About Us

The history of this diocese dated back to the Niger expeditions of 1830 – 1857. Though some of these expeditions ended in catastrophe but the immense economic and evangelistic possibilities cannot be forgotten. For instance, the 1841 expedition, gave the whites the idea that Africans can only be used to evangelize Africa. This discovery gave Ajayi Crowther the privileged to be part of the mission team that evangelizes West Africa especially, the Igbo mission.
The mission train under the leadership Dr. William Baikie arrived Onitsha on 26th July, 1857 for the sole purpose of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While on 27th July, 1857 the King of Onitsha, Obi Akazua and his elders-in-council gave the party a rosy and official welcome. Hence, 27th July became the beginning of the CMS mission in Igbo land. It is also important to note that J.C Taylor of Igbo origin played a vital role in the early mission activities in Igbo land.
Rev J.C Taylor laid the foundation of the first Church in Igbo land in 1867 and was dedicated on 16th November, 1870. .
In order to move the mission forward, Ajayi Samuel Crowther was ordained on Trinity Sunday in 1844, consecrated as the first black bishop on the 29th June, 1864 at the Canterbury Cathedral. By this consecration, he became the bishop of the Diocese of Equatorial West Africa.
The diocese was created in 1920 from the eastern part of the Diocese of Equatorial West Africa.
It was part of old Province Two of the Church of Nigeria when the church was divided into three provinces in 1997, and presently it is a diocese in the Province of Niger when the Church was re-organized structurally in 2002.
The Diocesan Cathedral is known as All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha. The construction of the Cathedral started in 1949 and was dedicated on 1st November, 1992.
List of former bishops
• 1919–1921 Bishop Herbert Tugwell
• 1922–1945 Bishop Bertram Lasbrey
• 1945–1969 Archbishop Cecil Patterson
• 1969 – 1975 Bishop Lucius Madubuko Uzodike
• 1975–2000 Bishop Jonathan Onyemelukwe (also Archbishop of Province Two and later Dean of the Church of Nigeria)
• 2000 – 2010 Bishop Ken Sandy Edozie Okeke
• 2011– Bishop Owen Chidozie Nwokolo