Christians at Daimler & Benz
Work and pray every day
Love Over Hate
WHO WE ARE
As employees at Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck, we are committed to ensuring that fundamental Christian values are visible in our personal working lives within our company and in our social responsibility outside our company.
Our concern is that we take our Christian values as a benchmark not only in our private lives, but also in our everyday professional lives, and live by them. We are convinced that this attitude has a sustainable positive influence on our company and also contributes to fairness towards supplier companies and competitors.
Our worldwide network of “Christians at Daimler & Benz” (formerly “Christians at Daimler”) comprises more than 1,500 members. Within Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck, there are approximately 50 Prayer Groups at various locations, where Christians of different denominations and church affiliations meet regularly outside of their working hours to pray for their company, their superiors, and their colleagues. In addition, annual Christian Meetings have been taking place outside the company since 2006, to which all employees of Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck are invited who also want to stand up for basic Christian values in their everyday working lives. The Christian meetings are organized by members of the Prayer Groups.
Work and pray
Do you work at Mercedes-Benz or Daimler Truck and are looking for a prayer group?
We will gladly arrange a prayer group near your location!
The ‘Christians at Daimler’ network, founded by Helmut Keller in 2006, grew strongly over the years. By mid-2019, it already comprised around 1,100 members, all of whom were employed by Daimler AG. Numerous Christians from the global development, production, and sales locations were part of it, and the number of existing prayer groups worldwide had already risen to more than 40. The annual Christian meetings also enjoyed increasing popularity. More than 650 people attended the 15th meeting in November 2020 as a result of the additional livestream offering.
With this positive development, however, the coordination effort for the administration and maintenance of the worldwide network as well as the organization of the annual events also increased significantly, especially since more and more activities also occurred during the year.
In the long run, Helmut Keller would hardly have been able to manage these tasks on his own. Last but not least, the fact that he had already retired from active working life at the beginning of 2019 led to the decision to hand over the management responsibility and divide the tasks among several shoulders. Since 2020, a management team of six members has therefore been formed. It is led by Hannes Ackermann. The official handover of the baton took place in 2021 during the 16th Christian Meeting.
In the following, the members of the management team introduce themselves personally. The texts were written at the end of 2022.
Hello dear colleagues,
I am very happy to look back on my history with ‘Christians at Daimler & Benz’, which started 12 years ago. At that time I came into Helmut’s prayer group and through the annual Christian meetings and further contacts I got to know and appreciate ‘being a Christian in everyday life’ more and more. Today I can’t imagine my job without this important basis.
When Helmut retired 5 years ago, I was allowed to continue one of his former prayer groups. This is a privilege, because prayer for the company and the people working in it is so immensely important – especially in challenging times like these.
For 3 years now, I have been privileged to coordinate our great leadership team and at last year’s Christian Meeting, the official passing of the baton from Helmut to me took place. I sense a great unity in this important ministry, which reminds me of Psalm 133:1 where it says: ‘Behold how fine and lovely it is when brothers are together in one accord!’
Besides my work here at Mercedes-Benz AG (recently in the VAN division), I enjoy spending time with my 4 girls (1 wife and 3 daughters), very much in the garden, around the house and yard, and most of all going on pilgrimages and hiking in the mountains. There I always like to come to rest before our Lord.
I have already experienced many blessings through praying together, through the encouragements and sharing testimonies and I am convinced that the blessings for us and our company will continue if we do not let up but persevere in prayer.
Thank you for all your support!
First of all, it is an absolute privilege for me to serve here on the team. I am grateful to God for such great work and fellowship over the past years/decades! Each and every one of us is valuable and can make a great contribution and I think – with our Lord – we can not only manage situations but also influence them positively.
My name is Yahkub Bugday (Aramaic: Jacob from the house of Moses) and I am a Swabian Aramaic – full blooded Aramaic with a distinct Swabian accent :-).
Besides my work here at Mercedes-Benz AG, I have some voluntary activities, both in church work, youth work, scouting (Royal Ranger) and in preaching ministry for our Lord. My favorite activity is telling people about my great God. I get to do this not only every Sunday in the community/church, but also in other places.
I look forward to standing up for our companies with you and bringing God’s Word and His heavenly principles to life here at work.
Hello dear colleagues,
My name is Marcel Mast and I have been ‘with Daimler’ since I completed my training as an automotive electrician in September 1999. My journey into the leadership team of ‘Christians at Daimler & Benz’ has had a great impact on me and I am very grateful to our Father in Heaven for allowing me to be involved here.
From September 2016 to August 2017, I allowed myself some professional time off, during which I completed a theological study in Beatenberg (Switzerland).
After this time, I experienced how our Lord Jesus brought me more and more to prayer – especially in the company. Inspired by the experiences I had in Beatenberg, the partnership with Hannes Ackermann became very important to me. Together with him I experienced the way into today’s leadership team as a new calling.
In addition to my work in development at Mercedes-Benz, volunteer activities are my heart’s desire. In church leadership, youth work and also as a lay preacher, I am able to contribute to the Kingdom of God and these ministries fill me with great joy. Like Hannes and Yahkub, I am looking forward to standing up for our companies and to make God’s word and His heavenly principles tangible in my daily job.
My name is Benjamin Orschel, or simply ‘Benni’. I am married, have 4 children and am responsible for all organizational matters in the leadership team, especially when it comes to preparing the annual Christian meetings.
I joined Mercedes-Benz directly after my studies in 2004 in the car development department in Sindelfingen. At that time I was told during the Sunday service that there was a prayer group at ‘Daimler’. The idea of being ‘salt and light’ at work as a Christian appealed to me, and so I contacted them directly.
Some years later, after I had actually decided to focus my involvement in the Kingdom of God on the voluntary tasks in my church, the YMCA Esslingen, I heard the call of God at a Christian meeting to get involved in this ministry.
So even after my move to the Van area in 2015, it was no question to start a new prayer group there. To this day, I am fascinated by the encouragement that comes out of these meetings with fellow believers in the workplace!
Hello and shlomo ahlechu together!
My name is Ilyas Yildiz, I am married and have three children. After the separation of Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck, I joined the leadership team as coordinator and contact person of Daimler Truck AG.
Since June 2021, I have been working in high-voltage component development at Daimler Truck. Before that, I worked in the Diesel engine development for almost 20 years. In this context, I spent three years in Detroit (Michigan/USA) together with my family, where I was employed as an expat at the Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC). Together with an American colleague, I founded the first prayer group there.
I am very thankful that the Lord gave us grace so that we could start two more prayer groups in Mannheim and in Wörth after the separation from Mercedes-Benz AG.
Privately, I have also been involved for many years in various areas, such as a church elder and translator (German – Aramaic) on a voluntary basis in the Aramaic Free Christian Church in Bietigheim-Bissingen. The service for our Lord gives me joy and it is the Lord who gives me the strength and perseverance for it.
Best regards and God’s blessing,
Dear Christians at Daimler Truck and Mercedes-Benz,
My name is Helmut Keller, I am married and have three grown-up children. After completing my studies in electrical engineering and working for four years as a research assistant at the ‘Institute for Control Systems’ at the University of Karlsruhe, I joined the passenger car testing department of the then Daimler-Benz AG on January 1, 1987. During my 32-year career at Daimler-Benz, DaimlerChrysler and Daimler, I worked as a project and team leader on numerous developments of vehicle dynamics, chassis and driver assistance systems. Since March 2019 I have been retired.
In all my business activities, it was and still is very important to me to focus on people and to live and pass on basic Christian values. For this reason, I founded the network ‘Christians at Daimler’ (now ‘Christians at Daimler & Benz’) in 2006, which aims to ensure that basic Christian values are visible in personal working life within the company and in social responsibility outside the company.
Looking back, I am very grateful to God for the network that has grown to more than 1,500 members, for the more than 50 worldwide prayer circles, and for the Christian meetings that have been held annually since 2006 and in which most of you have already participated.
The increasing workload, especially the organization of the annual Christian meetings, as well as the fact that I am no longer in active working life since 2019, led to the decision to hand over the leadership responsibility and to distribute the tasks on several shoulders. Therefore, since 2020, we are forming as a 6-member leadership team, led by Hannes Ackermann. The official handover of the baton took place in 2021 during the 16th Christian Meeting.
I am still responsible for everything that has to do with public relations, maintaining contacts, correspondence, looking after the worldwide network of Christians and prayer groups within Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck. I hope that committed voluntary supporters can be found to take over this role in the medium term.
APPEARANCE ON THE DAIMLER INTRANET
In 2018, members of a Möhringen prayer group initiated a public appearance of “Christians at Daimler” on the company’s internal social intranet. Due to the spin-off of the commercial vehicle division into the independent Daimler Truck Holding AG (in December 2021) and the renaming of Daimler AG into Mercedes-Benz Group AG (in February 2022), the intranet presence was changed to ‘Christians at Daimler & Benz’ in mid-2022. When accessing the Mercedes-Benz internal intranet, this page can be reached via the link https://social.cloud.corpintra.net/groups/christen-bei-daimler-christians-at-daimler.
The motivation behind this is:
- Worldwide networking of the Christians at Daimler
- Contact point for “new” Christians in the company
- Contact point for interested non-Christians
- Find the closest prayer group
- Reference to upcoming Christian Meetings
REVIEW OF THE LAST CHRISTIAN MEETING
On November 12, 2022, the 17th Christian Meeting under the Star took place in Weinstadt. The motto was ‘Work with love & respect’.
We are thankful that Corona didn’t put a spoke in the wheel and thus about 300 people participated in the event on site. In addition, more than 400 people worldwide followed the event via our livestream.
Both the participants present on site and those connected via livestream experienced a varied program with an insight into the exciting life of our guest speaker David Togni, a strong testimony report by Christof Bunz, contributions by João Batista dos Santos from Brazil and Victor Xavier from India, an inspiring worship (before and during the event) as well as a rich buffet with open exchange.
The event is available on our YouTube channel – but unfortunately without the presentation by David Togni. This had to be edited out for legal reasons (media contract). Here is the link to the video recording without David Togni’s contribution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz4fD5WSAlI