Apostolic Church of Queensland
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The Apostolic Church of Queensland is an Australian church which has its roots in the restoration movement of the Catholic Apostolic Church of the early 19th century. It was founded 1883 in Queensland, Australia by H. F. Niemeyer and took its actual name in 1911.
It is a member church of the United Apostolic Church which was founded in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1956.
The church's logo is a 4R-symbol as it is used by the South African sister church, too. The four "R"s stand for: RIGHT - ROYAL - RIGHTEOUS - RICH. RIGHT according to the bible, ROYAL as the Bride to have membership with Christ, RIGHTEOUS in partaking of the body and blood of Christ and RICH in the promises Christ gave to his apostles.
The young evangelist Heinrich Friedrich Niemeyer, commonly referred to as H.F. Niemeyer, was not sent to mission in Australia by the former new apostolic chief apostle Friedrich Krebs in 1883 - rather he said, "and if all heaven falls in I will go" when his expression to go to Australia was opposed by the Apostles in Europe. He settled in Hatton Vale and started his mission among German immigrants. After a short period he gathered 80 people. In 1886, he was ordained as Apostle during a visit in Germany. After the death of Friedrich Krebs the new chief apostle Hermann Niehaus tried to strengthen his position in comparison to the other apostles and introduced reforms whereof a conflict occurred. After a general apostles' meeting in 1911 Niemeyer was not expelled from his office and the church but withdrew himself from it. All Australian church members followed him with the exception of a handful of families. Later others returned to the New Apostolic Church as they saw the difference of teaching and blessings! Therefore, the apostolic church of Qld history only starts in 1911.(see the Mt Beppo Church signage states est 1884 and then a small flag displaying 1911 separately was added some time later. Looking at cemeteries there and Binjour Plateau, as well as Monto and Tarampa (1885-1905), many New Apostolic members were interned there prior to the rift in 1911.
During the World War I Niemeyer was imprisoned because of preaching in German. His health weakened therefore and shortly after his release he died in 1920. His son Wilhelm Niemeyer took over the church's leadership. He was ordained as apostle already in 1912. From 1918 on the language in which divine services were held was changed from German to English. At this time there probably still existed a prophet's office which calls the other offices. It obviously was abolished afterwards as then visions and dreams revealed new talents for church ministries.
Wilhelm Niemeyer's successor was Emil Zielke who ordained two apostles, Arnold Edward Zielke (1905-1988) and Arnan Niemeyer (1908-1995) in 1961. The church was divided into a Northern and Southern district. In 1977 Mervyn Zischke (1927-1988) succeeded Arnan Niemeyer. In 1988 suddenly both apostles died and it was up to the European apostles of the federation to look for new leaders. At that time differences between Europe and Australia became evident as on the 5th continent dreams and visions were very important for choosing new ministries. Only on 23 September 1990 the Elder Kenneth Dargusch (South-Queensland) and the Priest Clifford Flor (North-Queensland) were ordained in the Hatton Vale central church with 2,000 members attending the service.
The Southern district comprises 11 congregations that are administered from Hatton Vale by Apostle Kenneth L. Dargusch. The Northern district consists of 16 congregations that are led by Apostle Clifford Flor from Mackay. On 1 September 2018, Bishop Shayne Dargusch was ordained to the Apostle Office for the Southern District. On 26 January 2020 Priest Wayne Schneider from Maryborough congregation was ordained as apostle in Bundaberg for the northern area.
From 1990 on the Australian congregations started a mission on the Philippines and founded the United Apostolic Church of the Philippines with actually 19 congregations in three districts. There are also missionary activities and community growing in India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Kenia and Canada.
The apostles of the United Apostolic Church started to reform the new apostolic teachings from 1970 on. In 1984 a sort of catechism the so-called Book of Faith was edited by all apostles of the union. From 1990 on the European apostles started to discuss ordination of women and decided upon in 2004. They also changed the views on the understanding of the nature of church, the sacraments and the ministries. The Australian and South-African partners (see also: Apostolic Church of South Africa - Apostle Unity) did not follow completely. Therefore, there are actually not only differences in liturgy but also in teaching.