavarian congregations – which had been looked after together with the congregations in Württemberg until then – was created on January 1, 1953. It was led by District Apostle Eugen Startz who had been ordained Apostle in July 1952.
With effect of March 1962, the New Apostolic Church in Bavaria, as a statutory corporation with seat in Munich, was provided with a new constitution. On October 19, 1991, a change in name and constitution was effected – "New Apostolic Church Bavaria, statutory corporation" – followed on January 1, 2002, by fusion of the New Apostolic Church Bavaria with the New Apostolic Church Baden-Württemberg into the current New Apostolic Church South Germany, statutory corporation.
Highlights in the church life in Munich
Particularly worth emphasis are the musical events held in recent years by the choir and orchestra of the two Munich districts (North and South), for example in highly acclaimed performances in the Dachau Palace, in Unterschleißheim, or in the Schlossberghalle in Starnberg, but also the now traditional performance at the world-famous Munich Christmas Market, where a youth choir ensemble delights the many hundreds of visitors at the market by their singing from the balcony of the Munich Town Hall.
Highlights in the church life of the city were the two South Germany Youth Days which were held over several days in 2011 and 2012 and where more than 10,000 young people came together each time on the Olympic grounds. The president of the New Apostolic Church South Germany, District Apostle Michael Ehrich, was able to greet the then Chief Apostle Helper Jean-Luc Schneider – now Chief Apostle – at the Youth Day 2012, who participated together with the invited Apostles from the USA and North Rhine-Westphalia in the concerts, workshops, and discussion events. Highlights were the opening ceremony and the concluding service which left a lasting impression on the young Christians and those accompanying them. (sas)