ONITSHA MAIN ARCHDEACONRY

Ven. I. I. Ihemtuge 1

Ven. Ikechukwu I. Ihemtuge(Administrator)

This is the oldest Archdeaconry in the Diocese. It gave birth to other Archdeaconries and even some Dioceses in the Church of Nigeria. What remains of the Onitsha Archdeaconry are five parishes and their history are as fellows

BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRIST CHURCH, ONITSHA

Much has been written about the place of Christ church Onitsha in the establishment of Anglican Church in the entire Eastern part of Nigeria. It has been variously said that “the history of Christ church Onitsha cannot be written without talking about the coming of Christianity in Igbo land”

It was not until the 1857 Niger expedition that the desired ambition of establishing the Niger mission was attained. The Rev Samuel Ajayi Crowther who joined the expedition from Sierra Leonel led the CMS team. With him were the Rev John Christopher Taylor,, Catechist Simon Jonas and Augustus Radillo, all of them born of Igbo ex-slaves resident in Sierra Leone. In this expedition, Crowther was given a definite instruction by the CMS to found the Niger mission unlike in 1841 and 1857 expedition. The team landed at Onitsha on Monday, July 27, 1857, this explains why the Anglican community, East of the Niger celebrate the CMS Anniversary on July 27th every year. The Anchor chain of the steamer day spring that brought the early missionaries together with the first printer machine which was used to print the first Igbo prima “Azu Ndu” can be seen in Christ Church compound even till this day. To God be the Glory.

When the steamer that brought the CMS left for other missionary assignment at Lokoja, Rev. J.C Taylor, supported by Mr. Simon Jonas were seriously involved in the pioneering efforts towards the establishment of the Niger Mission at Onitsha.

On the 2nd August, 1857, the Rev. J.C Taylor has his first service in Igbo Land; this became the breakthrough that led to other achievements, as new converts joined the CMS teachings. The role of education in achieving these exploit cannot be overemphasized, no wonder by October 25th of the same year he wrote if there is any portion of the heathen world which would be born to God, this Onitsha is the place.

The CMS team founded a mission church compound, on where according to history Rev. J.C Taylor laid the foundations of the mission house on Dec. 11th 1857. In fulfillment of mission he wrote “I was happy in laying the foundation of the mission house in those ill-fated lands, may it be a blessing to millions of human beings, may it be the means of paramount good generations yet to come”. This mission house was completed in March, 21st 1858. This marks the first service conducted in the mission compound. This mission compound is what is today known as St. Christopher’s Parish Onitsha.

As the congregation of the mission compound increased, the need to establish a place of worship became important. This worship place is were we are today “Christ Church Onitsha”, {Ebube Niger – The glory of Niger}.

According to history ‘the establishment of Christ Church Onitsha marked the beginning of ‘real’ church which eventually bore Immanuel church inland Town Onitsha in 1862 and St. Stephen’s Church Inland Town in 1869.

Christ Church was the seat of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Bishop Sydney Hills, Bishop Trigwell, Bishop B. Lsbery and Bishop C.J Patterson, before the dedication of All Saints (Lady Chapel) in 1957.

To show the pride of the place of Christ Church, Onitsha, it was actually used as the “First Cathedral of the Diocese”, that hosted all the synods of the Diocese from the 1st Session until, 1978 when the Diocese started shifting from one District or Parish to another. Christ church Onitsha was also hosting all the Diocesan board and finance and other important meetings of the Diocese on the Niger until the recent past. It was like a training ground for the young and growing ministers, for a proper understanding of clerical formation.

 LISTS OF CLERGY MEN AND YEARS OF SERVICE

  • John Christopher Taylor 1857 – 1869
  • William Romane 1869 – 1874
  • F. Langley              ‘’
  • Edward Philip ‘’
  • B. E Carew ‘’
  • John Buck ‘’
  • William Romane (2nd Posting) 1874 – 1877
  • John Buck (2nd Posting)            ‘’
  • Solomon Perry ‘’
  • Solomon Perry (2nd Posting) 1878 – 1881
  • Harry Johnson 1881 – 1890
  • Aaron C. Strong ‘’
  • H.H Dobinson             1890 – 1896
  • Aaron Strong (2nd Posting) ‘’
  • Thomas John Dennis ‘’
  • Aaron C. Strong (3rd Posting) 1896 – 1901
  • Thomas John Dennis (2nd posting) ‘’
  • Ernest A. Wise                  ‘’
  • George N. Anyaegbunam 1902 – 1922
  • Hezekiah O. Nweje 1902 – 1922
  • Alfonso. C. Onyeabor 1936 – 1936
  • Davies A. OSadebe 1938 –
  • Victor Nworah Umunna 1938 –
  • Joseph. B. Ikuru 1939 – 1941
  • J.F Oniringo-Ockiya 1942 – 1943
  • Henry L. O Okechukwu       1944
  • Victor N Umunna (2nd Posting)1938 – 1945
  • Hezekiah O. Nweje (2nd Posting) 1946
  • Promise B. Harry 1946
  • Daniel Osadebe (2nd Posting) 1948
  • Simon Mbakwe 1948
  • Silvanus N. Okoli 1948 – 1949
  • James E. Ibeneme ‘’
  • Canon L.M. Uzodike         1950 – 1955
  • Benjamin Nwankiti 1951
  • I.C Okafor 1953 – 1954
  • J.B Chijioke 1955
  • Canon N.A Ezekwesili 1956 – 1962
  • S.C Imagie         1958 – 1961
  • C ifediora N. Chukwuka 1962
  • Canon L.A Dike 1965 – 1967
  • P.D Onwuzulu 1964 – 1965
  • L.O Ezeani 1965
  • E.C Odina 1966 – 1967
  • Church in Exile 1968 – 1979
  • Canon C.O Iwuno 1970 – 1975
  • P.E Onwura 1974
  • A.E Ibeadua 1976
  • G.N Okpalaeke 1976
  • C.A Mbonu 1976 – 1986
  • G.E Opara 1977
  • M.U Chukwuekezie 1978 – 1979
  • I.C Ndubuisi 1982
  • J.E.S Obi 1982 – 1984
  • A.C Igbokwe 1984 – 1984
  • E.C Okonkwo 1985
  • G.I.N Okpala 1985
  • S.C Nzekwe 1986
  • E.O Okonkwo 1987 – 1998
  • T.U Mbanugo 1987 – 1995
  • G.C Ikedimma 1987 – 1990
  • F.N Onuorah 1991 – 1992
  • C.C Ezeokoli 1993 – 1994
  • A.C Ikeokwu 1994 – 1995
  • N.C Anyichie 1996
  • N.C Monyelu 1996
  • C.C Ezeh 1998
  • Dr. I.I Ikele 1999 – 2000
  • E.C Anozie 1999 – 2001
  • Daniel Ukaegbu 2001
  • Dr. J.O Iloeje 2000
  • Canon I.C Nwaka 2001
  • E.C Agogbua 2001
  • Arinze. C. Uzomechina 2002
  • Chidi.C Ezeokoli 2002 – 2004
  • N.O Egwuenu 2004 – 2005
  • Dr. E.E Meoba (JP) 2005 – 2008
  • C.O Igwemadu 2005 – 2006
  • Victor Nzegwu 2005
  • Dr. Oswald Ezekwere 2006
  • T.S Odilora 2006 – 2009
  • Dr. Emma Ekpunobi 2008 – 2010
  • Canon J. U Ochuba 2009 – 2011
  • Sylverter Eboh 2010
  • A. I Ibeh                     2011 – 2013
  • S.E Enuma 2011
  • C.C Oraelosi 2011
  • Uchenna Nwoye 2012
  • Dan Temple Emeka Nzeh 2013 – 2014
  • C.C. Eze                2015
  • Ikechukeu I. Ihemtuge 2014 – Present Archdeacon.
  • Rev Chikadibia Okeke         2015 – 2017
  • Rev Ifeanyi Oputa 2016 – Present Team Minister

HISTORY OF ST. MARKS CHURCH OMAGBA PHASE 1

St. Mark’s Anglican Church started as a Children’s Service at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C.O Agbasimelo in June 1981. The Children’s services later moved to Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Nnoruka’s residence. St. Andrew’s Church Odoakpu produced chairs and manpower among other contributions.

In July 1981 Most Rev. Dr. J.A Onyemelukwe (Late) set up a committee to establish an Anglican Church at Omagba Layout. The Committee was headed by Rev. Canon Maxwell Samuel Chukwunwike Anikwenwa who had since retired as Archbishop Province of the Niger, Church of Nigeria and Bishop of Awka. On 20th February, 1983 the Church moved to Omagba Community Primary School for Children’s worship. The Adult later joined them for both adult and children’s services. In 1984, owing to squabbles with Roman Catholics, the Church moved to Prince Memorial high School with the help of Mrs. Ifeoma Nwajiobi and Rev. canon Okwuobi.

The first P.C.C meeting was held on 25th May, 1983 at Late Mr. Samuel Okpala’s residence. In August 1984 the Church was named St. Mark’s Anglican Church Omagba by the then Bishop on the Niger Rt. Rev. Dr. J.A. Onyemelukwe. On 24th November 1987 the church moved to the present site after it was bought from the Umuifejiofor family with special donation made by the then Bishop Rt. Rev. J.A Onyemelukwe, loan from the Diocese; Archdeaconry and contributions from about 20 early parishioners. Immanuel Church District also contributed financially and otherwise in procuring the land. The first pulpit was donated by Mr. Vincent Okoye while the Organ and the public address System were provided by Men’s Elders Meeting Group which started in 1987. The then Catechist Patrick Ozoekwe (Late) should be highly commended for the spirit with which he worked during the construction of the Church Building.

CHURCH TEACHER/ CATECHISTS

  1. Emeka Elobisi From Ogbunike    1983 – 1985
  2. Samuel Emefo From Ogidi    1985 – 1986
  3. Patrick Ozoekwe From Awkuzu (Late) 1987 – 1993
  4. B.I.C Nwafor From Ndi-Ikelionwu (Now retired Rev.) 1994 – 1995
  5. Louis Ezenwata From Nkpologwu (Now a Rev.) 1986 – 1998
  6. Innocent Ohaeri 1998 – 1999
  7. Matthew Akaneme From Uga 2006 – 2009
  8. Peter Izu Okoye From Anam 2010 – 2013
  9. Charles Okpalaeke 2013
  10. Chekwube Anyadiufu From Ogbunike 2014 – Till Date
  11. Ugochukwu Okeke  From Osina         2014 – Till Date

 DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS

  1. Rufus Okeke From Nnobi (Immanuel Church District) 1981 – 1984
  2. Canon A. Okwu Obi From nnewi Ichi 1985 – 1992
  3. Canon Dr. E.B.C Nwabufor From Awkuzu (Late)          1993 – 1994
  4. Emma Okey Ukpeke From Ogidi (Now Ven.) 1995 – 1996

 VICARS

  1. Canon Dr. D.C Okeke From Ukpor (Retired) 1994 – 1995
  2. Canon Owen Nwokolo From Nnobi (Now Bishop) 1996 – 2001
  3. Canon Emma Okey Ukpeke From Ogidi (Now Venarable) 2002 – 2005
  4. Dr. Emma Ejianya From Awka Etiti 2005 – 2008
  5. Canon Patrick Nwakalor From Awka (Now Venerable) 2008 – 2011
  6. Canon Felix Odita From Onitsha (On 2nd Missionary Journey) 2012 Date (Now Venerable)

 OTHER PRIEST THAT SERVED

  1. Angus Umeh From Abo Ufuma (Now Venerable) 1995 – 1999
  2. Israel Felix Odita From Onitsha (Now Venerable) 2000
  3. Princewill Ireoba From Akwa-Ihedi (Now Venerable) 2001 – 2004
  4. Vincent Ogbuagu From Ezeowelle (Now Canon) 2004 – 2007
  5. Edwin Chiezie From Umudioka        2005
  6. Josiah Esomonu From Isuofia                  2005 – 2009
  7. Godwin Iloka From Osina 2007 – 2008
  8. Gabriel Okonkwo From Oba 2009
  9. Damian Abonyi From Opi Nsukka                     2010 – 2013
  10. Christian Obiorah from Alor 2012 – 2013
  11. Chukwudi Amasiatu from Nnokwa                                    2013 – 2014
  12. Izuchukwu Onyemaobi from Akokwa                                2014 – 2015
  13. Rev Onyeka Onwuzulike       2015  –

HISTORY OF ST. PETER’S BISHOP CROWTHER MEMORIAL CHURCH ONITSHA (ST. PETER’S B.C.M)

St. Peter (BCM) Church has a history that date back to over a century when Bishop Ajayi Crowther and Rev. Schon landed in Onitsha on 26th July 1857 to lay the foundation for the establishment of a church mission which St. peter’s BCM is a success story of that mission.

The circumstances surrounding the founding of St. Peter’s (BCM) Church Onitsha was very unique than any other surrounding C.M.S. Church around it. This was due to the nature of the church and its special characteristics. Regardless of the origin of this great church, it will be recalled from events in history that t. Peter’s (BCM) was a church not necessarily founded by the missionaries to oversee the affairs of the new converts. Rather it was a church established by the African descents from Freetown, Accra, Lagos, Libreville and Forcados.

The desire of these African descents was not to found a church but circumstances of the period necessitated that a church must be established to take care of the spiritual well being of these non Igbo descents that were moving out of Christ Church Onitsha in the early 1900s. The increase in population of the newcomers necessitated Rev. J. Buck to commence English service at Christ Church Onitsha. This was with view that the church of Christ was meant to accommodate all regardless of tribe, colour or language. By 1914 the arrangement was established at Christ Church. The emigrants were prompted to extablishe their own separate church which will not be under the influence or control of C.M.S. Missionaries. This episode was actually the emergence of St. Peter’s (BCM) Church Onitsha.

In 1095 some distinguished members of this emigrant met the government and with the help of St. Rev. Blackett an inspector of Education of the church Missionary Society (CMS) of Niger Diocese, permission was granted use of the hall of the Government School which was at present police Barrack Onitsha. Within that period, a committee headed by Mr. M.T Nottidge was set for the purpose of having a permanent church. A piece of land was procured by the church from the late Igwe Amobi.I. of Ogidi who was residing at Onitsha. In November 17th 1917, a land agreement was made between Igwe Walter Amaobi 1 on one hand and the C.M.S on the other hand for a portion of land to build a church of God.

Several donations were made towards the building of the church and its parsonage. Bishop Melvine Jones who was then in Lagos had great interest in the new church project. Most of the building materials were donated by some members, friends and well wishers both within and outside Nigeria. This was seen clearly in the old architectural design of the church building designed by Mr. C.A.A Barnes.

The takeover of the Onitsha Industrial Mission by Mr. Todd, an English technician during the early 1905 helped to increase the tempo of work. This mission completed most of the C.M.S projects including that of B.C.M. Also a notable and reputable contractor Mr. E.F Johnson was actively involved. He supplied most of the burnt bricks used in the church building. Other notable contributors included John Augustus Venn who erected the lamp in 1913, while in London and Harmburg, John Murry Stuart Young the Administrator for native foreigners of Onitsha donated the pulpit in April 1915. The efforts of the Niger Company Limited cannot be forgotten. Many dignitaries like M.T Nottidge the first Choirmaster, E.E Williams, J. Venn, R. Smythe, E.F Johnson, H.F. Johnson and H.M.H Cole helped in providing furniture for the new church.

The church was completed and dedicated in 1915. The time of the church service in those early days were 8am and 7pm for morning and evening services respectively.

Currently the church is conducting three Sunday services of 5: 30am and 7 am and 9: 30 am services respectively while the evening service is 5pm. It is worthy to note that the exit of the founding fathers (Foreign elements) the one time English church has gradually introduced worship service in Igbo. This has been a welcome development as it made the worship of God in the indigenous language more relevant to the people life from previous page.

FOUNDATION MEMBERS OF THECHURCH

Notable founding members of the church include: G Bright, E.E Williams, J.C Allens, H.M.H Cole, E.F Johnson, Valentine Cole, M.T Nottidge, J.A Venn, F. Smith, W. Tomal, S.C Ohanwu, S. Wyse, Mr. & Mrs. Daydrell, Mr. & Mrs. Campell, O. T. George, Aina Cooker, J.P. Romaine, V. Payne, Mr. Stephens, J. M Stuart, Young and N. Nzekwu.

Dr. Nnamdi Azkiwe, the first President of Nigeria was among the early choristers. The first organist was C.A.A Barnes an Architect and surveyor from Gold coast Ghana who held Bachelor degree (BA) in music from Cambridge University. The fisrt choir master was M.T. Nottidge. B.C.M. choir made great achievement under these men. Present the Choir is still the lead in both the Archdeaconry and Diocesan level.

CLERGY MEN AND CATECHIST

The church has witnessed the pastoral services of many men of God. At the initial time, it was itinerant priests mostly European, West Indian and African origin until 1922 when Rev. Sawyer was posted from Gold Coast to be resident priest. After Rev. Sawyer many other priests and Catechists had served the church. Below are their names and the period they served –

  • Sawyer 1923
  • M King 1923 (Catechist)
  • A. Stephen Han 1933 – 1939 (Catechist)
  • O. Iwuno 1952 – 1954 (Catechist)
  • N Ajolo               1955
  • S.O Efeture 1956 – 1959
  • N.O Anachi 1960
  • B.P Epeng 1961 – 1967
  • C.C Ofeche 1962 – 1967
  • N.O Obianwu 1967 through civil war to 1970
  • N Nsofor 1971 – 1974 (Catechist)
  • E.C Opara 1975 – 1976
  • I.I Nwosu 1977 – 1978
  • A.C Ezeigwe 1978 – 1979
  • S. O Okafor                1980 – 1995
  • Canon Obi. Ubaka 1995 – 2009
  • Edward K. Akano 2000 – 2003 (Church Teacher)   now Rev Canon  in Niger-West
  • Vincent Obi 2003 – 2005 (Church Teacher)
  • Emanuel Chukwudebelu 2005 (Church Teacher)
  • Gozie Nworah 2005 – 2008 (Church Teacher) Now Priest in Oji diocese
  • F.N Onuorah 2001 – 2006
  • Chukwudi Okafor 2008 – 2011(Church Teacher) Now Priest
  • O.O Okonkwo     2007 – 2009 now Archdeacon
  • Nnatuanya Chinedu   2009 – 2012 (Church Teacher) Now Cathedral Priest
  • D. Ajaefobi March 2011 – Dec. 2011 now Canon
  • J.N.C Nkwoemezie 2012 – 2015
  • Chibueze Orji 2012 (Church Teacher) now Cathedral Priest
  • Ifeanyichukwu Modili 2012 – 2014 (Church Teacher)
  • Rev Ifeanyi Modili 2014 –
  • Rev Samuel Ezewudo  2016 –

HISTORY OF ST. BARNABAS CHURCH OMAGBA PHASE 2 ONITSHA

The birth of St. Barnabas Church Omagba Phase 2 came as a result of the vision the then Vicar Rev. Owen Nwokolo now Rt Rev Dr. Owen Nwokolo had communicated and ratified by the parochial Church Committee (The PCC) of St. Marks Church Omagba phase 1. Prior to the commencement of the Church, series of visit were made to the site by the Vicar Rev. Owen Nwokolo, the then People’s warden Engr. G. C Ibeh and other officials of St. Mark’s Church for routine visual inspection of the site.

Before the idea was conceived, the St. Mark’s Church Omagba received series of threat from some Obosi indigenes who claimed that the church land belonged to them, and vowed to take the same back to themselves. As a result of this development the Vicar, Rev. Owen Nwokolo summoned a meeting of the Parochial Committee of St. Mark’s Church and formally introduced the matter and the possible way of forging ahead. The members deliberated on the matter and unanimously agreed that they will invite the claimant from Obosi to have a meeting with them. This was done and on meeting of two occasions by both parties the matter was settled and St. Mark’s Church paid a certain amount of money to the people from Obosi to lay the matter to rest.

THE GENESIS

This church was born proper on 23rd May, 1999 on Pentecost Sunday when the first service was held on this land. The first service was conducted by Oliver Ofoegbu while the Sermon was preached by Rev. Canon Owen Nwokolo (Then Superintendent). After this, a  Church Teacher Mr. Innocent Ohaeri now Rev Innocent Ohaeri who was at St. Mark’s Church was asked by the vicar to move over to the new church. He packed into a flat rented by the church on 15th January, 2000. A church choir was set up under the leadership of  Mrs. Eunice Ikpeze as the choir mistress, assisted by Mr. Caleb Nnatah. They rendered their first anthem on Sunday30th January, 2000 to the admiration of the congregation. On Wednesday 3rd May, 2000 the then Bishop on the Niger, Archbishop of Province II and the Dean of the Church of Nigeria Anglican communion His Grace Most Rev. Dr. J.A Onyemelukwe (now retired) named the church St. BARNABAS CHURCH OMAGBA, ONITSHA. The day coincided with the celebration of St. Mark’s day in which St. Barnabas due to the brotherly relationship that existed between Apostles Mark and Barnabas. This was the part of the Archbishop’s pre-retirement tour of the Diocese on the Niger in 2002.

On June 6th 2000, the women of the church were fixed in groups by the wife of the superintendent Pharm. (Mrs.) Nonye Nwokolo and the 1st women executive of the church were elected.

They were –

  • Chinwe Okafor Omali (Secretary)
  • Chizoba Onwuka (Assist. Secretary)
  • Ngozi Nwajide (Treasurer)
  • Caroline Uchegbu (Provost)
  • Ugochi Ukaegbu (Assist. Provost)

THE 13 MAN COMMITTEE

At the inception of the church in 1999, Rev. Canon Owen Nwokolo appointed an interim Management Committee for the church which was popularly known as “the 13 Man Committee”.

They were –

  • Chief Adolphus Alakwe
  • Chief James Ndulue
  • Obiora Onyechi
  • Emeka Onyejegbu
  • Chief Ikechukwu Onuegbu
  • Harrison Ohuabunwa
  • Sir Adolphus Ifeka
  • Sir Nathan Ofoma
  • Robinson Egwuonwu
  • Sam Alor (Now a knight of St. Christopher)
  • Gideon Azotani
  • Ben Nnoli
  • Chief Ebenezer Egbonuba

This committee started the process of building the church going from house to house on visitation and fund raising with which the first structure was started. The 13 Man Committee raised over N500, 000 with which the German floor of the church was made. Part of the money was also used to repair seats and purchase trips of sand for the church building project. This committee was dissolved when the first elected Parochial Church committee (PCC) held their first meeting on Sunday 9th July, 2000 by Rev. Canon Owen Nwokolo (now Venerable). The new PCC was inaugurated on the same day by Ven. I.I . Ikele the Archdeacon of Onitsha Archdeaconry on his first visit to the church in that first PCC of the church comprised of the following persons –

  • Canon Owen Nwokolo – Superintendent
  • Innocent Ohaeri – Church Teacher
  • Ngozi Nzeka – Secretary PCC
  • Caleb Nnatah – Assistant Secretary
  • Christian Anigbata (Late) – Treasurer
  • Chief James Ndulue – Pastors Warden
  • Obiora Onyechi – Assistant Pastors Warden
  • Sylverter Onu – Peoples Warden
  • Christian Nwachukwu (late)
  • Chief Ikechukwu Onuegbu
  • Robinson Egwuonuba
  • Chief Pius Nweke
  • Harrison Ohuabunwa
  • Osita Oguaka

MINISTERS WHO HAVE LABOURED FOR THE CHURCH

PRIEST

  1. Owen Nwokolo – Superintended (when the seed was planted)
  2. Clifford Okechukwu – First Vicar 2000 – 2002
  3. Canon Dave Udoezika 2003 – 2006
  4. Kperechukwu Nwankwo (Deacon) 2006
  5. Chinedu Nnakwue 2007
  6. Izuchukwu Obiekwe (now Canon) 2008 – 2013
  7. Rev Nnanyelugo Enemuo           2012
  8. Canon Goddy Iloka                      2013 – 2015
  9. Rev Alex Onukaegbe            2013 – 2014
  10. Rev Tochukwu Nnaedozie 2014 – 2015
  11. Rev Nonso Israel            2016 –

CHURCH TEACHERS

  1. Innocent Ohaeri (now Rev) 2000
  2. Sylvester Ugonwenyi    2005 – 2007
  3. Johnson Ifechukwu                            2007 – 2011
  4. Chinedu Nnatuanya 2012
  5. Chigozie Nzekwe 2013
  6. Mr

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ST. CHRISTOPHER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH ONITSHA

St. Christopher’s Anglican Church Onitsha just like every other Anglican Church is colonial by origin. One peculiar feature of St. Christopher was its first entry point of Colonial Christians on the Niger Diocese. The first service was held in 21st March 1858

St. Christopher which is efficient in nature has accommodated many spiritual fathers like Bishop Crowther who live in St. Christopher in a mud house. The historical antecedents of this church in spiritual like of people is divinely connected because the first Obosi convents was baptized in 1884 who were (67) sixty-seven in number.

Categories:

  1. Children 22
  2. Adult 28
  3. Women 17

In 1953, Rt. Rev. J Patterson preceded over the church foundation stone laying ceremony while in 1986 the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) commenced their fellowship and activities in St. Christopher from where it spread to other churches. The presence of EFAC in St. Christopher’s Anglican Church Onitsha is so remarkable that they transformed the church in both spiritual and physical atmosphere that through EFAC, the church began to grow from strength to strength that in 1996, the first English Service was held in St. Christopher’s while the Cash Harvest, the first of its kind was originated in St. Christopher in 1998. This is of course no single Anglican Church devoid of cash harvest on the Niger Diocese of its simplicity and dept free method.

It is worthy to note that St. Christopher’s Anglican Church was upgraded to Parish Status in the year 2000 with a parsonage dedication on 20th Feb. of the same year preceded over by the Most Rev. Dr. J.A. Onyemelukwe whom in his speech said that St. Christopher’s Church which is also known as Hallowed Ground is hereby converted into adult and children church and will no longer be referred as only children service church (Uka Umuaka).

It must be relevant to recognize that over twenty priests and church teachers have presided in this great church of who include:

NAME TOWN YEAR
Mr. E.O. Ejikeme Ojoto 1974 – 1975
Vicar J.O. Nwanja Nibo 1975 – 1991
Mr. Cyril C. Anyanwu Ifite Ogwari 1992 – 1995
Rev. Abraham Okekeze Umuoji Jan.1996 – 2002
Chinedum A.W. Okeke Ogboji Feb.2001– 2003
Rev. D. N. Kamuche Ukwulu Jan.2002 – 2005
Ord. Julius U. Morah Umumbo June 2003-2005
Mr. David Nwanekpe Izombe Nov. 2003-2005
Rev. Canon P. Enwonwu Onitsha Jan 2005-2006
Mr. Osita Ugwuegbu Ogidi Jan 2005-2006
Rev. Charles Oraelosi Okija Jan 2006-2010
Rev. Chris Amaku Adazi Enu Jan 2006-2009
Wilfred O. Nwankwo Enugu Ukwu July 2006-2010
Rev. Rufus Ezenwaka Umuchu 2010 – 2013
Chukwuneme Mattew Uga 2010 – 2011
Okpakaeke Charles Awka Etiti 2011 – 2013
Ven. Nwadike Chidi Ideani 2013 – 2014
Isiguzo Israel Anayo Owerri Nwoji 2013 – 2015
Rev. Chibueze Abone Nnokwa 2014 –
Bro. Ikenna Osakwe Alor 2015 –
Rev. Ifeanyi Azubuike Ohita 2015 –

 

In 2013, J.C. Nwadike (Ven) with full vigor and vision mobilized the erection of new church temple first and bent of it’s kind in the Diocese

The present Vicar Rev. Chibueze Abone who resumed service in 2014 has an outstanding record in spiritual growth harmony, unity of all sectors etc. Today, through his leadership, the church has established a new secondary school popularly known as Hallowed Ground Model Secondary School Onitsha added to the former Nursery, Primary and Secondary School to the Glory of God.

Finally, St. Christopher Anglican Church Onitsha is still known today as a takeoff ground or a pace setter on all issues to direct focus of brethren towards heaven in obedience to Diocesan principles. This is a concise history of St. Christopher’s

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. SIMON’S BCM  G.R.A. ONITSHA

From the late eighties to mid nineties the church have taken notice of the secret plot of  a religious empire to appropriate the Crowther Memorial Primary School, Onitsha having previously clandestinely appropriated the Crowther Memorial Primary School football field, for knight of St. John Building Shanahan hall formally used by Anglican School boy’s for celebrating the British Empire day during the colonial era and transferring a primary school from its original site to share the facilities of Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School as Afternoon school and ensuring that only Roman Catholics become Headmistress of the school.

This wicked plot was being surreptitiously executed under the cover of Government takeover of schools formerly owned and managed by Voluntary Agencies by the year 2006, the agents of darkness have removed the portrait of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther hung on the wall of the headmistress Office. Meanwhile, the Headmistress was considering the application of a Pentecostal Group who wants to use the school hall for religious worship, the church was alerted of the development just as St. Peter’s BCM Onitsha uder the leadership of Rev. Francis. N. Onuorah was desirous to reach out to the unreached with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The target was those living in the Margins of GRA/Akpaka forest especially the ghetto and slum of marine.

To achieve this in one week evangelistic outreach was organized by the P.M.C of St. Peter’s BCM Onitsha under the leadership of Bro. Emeka Amako which was concluded with a Church planting servce on 2nd July, 2006 Trinity III at the air of the school hall. The service was conducted by Bro. Gozie Nworah then the church teacher of St. Peter’s BCM. now a priest of Oji River Diocese and Emeka Amako preached the Sermon.

The service was attended by 27 people. Bro. Gozie Nwora and Bro. Emeka Amako continue to babysit the church under the oversight of Rev. F. Onuorah. Later Gozie Nworah was permanently assigned to the church. When Gozie left for theological training, one Jonas Okozor was made a stop gap (as Local helper) under the oversight of Rev. O.O Okonkwo till Chukwudi Okafor now Priest was sent as a replacement for Gozie. He was permanently assigned to the church plant. He worked hard till the end of August 2011 when Nathan Ononye now Priest took over from him. Trv. Charles Orelosi now Canon took over the oversight from Rev. O.O Okonkwo now a Venerable in January 2010. Rev. David Ajaefobi took over the oversight of the baby church in March, 2011. January 2012 saw Ven. J.N.C Nkwoemezie taking over the oversight of the baby church while Nathan Ononye continued to nurse the baby church till January 2013 when the Rev. Leo. Onwuzuligbo arrived to continue from where they stopped.

Many have played very important roles to the benefit of the baby church outside official church workers – namely Nweto James, Edidung James, Lady Gladys okoli (Mama Crowther), Mrs. Olisa, Afam Romain, Gladys Oseloka, Nnamdi Udokwu, Oliver Ezea, Aghasili Family, Mama Ikenua, Sokodinma Onyema, Stephen Arioba, Cecilia Igboanusi, Abuchi Okoye, ben Okoye, Afoerinwa’s, Chidi Ebika and Many others too numerous to mention.

This young church have had rough times; persecuted under cover of government agencies namely ASUDEB and ASUBEB; regular visitation by hoodlums who revenge and steel church properties. On eight different occasions the signboards belonging to the church and the Bishop Crowther memorial School have been uprooted and stolen under cover of darkness while those of Omunwaegboka is spared by agents suspected of belong to the religious empire whom Bishop Crowther showed generosity in granting them over 4 hectares of land for their headquarters free of charge. What an unchristian ingratitude (biting the finger that fed you” all because a “Variant Church is feared” why not? Darkness is afraid of light and can do anything not to be near the light.

The church – St. Simon’s B.C.M is matching on and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, because the church belongs to Jesus Christ.