What is the New Apostolic Church

by Africa Centre for Apologetics Research

The New Apostolic Church is a controversial sect that claims to be the only true Church, led by living Apostles. This claim, the group’s other doctrines, its record of false predictions about Christ’s return, and some of its unusual practices are cause for concern. This brief paper describes the origin of the sect, explains its teachings, and offers a biblical evaluation.

Our intent here is not to attack the people in the movement. Rather, we want to offer information that will help Christians to be discerning and to encourage members of the group to experience a healthier, sound Christian faith.


The New Apostolic Church traces its history back to the Catholic Apostolic Church (CAC). The CAC started as a group of English Christians in the early nineteenth century who believed that Jesus Christ’s second coming would take place in the very near future. They thought that before Christ returned, the church throughout the world would become united and spiritually strong. They also believed that the church would have the kind of ministers and experience the kind of miracles that the early church did. One of the group’s leaders, Henry Drummond, in 1832 spoke a “prophecy” telling another man, John Bate Cardale, that he was an apostle. The next year, Drummond also became an apostle. By 1836, the group had twelve apostles, and each one was assigned a part of the world that needed to hear their message.

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