16 June 2023

Switzerland will now also receive a District Apostle Helper. He has been designated to succeed District Apostle Jürg Zbinden. This is the fourth such assignment in a short period of time. The designated successor is a Swiss national and already works for the New Apostolic Church Switzerland.

“Dear brothers and sisters, the District Apostle Area Switzerland will receive a District Apostle Helper who will succeed me in the second half of 2024.” This announcement by District Apostle Jürg Zbinden was read out to all congregations in his District Apostle Area on Sunday, 11 June after the divine service. “In consultation with the Chief Apostle, I can inform you today that Apostle Thomas Deubel has been designated for this task.”

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will perform the official act during his visit to Berne-Ostermundigen, Switzerland, on 17 September 2023. The divine service will be transmitted throughout the District Apostle Area of Switzerland.

The new man for Switzerland

Thomas Deubel was born on 21 February 1964. He comes from the district of Bienne in Switzerland, where he also received his first ministry. He is married and has two children. In 1984 the then District Apostle Richard Fehr ordained him as a Sub-deacon. Further appointments and assignments followed. In December 2014 then Thomas Deubel was entrusted with the Apostle ministry by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider during a divine service in Zurich-Wiedikon.

In addition to districts in Switzerland, Apostle Thomas Deubel also looks after the members in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and in Bulgaria.

He went to a French business school in Neuchâtel in Switzerland and did language studies in California. In addition to his mother tongue German, the 59-year-old Swiss national also speaks French and English. For many years he worked in various positions at the Berner Kantonalbank. From 2008 until his ordination as an Apostle in 2014, he worked as secretary for the District Apostle of the New Apostolic Church Switzerland.

New Apostolic Church Switzerland

As assistant to District Apostle Jürg Zbinden, he will initially continue to look after some districts in Switzerland as well as the members in Bulgaria and Slovakia. He will also take on responsibilities that cover the entire District Apostle Area of Switzerland, which will allow him to familiarise himself with the working area of District Apostle Zbinden, who will be retiring next year. Jürg Zbinden has served as District Apostle of Switzerland since 2018. From 2017 to 2018 he supported District Apostle Markus Fehlbaum as a District Apostle Helper. District Apostle Zbinden looks after the brothers and sisters in the countries of Switzerland, Bulgaria, Gibraltar, Italy, Cuba, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria.

Succession plans in place for retiring District Apostles

Last year, the District Apostle Areas USA, Southern Africa, and Western Germany also received new District Apostle Helpers to prepare for an upcoming leadership change. The 58-year-old John Schnabel is designated to succeed District Apostle Kolb of the USA; Peter Lambert , also 58, will succeed District Apostle Kriel in Southern Africa; and Stefan Pöschel, 55, will follow upon District Apostle Storck in Western Germany.