The Czech Apostolic Church
(A member of the Assemblies of God)
The Apostolic Church (AC) in the Czech Republic is counted among Evangelical churches. It also ranks among Pentecostal churches, which are associated in the Pentecostal World Conference, and is a member of the Pentecostal European Fellowship.
The first Pentecostal congregation in Czechoslovakia emerged in Northern Moravia before 1910. A group of Christians of different denominations started to meet in order to study God's word and to pray for empowerment for spiritual work and God baptised them in the Holy Spirit. They received the gift of speaking in tongues. Soon other groups came into being in Brno, Prague and other places; and in 1910 they were registered under the name The Union of Resolved Pentecostal Christians. During the Nazi occupation their activity was forbidden and after 1948 the Union was abolished. Though the brothers tried to integrate with some other church communities and later applied for establishing their own church, they were not allowed until 1977. The AC was legalised only in 1989.
In the doctrine and practice of the AC the Holy Spirit, the baptism by the Holy Spirit and an active role of the Holy Spirit in the life of both the individual and the church are emphasised together with traditional axioms of Christian theology.
Principally the AC has two main rites: baptism by immersion in water and the Lord's Supper.
The AC is administered in a Congregational-Presbyterian way. The basic unit of this church is a congregation, which is administered by Elders. The church itself is a union of separate congregations together with their respective stations and diasporas. At the head of the church is a Bishop.
The church has established a college, The Higher School of Missions and Theology, in Kolín (Central Bohemia), which provides instruction to ministers of the AC.
The church has its own publishing house Křesťanský život (Christian Life), and it issues the magazine Život v Kristu (Life in Christ).
Further activities of the AC:
- The Nehemiah Foundation – gathering finances, clothing, and food for delivery to people in need.
- The organization AC Teen Challenge - works among alcoholics and drug-addicts.
- Royal Rangers - works among children and young people.
- The Diaconia – ministers to homeless people the old and the sick.
- Global University - Christian education in partnership with the Bible college in Kolin and through distance education, offering several levels, starting from elementary education up to the graduate level.
- The Women's Ministries department – serves women both within as well as outside the church.
The AC has 5 000 members within the territory of the Czech Republic, including children and applicants in 61 congregations and 57 preaching stations.