BRIEF HISTORY OF NKPOR NEW COVENANT ARCHDEACONRY
This Archdeaconry, called Nkpor New Covenant was carved from the old Nkpor Archdeaconry in Dec. 2011. It was formally inaugurated on 12th February 2012 by the bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Chiedozie Nwokolo. The pioneering work in this Archdeaconry was done by the Ven. Dave I. Udo-Ezika. He is a Professional Accountant by training who hails from Oraukwu, in the great and mother of many infant sees, Diocese on the Niger. He was instituted and inducted as the Pioneer Archdeacon on the same 12th February.
This Archdeaconry was made up of the following parishes:
- St Michael and All Angels is the headquarter.
- St Marks parish Nkpor with church of the Good Shepherd and St Andrew’s as their church plants
- St Paul’s parish Nkpor with United as their church plant (now Cornerstone church)
- St Peters parish Nkpor
As of today, St Michael and All Angels has planted a new church named St Gabriels Nkpor by our Lord Bishop. It is one of the fastest growing churches.
The First Archdeaconry Board and Finance was inaugurated on March 10th 2012 and the Pioneer chairman was Ven. Dave Udoezika while the secretary was Rev. Ben Okafor who has gone on transfer to another parish.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCHES IN THE ARCHDEACONRY.
ST MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS :
(The Messengers of God) was planted in 1988 which began as ACM centre in the compound of Sir S.N. Okeke (Oba Nkpor). He later donated his long commercial school building when the congregation grew. In 1990, Rt Rev J.A Onyemelukwe (former Dean Church of Nigeria and Archbishop, old Province 2) of blessed memory named the church as SMAAAAC with its pioneer vicar, Rev. Can. Emeka L. Obi of blessed memory.
So many people played major roles here and in 1997 it became a district. Other vicars who have served in this parish included Ven J.N.C Nkwoemezie, Ven Angus Umeh and the present vicar, Ven. Dave Udo-Ezika. This church has produced knights, Diocesan Merit Awards, Gideons, Lay readers and other workers. This hosted the 2012 Archdeaconry Women Conference. They have a nursery and Primary schools approved by the government
The magnificent church building which commenced in the year 2000 was finally dedicated on 30th November 2014 by Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Chiedozie Nwokolo, Bishop on the Niger. Its foundation stone was laid by Rt. Rev. Ken S. Okeke in 2007. This church hosted the 2014 Diocesan Women Conference to the glory of God, Presided by Dr. Mrs. Elsie Nwokolo, Mama Niger and President of the Conference. Presently serving in this parish are Rev Canon Jonathan Ochuba and Rev Nonso Molokwu.
ST MARKS PARISH:
This church rose like the mythological phoenix from the crisis that beset St Peters church from 1971 to mid 1973. The separatist under the leadership of Mr. Louis Okoye began as a prayer meeting until the then bishop; Rt. Rev. Dr. J.A. Onyemelukwe, (former Dean Church of Nigeria and Archbishop, old Province 2) of blessed memory settled the dispute and named it St. Mark, after John Mark, the missionary assistant of Paul and Barnabas.
The foundation stone of the church was laid in December 1979 and dedicated in the subsequent year. This church has produced prominent men and women of integrity like former synod secretary of Diocese on the Niger, Rev. Can. A.C. Mbakwe. Many priests have served in this parish like Rev. Can. C. Emeka Obi, Rev. Obieke, Rev. Oscar Akabogu, Rev. Dr. Oswald Ezekwere, Rev. Rapuluchukwu Okoye and their present Vicar Rev. Can. Rufus Ezenwaka.
This parish has planted two churches namely
- Church of the Good Shepherd Akuzor where Rev. Nathan Ononye is ministering and
- St. Andrews Adagbe where the church teacher, Mr. Kent Ezeikpe is ministering.
This parish hosted 2015 Archdeaconry Women Conference in April. They are currently building a staff quarters and a multi purpose hall for use. They have an approved Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools.
St. Paul’s church started in 1985 with the congregation of students of property commercial school Nkpor until it witnessed a steady population, mostly dealers in spare parts Ngbuka. The pioneering efforts to plant a church was through Mr. James Okonkwo with the help of Mrs. Julia Ezewudo. The present site of this church was acquired for Holy Innocents Juniorate Convent. Bishop Onyemelukwe (former Dean Church of Nigeria and Archbishop, old Province 2) of blessed memory released this land to the church in 1987 when he visited and named them St. Paul’s. With the zeal they began the church building and it was immediately dedicated same year 1990. Their first resident vicar was Rev. Canon Ikeobi Ernest. Other priests that served there included Rev. Joseph Nweke, Rev. Emma Ibezim, Rev. Stephen Obasoanya, Ven. Jossiah Ofoegbu, Rev. Obediah Okonkwo, Rev. Ken Aniukwu, Rev. Chinedu Nnakwue (who hosted 2014 Archdeaconry Women Conference) and their present vicar, Rev. Can Nathan Muonyelu. They are currently building a gigantic Ultra Modern Church. They are however threatened by erosion menace. They have a church plant – Cornerstone Anglican Church where Mr. Ben. Onuorah is ministering as church teacher. This church has an approved Nursery, primary and Secondary schools.
This church was planted by St. Matthias in 1910, one of the oldest churches in Nkpor but never became a parish until 2002 with Rev. Iyke Iyiogwugwu as the Pioneer priest. A church building was started in the 1910 on a piece of land provided by Chief Udeze Nwania.
This church was barren for decades until God in His wisdom brought some “Seed of Discord” which gave birth to planting of churches like St. Marks, Holy Trinity and St Michael and All Angels. The developmental efforts of non indigenes complimented the indigenous worshippers resulting in the commencement of erecting a new ultra modern church building at Enugu – Onitsha Expressway in 2005 under Rev. Sunday Okafor. Prominent among the sons and daughters of the Peters include Rev. Can Francis Onuorah, Hon. Justice Pet. Obiora family, Anthony Ejikeme, the Mgbenu family, Nworah Obiechina family, chukwukelue, C.C. Okeke, etc. Other priest who served here included Rev. Amachina Ndubisi and their present vicar, Rev. Can Ikechukwu Elobisi working tirelessly to dedicate the church soonest. They hosted 2013 Archdeaconry Women conference. They also have Nursery and primary Schools approved by the government.
ARCHDEACONRY MEN’S CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
The first Archdeaconry MCF was inaugurated in SMAAAC on May 20th 2012 with Sir Christian Ezeofor as the Archdeaconry Leader. They have held three Conventions
2012 – At SMAAAC
2013 – At St. Paul’s
2014 – At St. Marks
2015 – Was not held
The MCF is doing their best comprising of all married men in various churches within the New Covenant. They are deeply playing major roles in their various churches and participating in Diocesan functions. We continue to encourage them to do more and to be more proactive.
This is led by the Archdeacons wife Mrs. Tonia Udoezika who is also doing a pioneering work here. All the units of Diocesan Women Ministries are existing here and they are in deep working relationship with all the women in the various churches. Their annual Archdeaconry Conferences rotate from one parish to the other. We are very proud of them who hosted the 2014 Diocesan Women Conference. Their Archdeaconry executive is well constituted. They had a successful Archdeaconry Women Conference in April at St. Marks.
Most of Organizations and fellowships existing in the parishes have been inaugurated in the Archdeaconry Headquarters. The following had been inaugurated:
- Choir – 2013
- ASM – 2013
- ACM – 2013
- Girls Guild – 2013
- Boys & Girls Brigade- 2014
- EFAC – 2014
- AYF – 2015
ABF (Formerly Anglican Boys Association) will be inaugurated in September 2015
This Archdeaconry is speedily growing. We have taken a new decision to embark on more church planting. We are the New Covenant people and thus far God has helped us immensely. Their greatest challenges include erosion menace, financial constrains and secondary school approvals for other parishes.
Ven. Emmanuel Okechukwu Upkeke