The Old Apostolic Church is a Christian religious community. The Old Apostolic Church’s roots are found in the Catholic Apostolic Church, that was founded in 1832 by Henry Drummond, Edward Irving, and others.
The Old Apostolic Church was founded by Carl Georg Klibbe. Klibbe, a Lutheran minister, born in Pomerania, but later emigrated first to Scotland and then to the Australian state of Queensland. In Queensland, he joined the local branch of the Apostolic Church. In 1889, he was sent to South Africa first as Evangelist, and later as Apostle, working to establish the Apostolic communities there. Gradually, however, relations between Klibbe and the church leadership in Germany began to deteriorate — the exact reasons for this remain disputed – However the reasons are claimed to be an apparent dispute over the Changes of original doctrine within the Apostolic Church. Klibbe was officially removed from office in 1913, but continued to use the original doctrine of teaching. For some time, there were two conflicting organisations in South Africa using the name New Apostolic Church; Klibbe’s followers, and the followers of the newly appointed Apostle. Finally, in 1926, a court case regarding the rights to the name prompted Klibbe’s followers to adopt the name “Old Apostolic Church”, which they still retain. The name “Old Apostolic Church” was chosen due to Klibbe’s dedication to the original doctrine.
Apostle Klibbe died in May 1931 and was succeeded by Apostles E Ninow, C. Ninow and W. Campbell, who was appointed by Klibbe before his death.
In mid 2006 several members of the German Apostelamt Jesu Christi formed the German branch of the Old Apostolic Church.
The Old Apostolic Church is estimated to have around 1.5 million members worldwide, most of whom are in Germany, South Africa, Mosambique and Botswana. The Church remains independent from the New Apostolic Church, and did not join the United Apostolic Church.