Council of Twelve Apostles (Community of Christ)

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In the Community of Christ, The Council of Twelve Apostles is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy. They are disciples who hold the priesthood office of Apostle, and are responsible for the evangelistic witness of the church. Apostles are also High Priests in the Melchisedec priesthood of the Church.

Calling[edit]

As with all priesthood in the Community of Christ, members of the Council of Twelve are considered to be "called by God." The Prophet-President "receives" the call, and after consultation with the other two members of the First Presidency, "presents" the call to the candidate. If the candidate accepts, the candidates name is presented to the World Conference and the call is sustained by majority vote. New apostles are ordained in a special worship service held during the World Conference. Prior to the Presidency of W. Grant McMurray, the call of Apostles and other members of presiding quorums of the church were named in an "inspired document" that was added to the Scriptures of the Church in the Doctrine and Covenants. McMurray and others believed that the lengthy passages related to priesthood calls reduced the readability of the Doctrine and Covenants. Since that time, these priesthood calls have been presented in a separate document that is not included in the Doctrine and Covenants. Most appointee ministers live in the Independence, Missouri area, however, the current trend is to base Apostles in the field. Each apostle has an office in The Temple at Independence and they share administrative staff.

Responsibilities[edit]

Individual apostles may be assigned to various responsibilities of church leadership, including field administration. Together with the First Presidency and the Presiding Bishopric, this council is a part of the "World Church Leadership Council." Each of the apostles is called to serve as a "special witness of the gospel", and each is appointed by the First Presidency to oversee one or more of the church's mission fields. In recent years, some members of the Council are also given responsibility for certain areas of program ministry. If for any reason the First Presidency is dissolved or otherwise unable to preside over the World Conference, the Council of Twelve Apostles presides over the conference until such time as the First Presidency resumes functioning or is reorganized. Assigned by the First Presidency, they carry major responsibility for church expansion, and serve as administrative supervisors of field jurisdictions. The Council of Twelve Apostles elects one of its members to serve as President of the Council of Twelve and another member to serve as Secretary of the Council of Twelve. Members of the Council of Twelve Apostles are normally full-time paid ministers, called "Appointee Ministers" in the Community of Christ.

Members of the Council of Twelve Apostles directly supervise Mission Center Presidents and missionaries holding the priesthood office of Seventy. They have the authority to call Mission Center Conferences and frequently preside over certain portions of the various conferences. Apostles usually initiate calls to the Office of High Priest, Evangelist and Seventy, often in consultation or at the behest of Mission Center Presidents. Apostles usually hold annual or semi-annual meetings of the appointee ministers and key staff members in their fields. Apostles have the authority to organize or dissolve congregations and ministry groups. If a Mission Center President takes over operation of a congregation (usually only in situations of extreme dissent), an appeal of this decision may be made to the Apostle that supervises that field. Apostles typically travel to missionary fields around the world, even when they have fields entirely within the United States. This international missionary experience is believed to enrich both the recipients of the ministry as well as the experience of the Apostles' themselves. Most jurisdictions of the Community of Christ hold summertime family camps called "reunions." Apostles usually spend much of their summer attending various reunions.

Progressive Influence[edit]

The Council of Twelve Apostles has long been regarded as the primary advocates for the growing international presence of the church and its international witness of Jesus Christ. In addition, the Council has frequently strived to lead the church towards progressive stances on issues such as homosexuality, women in the priesthood, open communion, ecumenism, interfaith dialogue, environmentalism, peace and justice ministries. Former Apostle Charles D. Neff (1958-1984), led the Council of Twelve in developing relativistic viewpoints towards both ritual and doctrine in order to make the gospel relevant across cultures. Presently, the Council contains five female apostles, a native African, a native Polynesian and a native Honduran.

Current members[edit]

The current members of the Council and the Mission Fields and other assignments they oversee, are as follows:

The fields have currently been reorganized and each Apostle has been paired with an assistant and a president of Seventy.

1844 to present[edit]

This is a list of the members of the Council in the Community of Christ, (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) ordained after 1844. The dates are the years they served as a member of the Council of Twelve.

Name Began Service Ended Service Cause of Departure Other Positions Nationality & Notes
BriggsJason W. Briggs 1853 1885 Not sustained as Apostle at the 1885 conference. American. Withdrew from the church sometime after 1885 conference
GurleyZenas H. Gurley, Sr. 1853 1871 Ordained Joseph Smith III as president in 1860.
DeamHenry Harrison Deam 1853 1854
NewkirkReuben Newkirk 1853 1873
CunninghamJohn Cunningham 1853 1855
WhiteGeorge White 1853 1859
RaseyDaniel B. Rasey 1853 1873
PowersSamuel Powers 1855 1873
NewkirkDavid Newkirk 1855 1865
BlairWilliam W. Blair 1858 10 April 1873 Called to First Presidency First counselor in the First Presidency American. Served as first counselor until his death on 18 April 1896
ShippyJohn Shippy 1860 1868
BlakesleeJames Blakeslee 1860 1866
BriggsEdmund C. Briggs October 1860 18 April 1902 Ordained as Evangelist/Patriarch. President of the Seventy American
EllsJosiah Ells 1865 1885
DerryCharles Derry 1865 1870
KelleyWilliam H. Kelley 1873 1913
SmithThomas Wood Smith 1873 1894
CaffallJames Caffall 1873 1902
LakeJohn H. Lake 1873 1902
SmithAlexander Hale Smith 10 April 1873 12 April 1897 Ordained a Presiding Patriarchs/Evangelist. Counselor to Joseph Smith III

President of the Quorum of the Twelve

American. Third surviving son of Joseph and Emma Smith.
GurleyZenas H. Gurley, Jr. 1874 1885
LambertJoseph R. Lambert 1873 1902
GillenJames W. Gillen 11 April 1887[2] 1899
SmithHeman C. Smith 11 April 1887[2] 1909 Church Historian
LuffJoseph Luff 11 April 1887[2] 1909 Canadian
GriffithsGomer T. Griffiths 11 April 1887[2] 1922
WhiteIsaac N. White 12 April 1897[3] 1913
WightJohn W. Wight 12 April 1897[3] 1913
EvansR. C. Evans 12 April 1897[3] 1902 Ordained as counselor in the First Presidency Counselor in the First Presidency

Bishop (With specific jurisdiction over the church in Canada)

Canadian. Broke with the church in 1918 and formed the Church of the Christian Brotherhood
AndersenPeter Andersen 1901 1920
SmithFrederick A. Smith 1902 1913
SheehyFrancis Sheehy 1902 1920
GreeneUlysses W. Greene 1902 1922
ButterworthCornelius A. Butterworth 1901 1922
RushtonJohn W. Rushton 1902 1947
CurtisJames F. Curtis 1909 7 April 1938 Honorably released
RussellRobert C. Russell 1909 1922
KelleyJames E. Kelley 1913 1917
AylorWilliam Murray Aylor 1913 1922
HansonPaul M. Hanson 1913 8 October 1958[4]
GillenJames A. Gillen 1913 1934
WilliamsThomas W. Williams 1920 1925
McConleyMyron A. McConley 1920 1948
EllisClyde F. Ellis 1923 1945
GarverJohn F. Garver 13 October 1922 9 April 1946 Ordained as counselor in the First Presidency Counselor in the First Presidency American. Was president of the Board of Trustees for Graceland College
WilliamsDaniel T. Williams 1922 8 October 1958[4] Ordained as Patriarch/Evangelist
EdwardsF. Henry Edwards 13 October 1922 9 April 1946 Ordained as counselor in the First Presidency Secretary of the Council of Twelve Apostles English. Honorably released from First Presidency on 18 April 1966,
GleazerEdmund J. Gleazer 1922 8 October 1958[4] Ordained as Patriarch/Evangelist
BuddRoy S. Budd 1922 1936
LewisGeorge G. Lewis 1932 1948
MesleyGeorge C. Mesley 7 April 1938 1954
OakmanArthur Alma Oakman 7 April 1938 1964 Ordained an Evangelist Evangelist English
HieldCharles R. Hield 7 April 1938 6 April 1964[5] Honorably released
JensenD. Blair Jensen 1946 18 April 1966[6] Honorably released
DaveyRoscoe E. Davey 1947 6 April 1964[5] Ordained as Patriarch/Evangelist
DraperMaurice L. Draper 1947 8 October 1958[4] Ordained as counselor in the First Presidency
SmithW. Wallace Smith 1947 1950 Ordained as counselor in the First Presidency Prophet-President
FarrowPercy E. Farrow 1948 18 April 1966[6] Honorably released
HolmesReed M. Holmes 1948 1 April 1974.[7] Ordained as Presiding Patriarch/Evangelist
ChesworthDonald O. Chesworth 1950 14 April 1972.[8] Ordained as Patriarch/Evangelist
LentsDonald Victor Lents 1954 8 April 1980 [9] Ordained as Evangelist/Patriarch
NeffCharles D. Neff 8 October 1958[4] 5 April 1984[10] Honorably released American
ColeClifford A. Cole 8 October 1958[4] 8 April 1980 [9] Called to ministries of teaching and writing
EttingerCecil R. Ettinger 2 April 1960[11] 1 April 1974[7] Honorably released
CoueyDuane E. Couey 2 April 1960[11] 18 April 1966[6] Ordained counselor in the First Presidency Presiding Patriarch/Evangelist American
RalstonRussell F. Ralston 6 April 1964[5] 29 March 1976[12]
TimmsWilliam E. Timms 6 April 1964[5] 3 April 1978[13] Ordained as Evangelist/Patriarch
HigdonEarl T. Higdon 18 April 1966[6] 1 April 1974[7] Honorably released President of Graceland College
TyreeAlan D. Tyree 18 April 1966[6] 29 March 1982[14] Ordained counselor in the First Presidency
KouryAleah G. Koury 18 April 1966[6] 8 April 1980 [9] Ordained as Evangelist/Patriarch Canadian
SheehyHoward S. Sheehy, Jr. 1 April 1968[15] 1980 Ordained counselor in the First Presidency Counselor in the First Presidency American. Ordained counselor on 3 April 1978, but remained as a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles until 1980.
StuartJohn C. Stuart 14 April 1972 [8] 29 March 1982[14] Ordained as Evangelist/Patriarch
HigdonWilliam T. Higdon 1 April 1974[7] 5 April 1992[16] President of Graceland College
HurshmanLloyd B. Hurshman 1 April 1974[7] 14 April 1988[17] Honorably released
BoothPaul W. Booth 1 April 1974[7] 5 April 1992[16] Ordained as the Presiding Evangelist
AustinEugene C. Austin, Sr. 29 March 1976[12] 10 April 1994[18] Honorably released
SchaeferRoy H. Schaefer 3 April 1978[13] 14 April 1988[17] Honorably released
CaswellPhillip M. Caswell 3 April 1978[13] 1998
SekineKisuke Sekine 8 April 1980 [9] 5 April 1992[16] Honorably released Japanese
GraffeoEverett S. Graffeo 8 April 1980 [9] 1994[18] Ordained as the Presiding Evangelist
RobinsonKenneth N. Robinson 8 April 1980 [9] 1996 Ordained counselor in the First Presidency Counselor in the First Presidency Australian
SerigJoe A. Serig 29 March 1982[14] 1998
CableJames C. Cable 29 March 1982[14] 1996
SpencerGeoffrey F. Spencer 5 April 1984[10] 10 April 1994[18] Honorably released Australian
KahtavaA. Alex Kahtava 14 April 1988[17] 2002 Canadian
KirkpatrickJohn P. Kirkpatrick 14 April 1988[17] 2007
BrockDavid R. Brock 5 April 1992[16] 27 March 2007 Ordained as the Presiding Evangelist President of Seventy
Presiding Evangelist
American
TyreeLawrence W. Tyree 5 April 1992[16] 2002
VeazeyStephen M. Veazey 5 April 1992[16] 2005 Ordained as the Prophet-President President of the Council of Twelve

Prophet-President

American
BelroseDanny A. Belrose 10 April 1994[18] 2000 Ordained as Presiding Evangelist Canadian
LuffmanDale E. Luffman 10 April 1994[18] January 3, 2013[1] American
McLaughlinKenneth L. McLaughlin 10 April 1994[18] 2005
JuddPeter A. Judd 1996 2000 Ordained counselor in the First Presidency Counselor in the First Presidency English
SlauterJames E. Slauter 1996 May 3, 2011[19] Early retirement, family health[19] President of the Council of Twelve

Secretary of the Council of Twelve

American
MengelGail E. Mengel 31 March 1998 2005 Called as Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer President of Church Women United

Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer

Along with Linda L. Booth, the first women to be ordained apostles.
BoothLinda L. Booth 1998 present American, along with Gail E. Mengel, the first women to be ordained apostles.
YoungLeonard M. Young 2000 2010
ChibweBunda C. Chibwe April 2000 present President of the Sixth Quorum of Seventy Zambian
DynesMary Jacks Dynes 2002 2010 President of the Fifth Quorum of Seventy.
SchaalDavid D. Schaal 2002 2005 Ordained counselor in the First Presidency President of the Tri Stake Mission Center

Counselor in the First Presidency

American
CrammStassi D. Cramm 4 June 2005[20] present Counselor to the Presiding bishop
HarmonRonald D. Harmon, Jr. 4 June 2005[20] present
MaupinRick W. Maupin 4 June 2005[20] present American
SkoorOxleySusan D. Oxley (Skoor) 4 June 2005[20] present American
Andrew BoltonAndrew Bolton 2007 present English
MejiaCarlos Enrique Mejia 2007 present Honduran
JamesRichard C.N. James 2010 present
MurphyK. Scott Murphy 2010 January 3, 2013[1]
CarterBarbara L. Carter January 3, 2013[1] present
TchongMareva Arnaud Tchong January 3, 2013[1] present Polynesian
SmithArthur E. Smith January 3, 2013[1] present Canadian

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephen M. Veazey (3 January 2013). "Letter of Counsel Regarding the Presiding Quorums". Coastal Bend Mission Center. 
  2. ^ a b c d Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 119
  3. ^ a b c Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 124:4A
  4. ^ a b c d e f Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 145:3, 5b, 6b, 6c, & 7
  5. ^ a b c d Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 147:1, 2 & 4
  6. ^ a b c d e f Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 148:1 - 4
  7. ^ a b c d e f Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 151:2 - 7
  8. ^ a b Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 150:1A & 2A
  9. ^ a b c d e f Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 154:1 - 3
  10. ^ a b Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 156:1 & 2
  11. ^ a b Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 146:1
  12. ^ a b Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 152:2a & 3
  13. ^ a b c Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 153:5 - 6
  14. ^ a b c d Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 155:3 - 5
  15. ^ Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 149:1
  16. ^ a b c d e f Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 158:3-6
  17. ^ a b c d Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 157:1-3
  18. ^ a b c d e f Community of Christ (RLDS): Doctrine and Covenants: Section 159:2 - 5
  19. ^ a b Veazey, Stephen M. (May 3, 2011). "Letter of Counsel Regarding the Presiding Quorums". Cumminty of Christ. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  20. ^ a b c d "Official Minutes of Business Session", Community of Christ World Conference 2005, 4 June 2005.