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BRIEF HISTORY OF ST SIMON’S CHURCH NNOBI

 

(MOUNT ZION)

 

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: “Those who dwell in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” This Biblical expression can never be better visualized and understood than is the case with Nnobi with the introduction of the gospel message through the instrumentality of His Royal Majesty Igwe Solomon Ezeokoli Ezebube of Nnobi in 1908.

 

Solomon Ezeokoli a name he later chose when he became converted to Christian religion was the son of Ezebube of Umuagu, Nnobi. He was by vocation a traditional or native doctor famous for treating diverse diseases that afflicted people of Nnobi and far beyond in those days when orthodox medicine and methods of treating diseases and ailments were still strange to the people of this side of the globe.  Solomon Ezeokoli was so famous as a native or herbal doctor that his fame went like wildfire around all the adjacent/adjoining towns to Nnobi.  One of those towns was Obosi where he established a base for the treatment of the sick within the environment.  Ezeokoli was a man who outside being an herbal medicine man with a difference, had an extraordinary and unimaginable foresight.  He realized earlier than the people of his age that the rhythm of social life in Igbo land especially around Nnobi in particular was undergoing a rapid radical change under the British Colonial Administration.  His experience as an itinerant herbal medicine man in far and near Nnobi community fueled his fast-changing ideology more. It must be put on record that his experience from regular healing visits which the Nnobi people translated as “Mbi Ogwu” to Obosi, gave him a lot of insights into the Christian Society Missionary CMS activities within the Obosi and Onitsha axis.  At that time, in history, Christian Missionery Society CMS had already firmly established the gospel of Jesus Christ in Obosi, through the effort of one Mazi A.C Onyeabo who later became Bishop Onyeabo in the Church Missionary Society CMS Church later. Mazi A.C Onyeabo an indigene of Onitsha was serving as a catechist in Obosi then.  It was at this time that Ezeokoli Ezebube was converted and baptized with the name “Solomon”

It is noteworthy to put on record that Nnobi town at the point in history was wallowing in the pitch darkness and barbaric environment of heathen lifestyles and practices which pervaded the entire Igbo land and clime at that time. Human sacrifice killing of twins, burying big influential chiefs with slaves alive, trading in human beings (slave trade), cannibalisms (eating of human flesh) and other such hideous acts were the order of the day.  With the friendship of Onyeabo and Ezeokoli kindled the eternal light of change that will later liberate Nnobi and indeed many neighboring towns from the clutches and hellish dungeons of primitivism and backward living. That singular friendship set in motion great change and revolution that was championed by Ezeokoli which began gradually and simmered into all the fabrics and strata of Nnobi town and its environ and later manifested with speed of rocket.

 

In 1960 when the friendship between Ezeokoli and Onyeabo has grown much stronger, a very remarkable thing in the relationship between Ezeokoli and Alphonsus Onyeabo happened. Oyeabo started from time to send some gifts to Ezebube his friend’s aged father at Nnobi. Onyeabo as a famous hunter sent on one occasion gift of a leg of an antelope called “Ene” in Igbo language. This rare item of gift to Ezebube was so much valued and created great impression in the mind of Ezebube who asked his son Solomon to invite his friend Onyeabo to Nnobi for him to see and know him. 

 

This invitation of Onyeabo to Nnobi in 1908 kickstarted great change and revolution which led to the successful planting of Christianity in Nnobi in general and ultimately the planting of St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi as it is known today. In responding to the invitation, Mr Onyeabo paid the visit to Nnobi carrying along with him lots of good gifts strange items for Ezebube. These include: Kerosene Lantern Match Boxes, Rice, Biscuits and other such items which Ezebube and the people of Nnobi considered as astonishing and novelty.  History had it that in the evenings of those days of Mr Onyeabo’s visit, his kerosene lamp was lit that it continued burning from dust till dawn. These strange gifts especially the kerosene lamp caused greatest sensation in Nnobi that people thronged to the palace house of Ezebube to see for themselves the strange Onyeabo’s lamp, which could burn throughout the night.  The lamp was nicknamed by Nnobi people then as “Oku Onwufolu chi” (lamp which could burn till daybreak). Literally the Onyeabo’s Kerosene in Nnobi provided the enabling environment for the preaching of gospel for the first time in Nnobi at the Ezeokoli Ezebube spacious compound. As many people came around to behold the “Oku Onwufolu chi” - the wonder lamp, Onyeabo had ready audience to receive the gospel message of Jesus Christ in Nnobi.  The first few nights of Onyeabo’s wonder lantern – “Oku Onwufolu chi”, provided great opportunity for many people to listen for the first time to the gospel of peace, got converted and believed the gospel on the spot.  Therefore, the mustard seed of Christian religion and faith was planted in Nnobi in 1908 through the friendship of Ezeokoli of Nnobi and Mazi A.C Onyeabo of Obosi.

 

The Ministry of Miss Hornby (Oji ugo) at Nnobi

The success of Catechist Alphonsus Onyeabo’s missionary visits to Nnobi in 1908 was received by the Niger Mission at Onitsha with great appreciation. This propelled the Mission to send out a British Missionary Lady of  Church Missionary Society CMS called Miss A. Hornby to Nnobi to help Catechist Alphonsus Onyeabo in the work of nascent evangelical activities at Nnobi. Miss Hornby on her visit to Nnobi was nicknamed “Oji Ugo” as a result of her strange and beautiful complexion first of of such seen at Nnobi ever. Miss Hornby’s evangelical activities at Nnobi was smooth and easy. She moved freely among and with people of Nnobi because she was very much liked by the people.  This helped in no small measure to support in the laying of solid foundation of gospel of Christ in Nnobi.

 

ST. SIMON’S CHURCH NNOBI WAS BORN.

As at this time in the growth of evangelism in Nnobi, the overreaching influence of Chief Solomon Ezeokoli led to the mobilization of increasing number of believers and the members of Church Missionary Society CMS began to increase tremendously. Idea for a permanent place of worship was muted and communicated to His Majesty Solomon Ezeokoli. Without delay, the increased numbers of converts Christian with unimaginable and unshaken faith decided to gather themselves together to cut down and clear the evil forest occupying the present site of St. Simon’s Anglican Church. Many of the people on the other side expected that all the believers won’t live next day to tell the stories. To their surprise and astonishment, no member of the believers suffered any of the imagined evil that were expected to befall them.  This feat of clearing Udo Nwa Ushi evil forest and safely building a worship house in it by the early Nnobi CMS believers marked the beginning of strong foundation for Christian faith in Nnobi town and its environs. Therefore St. Simon’s Anglican Church Pro-Cathedral Nnobi as it is known today came into existence in the year of our Lord 1908.  Ever since then, St. Simon’s Nnobi became the spring board for the spread of the gospel to the four corners of Nnobi town and even beyond to towns like Uke, Ideani, Oraukwu, Alor, Nnokwa, Adazi-Enu, Ichida, Azigbo  and  Igbo-ukwu.

 

The Church of God as planted in Nnobi through the doggedness of His Royal Majesty King Solomon Ezeokoli started growing in leaps and bounds albeit with its own social and cultural challenges but with the marvelous grace of the Almighty God. As early as 1912, a unique success was recorded when the Church Missionary Society CMS authority at Onitsha directed one Mr. Chikwendu to go from St. Simon’s Church Nnobi and plant a church at Igbo-ukwu. That initiative was a big success and opened the road for planting of Churches by St. Simon’s Church Nnobi.

 

Again in 1910, the Church continued its match forward with the introduction of western education in Nnobi under the name St. Simon’s School along with the gospel of Christ. This new addition to the gospel happened so fast that as early as 1912, C.M.S Central School Nnobi had started producing those who served as Church Teachers, Interpreters and Clerks in the Mission, Government, and Commercial establishment. Soon enough, CMS Central School otherwise called St. Simon’sCentral School Nnobi produced teachers like Elijah Uzoewulu, Alfred Okoye, Julius Chukwuka, Samuel Ibekwe, Frederick Ogbuka, Frederick Ezeyim and many others too numerous to mention. These early products of missionary intervention and western education in Nnobi contributed with overwhelming zeal to consolidate the works of evangelism and education in Nnobi and its environ.

 

THE GROWTH OF ANGLICAN CHURCH WITHIN AND OUTSIDE NNOBI

By 1910, Nnobi was already a very strong base for spread of the Missionary works both within and outside the borders. Solomon Ezeokoli singled himself out as a man so zealous and anxious to be the chosen vessel for that great task of evangelism. This he exhibited by forming very close friendship and alliance with the white missionaries. He cooperated with them in all manner possible to propagate their mission and vision in Nnobi. Solomon Ezeokoli volunteered to be a personal assistant to Chief Ezenwabulue, the first Warrant Chief of Ngo, Nnobi. Solomon Ezeokoli took the decision so that by accompanying Chief Ezenwabulue to the Native Court at Eme Nnewi, he would have the opportunity of getting gradually acquainted with District Commissioner who came to preside at the court. By 1911, Ezenwabulue abdicated his post as a Warrant Chief because of old age and infirmity.  The stool of Ngo village became vacant.  By virtue of his little education, as well as his experience at the Eme Court, Nnewi, Solomon Ezeokoli became the most qualified candidate for the position of Warrant Chief of Ngo Nnobi.  By this development Solomon Ezeokoli became a not just big asset to Nnobi Community but even a bigger asset to Church Missionary Society CMS at Nnobiu and beyond.

 

‘UKA EKE’ DOOR-TO-DOOR EVANGELISM

As the church grew, so many ideas for reaching and converting souls for Christ were deviced. One of such ideas that caught-up very strongly was the ‘Uka Eke” Door-to-door evangelism. It was an outstanding method of evangelism adopted at that period by the early faithful brethren where all church members moved out to the village every Sunday that fell on Eke market day on the traditional calendar of the Igbo people.  The early converts went from house to house, singing evangelical songs along their routes and ways. Their methods of singing melodious songs made it attractive for the natives to allow them into their compounds and houses. They would usually assemble members of any household they enter with their interested neighbors to preach and pray for them.  People recalled with nostalgia the popular and familiar songs the early converts use to sing during the “Uka Eke” Door-to-Door Evangelism to include: “Ka uzo ora obu Jesu” (It is Jesus all the way) or Biakute Jesus kita (Come to Jesus now).  “Uka Eke” Door-t-Door Evangelism procession was led by such men of faith like:  Job Okafor, Peter Okafor, Cleopas Okongwu, David Obichili, Wilson Okolo, Nathan Amanjo, Paul Ochiagha, Isaiah Ekwue, Aaron Umeji, Obed Ekwue, Albert Asomugha, Gabriel Ifezue, Charles Igwilo, Joseph Eruchalu and many others.

 

The result of the “Uka Eke Door-to-Door Evangelism was so obvious. The pagans who were yet to believe the gospel of Christ started seeing their already converted neighbors wearing better clothes and in the group of other Christians singing and praising God in fellowships. They had very little choices that to begin to respond positively to missionaries and in most cases begin to accept Christ. By this, the number of Christians increased tremendously.

 

THE RIVALRY AND CHALLENGES OF EARLY CMS IN NNOBI

With the accession of Solomon Ezeokoli to the throne of a Warrant Chief of Ngo Nnobi in 1911, the Warrant Chief of Awuda village at that time Chief Ezeomeisheuku, son of Ezeokigbo was miffed and jealous. He saw the growth popularity of Solomon Ezeokoli as a degradation of his popularity and performance among his own domains. He therefore decided to undermine Ezeokoli’s influence and popularity by introducing a rival christian sect call Roman Catholic Mission in Nnobi. The new christian sect started with few converts. The CMS led by Solomon Ezeokoli did not rest on their oars. Therefore, to counter whatever challenge the rival sect posed for them, the young CMS (Anglican) Church in Nnobi decided to pursue a strategic line of action of decentralizing the CMS (Anglican Church) Communities in Nnobi. This led to the planting or founding of sister CMS churches at Ebenesi called St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ebenesi Nnobi and at Awuda called St. Andrew’s Anglican Church Awuda Nnobi. These new churches at Ebenesi and Awuda villages were also complimented with the establishment of “Uka Eke Door-to-Door” Evangelism and building of schools within their premises where pupils could be converted to Anglicanism and educated in western education from their early childhood.

 

The history of St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi will not be complete without the inclusion of an event that brought about the exodus of a group from the church. In the year of our Lord 1936, an issue of dogma that proved to be a very big challenge to the nascent Church reared its head. It was the issue of whether polygamous men within the fold would be allowed to participate in or receive the Holy Communion in the Church.  Resolving this issue was very tempting to the growing Anglican Church. While an ecclesiastical and canonical attention was being giving to the matter, the concerned polygamists within the fold of believers who would not wait for amicable solution to the issue broke away and formed their own new church known as the Salvation Army Church. The church continued to march forwards after the break-away faction. Within a very short while the Anglican Church family in Nnobi replenished its lost faithful through the grace of God and grew even stronger in strength, number and faith. The pride of fulfilling the necessary prerequisites for being accepted converts brought about a fresh zeal among the members of St.  Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi.

 

As the church was recovering from the little setback of break-away brethren, the devil conjured another challenge for the church. The issue of whether people who have taken traditional Ozo title would be accorded full rites as members of St. Simon’s Anglican Church came up strongly. In other to avoid a repeat of earlier seed of discord sowed by the evil one into the Church of God, the Ecclesiastical Authority of Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion by the grace of Almighty God finally resolved the issue and the Church kept matching on till date.

 

ECCLESASTICAL   ADMINISTRATION

Up till the year of our Lord 1938, St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi was administered under Nnewi District.  In that same year St. Simon’s Church became a parish of itself with Rev. Agoriwe as the first Parish Priest.  In 1947, St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi was made a District with Rev. J.A. Iwuorah as the Priest in-charge.  The new St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi District was made up of the Anglican churches in Nnobi, Oraukwu, Nnokwa, Alor, Awka-Etiti, Azuigbo, Ikengha, Ekwulumili, Unubi, Orsumenyi, Ebenato, Ezinifite, Utu, and Akwa Ihedi. It is noteworthy that all these towns had long been made parishes of their own.

 

NNOBI ARCHDEACONRY GREW OUT OF ST. SIMON’S CHURCH NNOBI

In year of our Lord 1992, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion Nnobi Archdeaconry was birthed with St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi as the headquarters. Venerable P.N. Ukachukwu became its first Archdeacon. Churches under the Nnobi Archdeaconry were Nnobi, Oraukwu, Alor, Uke, Ideani, Awka-Etiti, and Nnokwa.  In the same year 1992, St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi hosted the 1st session of the 22nd Synod of the Diocese on the Niger.

 

WOMEN OF HISTORY IN ST. SIMON’S CHURCH NNOBI

In the short- and long-term growth of St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi, the women were not left out in the history and advancement of the Church right from its inception.  Like the ministering women of the Bible, St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi women have made and are still making wonderful contributions to the growth of the Church. The following among others many other very prominent women of history of St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi include: Irene Ifezue, Deborah Okoye, Irene Obichili, Jane Okoli, Zipporah Uzoewulu, Elizabeth Ichenku, Margaret Nwajinka, Rachael Okoye, Virginia Nwajiudo, Maria Ezeyim, Bessie Nnoli, Emily Ochiagha, Juliana Ezeama, Esther Eruchalu, Catherine Ogbuka, Maria Eruchalu and many others too numerous to mention.

 

BUILDING ST. SIMON’S NEW CHURCH: THE BEGINNING

The first church building of St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi was a little mud church house built of burnt cricks. As the church matches on, a plan for the new church building was initiated by the Church. A Building committee under the leadership of Sir, U.C.D Okoye with Mr F.O.N.Ogbuka as the Secretary were saddled with that responsibility.  In 1998, a new zeal was injected into the progress of the works by the ingenuity of our son, Rev. J.A. Ekwue, (late), who as a result of his sermon awakened the rather sleeping giants.  With Sir. B.O Ezenwenyi as the Chairman of the task force on building and his men, there was an astronomical awakening and response by the congregation. Days passed into weeks and into years and to the astonishment of all a new Church building of St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi was ready for dedication. On that blessed day of 22nd August 1999 the new ultra-modern new Church building of St. Simon’s Church Nnobi, the spacious Church Hall and Parsonage that we enjoy today was dedicated to God Almighty and for the harvesting of souls for the Kingdom of God. History was made on Sunday 26th December, 1999, when the erstwhile Idemili Nwonyushi shrine hanging loosely at the west end of old cemetery near the central entrance of St. Simon’s Anglican Church was demolished after a week-long fasting and praying revival service spear-headed by Ven. A. I Ibe the Archdeacon and Vicar of St. Simon’s Church Nnobi, the Curate Rev. E.A.C Ibezim, and His Royal Highness Igwe Edmund Ezeokoli II of Nnobi. It is on record that the encouragement given to the Church to demolish Idemili Nwonyushi shrine by His Highness Igwe Edmund Ezeokoli II  was enormous because he gave the first fist blow to the shrine himself and others did the eternal damage to the shrine.  The Church ever since the demolition reclaimed its glory and matched on and the gates of hell never again stopped it.

 

GROWTH OF ORGANISATIONS IN ST. SIMON’S CHURCH

St. Simon’s church derived its growth from various organizations which acted as stimulus.  By the 1950’s, a new militant organ was born as in other strongholds of the Anglican mission.  This was the Anglican Youth Fellowship, which tried to excel in all aspects of Christian youthful exuberance in all its activities, especially by supplying the most melodious songs in all important occasions of the Anglican Church – “Onitsha Youth Choir”. It is noteworthy to add that the Men’s Group known as Self Denial Society SDS also was formed and waxed very strong until the elderly men of the church that formed the Group became extinct lately. Also in the late fifties and early sixties was the Women’s Guild which became a very strong arm of women’s organization. At this time was the emergence of a sister organization, the Mothers Union which conferred its members the status of motherhood within the Anglican Mission. Another strong arm for the young Boys And Girls came up, the Boys and Girls Brigade whose main objectives were to inculcate the sense of duty and discipline in those who will in future take over the helm of pushing ahead the affairs of the Anglican mission in Nnobi at large and in St. Simon’s Anglican Church in particular. As St. Simon’s Church approached its hundred years birthday, it acquired more vitality as far as other organization in the church were concerned.

 

It is therefore worthy of note that the DONMCF (Diocese on the Niger Men’s Christian Fellowship) today started from St. Simon’s Church Nnobi during the era of Ven. P.N. Ukachukwu as the Archdeacon of Nnobi Archdeaconry and Vicar St. Simon’s Church Nnobi in 1992 when it was captioned “Elders Prayer Meeting” and their motto “Arise and Build” it was in 1998 that the name was changed to Men’s Christian fellowship. St. Simon’s Church therefore became the first church in the Diocese to have an organized M.C.F before it was inaugurated in 2004 in Nnobi Archdeaconry by Ven. Obi Ubaka, then later inaugurated in the Diocese on the Niger. To God be the Glory.

 

ST. SIMON’S ANGLICAN CHURCH NNOBI AFTER 112 YEARS

It is now history and it is heart warming that St. Simon’s Anglican Church Nnobi planted, in 1908 by the evangelical efforts of the Church Missionary Society CMS as one of the outreach centers into Igbo land, has paid her evangelical bills having celebrated her FIRST HUNDRED YEARS ANNIVERSARY ON CHURCH EVANGELISM on 5th October, 2008. It is now One hundred and twelve years after the God sent son of the soil in the person of His Royal Majesty King Solomon Ezeokoli I of Nnobi went to Obosi on one of his itinerant herbal medicine visitation in 1908 and returned to Nnobi as a Church Missionary Society CMS Agent. The seed of gospel he brought back to Nnobi was planted and nurtured and it has blossomed into a Mustard tree till date that Nnobi can boast of producing a the present Bishop of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion Diocese on the Niger in the person of Most Reverend Dr. Owen Nwokolo. To God be the Glory. It will forever be indelible in our minds. There is need at this point to express our gratitude to everyone who had contributed in nurturing that seed planted by HRM King Ezeokoli into an Oak  tree of gospel in Nnobi and environ. May your labor and that of all who contributed in one way or another not be in vain in Jesus name, Amen!

 

THE LIST OF PRIESTS WHO SERVED ST. SIMON’S CHURCH NNOBI, PAST AND PRESENT

1.         Rev. Agoriwe                                                 1938 – 1939

2.         Rev. B. P. Apena                                             1940 – 1941

3.         Rev. S. Jumbo                                                 1942 – 1943

4.         Rev. A. O. Ekpunobi                                       1944 – 1945

5.         Rev. J.A. Iwuora                                             1946 – 1950

6.         Rev. J.A.Okafor                                               1951 – 1956

7.         Rev. D. I. Okechukwu                                     1957 – 1960

8.         Rev. C. A. Mbonu                                            1961 – 1964

9.         Rev. C.N. Emelugo                                         1965 – 1978

10.       Rev. M.M. Ilechukwu                                     1969 – 1969

11.       Rev. J.I.E. Okoye                                             1970 -1974

12.       Rev. P.N. Onwuzulu                                       1975 – 1978

13.       Rev. M.I. Mbogu                                             1979 -1983

14.       Rev. Canon B.N. Okeke                                  1984 -1991

15.       Rev. B.M.A Ike                                                1991 -1992

16.       Ven. P.N. Ukachukwu                                    1992 -1998

17.       Rev. S.O. Onuigbo                                          1993 -1993

18.       Rev. G. I Ufele                                                 1993 -1994

19.       Rev. N.N. Anyichie                                         1994 – 1996

20.       Rev. A.  Ikeokwu                                            1996 – 1998

21.       Rev. E.A.C Ibezim                                           1999 -1999

22.       Ven. A.I. Ibe                                                    1999 – 2000

23.       Rev. J.I. Ifediegwu                                          2000 – 2000

24.       Ven. Obi Ubaka                                              2001 – 2005

25.       Rev. Inno. Chuks Onwuemelie                      2001 – 2001

26.       Rev. G.O.C. Ekekwe                                        2002 – 2002

27.       Rev. Chidi Nwadike (Now Ven.)                   2002 – 2003

28.       Rev. Rowland Obi                                          2003 – 2004

29.       Rev. G.I. Okoye                                               2003 – 2005

30.       Rev. J.C. Nwaka                                              2004 – 2006

31.       Rev. Nath. Egwuenu                                      2005 – 2005

32.       Ven. Okey Ukpeke                                          2006 – 2007

33.       Rev.C.A. Iloka                                                 2005 – 2007

34.       Rev. G.N. Nnalue                                            2006 – 2007

35.       Ven. Joe Nweke                                              2007 – 2008

36.       Rev. E.C. Nwabunike                                     2008 - 2008

37.       Rev. Ikechukwu Elobisi (Now Ven.)            2008 – 2010

38.       Ven. R.U.C.Obiekwe                                        2008 – 2010

39.       Rev. F.C. Chukwurah                                     2010 – 2011

40.       Rev. Emma. Mbanugo (Now Ven. )              2011 - 2011

41.       Rev.     B.S. Okoli                                            2012 - 2012

42.       Rev. M. Awogu                                               2012 - 2012

43.       Ven. Angus. I. Umeh                                      2012 – 2017

44.       Rev. O. Eriobunah                                         2013 - 2013

45.       Rev. C.S. Okoye                                              2013 – 2019

46.       Rev. Samson Enwelum                                  2016 – 2017

47.       Ven. Oswald Ezekwere                                  2018 – 2019

48.       Rev. Emma Ogugua                                       2017 – 2018

49.       Ven. Chris Amaku                                          2019 – till date

50.       Rev. Albert Chukwuneke                              2019 – till date

 

 

INDIGENOUS PRIESTS

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. J.A. Ekwue (Late)     1st Priest

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. Chidi Ezeokoli

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. Canon Nonso Arinze

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->4.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. Ikechukwu Okudo

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->5.                  <!--[endif]-->Ven. Dan Okpala (Late)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->6.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. Canon Kennethe Chukwgozie

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->7.                  <!--[endif]-->Ven. Dr. Chuks Eruchalu

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->8.                  <!--[endif]-->Ven. Samuel Emeka Etuka

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->9.                  <!--[endif]-->Ven. Chukwuma Ibekwe

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->10.              <!--[endif]-->Rev. Osita Okoye

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->11.              <!--[endif]-->Rev. R.C. Okeke (Late)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->12.              <!--[endif]-->Rev. M.C. Ifezue (Late)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->13.              <!--[endif]-->Rev. David Okongwu (Late)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->14.              <!--[endif]-->Rev. Dr. Uchenna Maduka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORY OF ALL SAINTS’ ANGLICAN CHURCH IFITE NNOBI

 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of shadow of death, upon them has the light shined (Isaiah 9:2) We are grateful to God Almighty for bringing the light of the gospel to our land Ifite Nnobi. All Saints Anglican Church Nnobi is under St. Paul’s Parish Ebenesi Nnobi. The history of all Saints Anglican Church Ifite Nnobi will be traced back to 1954, where the present-day Church building is being erected.  It was through the efforts of the following persons Mr. Benson Moghalu, Mr. Eleazar Okafor, Mr. Benjamin Ezenwas, Pa. Simon Omekaodinma, Pa. Andrew Chukwuka that the Umuchukwuma kindred bequeathed the land to the Church to set up a church and a school building.  The Church and school took off accordingly and were nurtured by the late Pa. Benjamin Ezenwa who was then a church agent. One Mrs Azuka Akubueze was teaching in the school as well Anglican praying Ministry (APM) now Anglican Children Ministry (ACM) in the evening. Then only A.C.M branch holds at All Saint’s from Monday to Friday at 5pm daily.  In 1993 She went to the then Vicar Ven. Vincent Igwebuike for permission to start Sunday Service.  She also told the Vicar aged people will not be able to go to St. Paul’s Church because of the distance.

 

The Sunday service started with the permission of the Vicar but it was only children and few elders  - Mrs Azuka Akubueze, Mrs Harriet Onyebuchi, Late Mr. Nelson Ezediniru, Late Mr. Isaiah Mbazelu and Late Mr. Micheal Akubueze that comes to worship God other people  nicknamed the church (Uka Azuka) and refuse to worship God;  at All Saints Church rather they preferred  going to service at St. Paul’s Church on Sunday and weekly activities  Rev’d Canon Eugene Okoye in his effort to move the church forward detailed  Bro. Edwin Edeh (now Rev’d Edwin Edeh) who served as a church helper, to hold service every Sunday. Bro. Edwin Edeh, Mrs Azuka Akubueze and few old people were persistent in worshipping God every  Sunday despite all odds.

 

In the year 2010, Ven. Dr Fred. Nwachukwuma was posted to St. Paul’s Church who stirred up members the need of worshipping God at All Saints Church Nnobi. He was briefed with the attitude of the church membership towards the church, he mapped out strategy of sending up to fourteen (14) adults in turn to worship at All Saints Church every Sunday. This paid off very well and people liked it.  He retained Bro. Edwin Edeh (Now Rev’d Edwin Edeh) as a resident church helper to hold the congregation with other weekly activities like Hour of Refreshment, Follow up, Bible Studies and Wednesday prayers.

 

In 2011 the fencing of the church was done within two months. When the original owners of the land wanted to repossess this parcel of land.  The Vicar  Ven.  Dr. Fred. Nwachukwu in a swift action met and convinced one Chief Anthony Okeke, the leader of the donors of the land and he withdrew their legal action against the Church.  He allowed for the survey of the land and signed the land agreement, bequeathing the ownership of the land to the Diocese on the Niger. During this period illustrious son of the Eziora Sir Ebuka Okafor accepted to single- handedly build a place of worship which he fulfilled by building magnificent, multimillion, Ultramodern worship place in 2012 which is first of its kind in Nnobi  Community.

 

The foundation stone was done on 13th February, 2011 by his Lordship the Rt. Rev’d Ken S. E. Okeke, th Bishop on the Niger while Dedication was done on 31st December, 2012 by his Lordship the Rt. Rev’d Dr. Owen Chiedozie Nwokolo (JP)  the Bishop on the Niger to the glory of God.  The pioneer church teacher that serve at All Saints Church was Samuel Chizoba Ikesi 2012 – 2014 Second Church teacher was Ikechukwu Christopher Ogidi 2015 – 2016 and the third is Walter Chijioke Umeh 2017 – till date. The present vicar is Rev’d Matthew Uzochukwu Chukwuneme. To the glory of God All Saints Church is moving from strength to strength, the Church hall is under construction and All Saints Model Nursery & Primary School Nnobi is moving forward. We commend the sons and daughters of All Saints Church for their support and right hand of fellowship. We equally commend our church teacher Walter Chijioke Umeh and Vicar Rev’d Matthew Uzochukwu Chukwuneme for their untiring effort to see that things are taking shape for expansion for Christ kingdom.

 

To God be the glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A HISTORY OF ST. JOHN’S EBENESI ANGLICAN CHUCH, NNOBI

St. John’s Anglican Church, Ebenator sprang up from St. Paul’s Anglican Church Parish, Ebenesi, Nnobi It is situated at Umuafor Village,Ebenesi Nnobi for the proximity of  worshippers from Ubaha, Umafor, Umuhu and environs.  This areas is greatly seen as a very “ferile” area for evangelism; certainly an area where the harvest is very plenty but labourers  are very scarce. Few but seemingly very committed families from this area are worshipping at St. Paul’s Anglican Church Parish and have been associated at Ebenator zone.  Such families  are Etudo, Onuah andElodi from Ubaha; Chukwuka, Ezeume, Oguegbulu, Uche, Obiefuna Ezeugo and Anyika from Umuhu; and Okongwu, Anyaeche; Ogbuefi, Mbaneko Osilike, Okafor, Okpala, Egwuchukwu, Anosike, Nzewi, Nwawelu, Ezeigbo, Nwokolo, Fredick, Okwonna, Ezenwas, Ojukwu and Uzigwe fropm Umuafor.  Members of these families, especially men who worshipped at St. Paul’s Anglican Church Parish do regularly meet “n’Obi be Walter Nzewi” at St. Paul’s Men, Ebenator to discuss issues that enable them to foster the progress of the Church.  It was Rev. Dr. Fred Nwachukwuma (now Ven. Dr. Fred Nwachukwuma) who during his tenure as the  Vicar of St. Paul’s Anglican Church Parish received the vision to establish a church at Ebenator.  He believed that it was necessary to bring the church closer to the worshippers to make them more committed to evangelism in order to win abundant souls in the area and advance the gospel.  In pursuance of his vision of a church at Ebenator, Rev. Dr. Nwachukwu initially started a Church outreach at Mr. Christopher Obiefuna’s compound by Umuhu on February 5th 2012.  The attendance recorded was sixty-five (65) persons and the church collection yielded thirteen thousand, one hundred and fifty naira (N13, 150.00) He pursued the idea of securing a land at Ebenator for the Ebenator Church and was already sourcing fund and almost making a commitment of N4m for a piece of land at Umuafor before the negotiation turned in way the vicar and the PCC decided to keep it in view.  Shortly after this incident, God performed his Miracle and marvelous deed through the families of Mr. Nelson (Late) and Mrs Lady Anosike, and Mr Josiah (Late) and Catherine Anosike. They made an uncommon sacrifice (a generational sacrifice) by donating more than two plots of land to St. Paul’s Parish at Umuafor village. While Mrs Gladys Anosike family donated their own portion of the land unconditionally, the family of Mrs Catherine Anosike accepted only just a token for their own portion.  Several blocks were molded at the site and a temporary structure was erected and the church started.  The church at Ebenator   now called St. John’s Church Ebenator was formally inaugurated on Sunday April 14, 2013 at the temporary structure with Mr Rueben Ezea as the coordinator.  The property is now properly secured with fence and two (2) standard iron gates.  The Church has a convenience facility and also a temporary structure for children service.  The families of late Benson Okpala (Onyeocha Calabar) is constructing a 3-bedroom bungalow meant for the Church Teacher.  The bungalow is still at the lintel level. Engr. Ernest Odebeatu (now Rev. and Mr. Ifeanyi Alokwu served as Church Teachers before the current Church  Teacher, Mr.S. Samuel Ikesi.  The Church which is making gradual but steady progress started a modern building in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. CHRISTOPHER’S CHURCH / PARISH NDAM NNOBI

The Church started as St. Simon’s Church Nnobi Extension on a Palm Sunday, 20th March, 2005 under the then St. Simon’s Nnobi Parish Vicar / Archdeacon of Nnobi Secretary and Mr. Nnamdi Eruchalu as the Treasurer.

 

Worship started in the Church on 3rd April 2005. By his letter dated 3rd March 2006, Rt. Rev. Ken. S.E. Okeke, Bishop on the Niger named the Church, St. Christopher’s Church   Nnobi. Ven. Emmanuel O. Ukpeke came on board the same year as the new Vicar of St. Simon’s Parish Nnobi/the Archdeacon of Nnobi Archdeaconry, and watered the seed sown by his predecessor by organizing a mini fund-raising ceremony to rehabilitate and expand the small old and  dilapidated  kindergarten school, popularly known as “Nta Akara be Ezenwekwe” used  for worship.  He also, by his letter dated 27th July, 2006, constituted by appointment a Church Management Committee with himself as the Chairman, the pioneer Church Teacher Mr. Now Rev. Henry Nwachukwu who came to the church on 12th April 2006, as the vice –chairman and comrade Emma Maduka, as Secretary, to manage the affairs of the new Church. On Sunday, 29th October,2006. the foundation Stone laying ceremony/ another fund –raising activity was done in the new church, under the auspices of Ven. Emma. O. Ukpeke, with Now Rev. Henry Nwachukwu as the chairman and Comrade Emma. Maduka as the secretary to the Planning Committee.

 

In January 2007, Ven.J.O.I.Nweke, the Vicar St. Simon’s Parish / Archdeacon Nnobi Archdeaconry, superintended  the elected of pioneer P.C.C. members of the church, with Mr. Cyprian Uba as the  People’s Warden, Comrade Emma. Maduka, as the Secretary, Mr. Emeka Okeke, as the Treasurer and Mr. Jonathan Okeke as the Pastor’s Warden. Mr. now Rev. James Achugbu, who came to the church in January 2007, was on board this time as the second church teacher posted to the church. Mrs. Ifeoma Nwenyi was coopted to serve as the Financial Secretary. It should be noted that from August 2007, the church attendants were taking tea once every month until sometimes in 2008.  The project was financed by voluntary donations   for example, late Jonathan Okeke donated teacups and spoons used.  The arrangements were spearheaded by Mr. Onyekwelu Ichenku. The Third church Teacher Mr. Now Rev. Chikadibia Okeke, came to the church in 2008 with Ven. R.U.C Obiekwe also on board this time as the vicar of St. Simon’s Parish, Nnobi / the Archdeacon of Nnobi Archdeaconry.  The Church was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Ken S.E. Okeke Bishop on the Niger on 23rd November 2008.  The Chairman of the Dedication Planning Committee was Mr. Joseph Ukpaka with Comrade Emma. Maduka as the Secretary to the Committee This time Hope Ashara was covering the church as the Accounts Clerk.

 

The pioneer Priest Rev. Christian Mozie arrived at the church in January 2009.

The Church was inaugurated a Parish on 27th June 2010 by Rt. Rev. Ken S.E. Okeke, Bishop on the Niger. He also on the same day instituted and inducted Rev.  Christian Mozie as the Pioneer Vicar of the Parish with Princess Obioma Nnatuanya now Mrs Obioma Owoh as the pioneer substantive Account clerk.  The chairman of the inauguration Planning Committee was Mr. Chinonso Ochiagha with Comrade Emma. Maduka as secretary.

 

Succession of Church Teachers in the Parish

1.         Rev. Henry Nwachukwu                   2005-2006

2.         Rev. James Achugbu                         2007 - 2007

3.         Rev. Chikadibia Okeke                      2008 - 2008

4.         Rev. Obum Owoh                               2010 – 2012

 

Succession of Priest/Vicars in the Parish

1.         Rev. Christian Mozie                                     2009 – 2011

2.         Rev. Solomon Onwumelu (Chimeleze)        2012 – 2014

3.         Rev. Innocent C. Ezeokoli                             2015 – 2018

4.         Rev. Victor Ebirim                                         2018 - 2018

5.         Rev.Josiah Nwankwor                                   2019 – till date

 

Succession of Accounts Clerks in the Parish

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.                  <!--[endif]-->Mrs. Ifeoma Nwenyi (Financial Secretary)                               2007

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.                  <!--[endif]-->Hope Ashara (covering St. Andrew’s Parish Nnobi as well)    2008

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.                  <!--[endif]-->Princess Obioma Nnatuanya (now Mrs Owoh)                        2010 – 2012

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->4.                  <!--[endif]-->Miss Ezenwa                                                                                2014 – 2015

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->5.                  <!--[endif]-->Auntie Ann Amaka Umechukwu                                                2015 – 2018

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->6.                  <!--[endif]-->Mrs F. Onuorah                                                                            2019–till date

 

Succession of Secretaries in the Parish

  1. Comrade Emmanuel. C. Maduka                                                      2005 – 2010
  2. Mr. Uzoechina Okafor                                                                       2011 -2011
  3. Comrade Emmanuel C. Maduka                                                       2012 – 2015
  4. Mr. Kenneth S. Ndinechi                                                                   2016 – 2017
  5. Mr. Pat. Okeke                                                                                    2018 – till date

 

Succession of Parish Treasurers

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.      <!--[endif]-->Mr. Nnamdi Eruchalu                                                                         2005 – 2006

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.      <!--[endif]-->Mr. Emeka Okeke                                                                               2006 -2010

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.      <!--[endif]-->Mr. James Arinze                                                                                2011 – 2012

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->4.      <!--[endif]-->Mrs. Ngozi Christie Eruchalu                                                             2013 – 2018

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->5.      <!--[endif]-->Mr. Kenneth Ndinechi                                                                        2018 – till date

 

 

 

Succession of parish Council secretary

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.        <!--[endif]-->Lady Mercy Mkpajide (2010 -2011)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.        <!--[endif]-->Comrade Emma. Maduka (2012 – 2015)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.        <!--[endif]-->Mr. Kenneth Ndinechi (2016 – 2018)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->4.        <!--[endif]-->Mrs Patricia Okeke (2019 – date)

 

Succession of people’s warden in the church / parish

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.        <!--[endif]-->Mr. Cyprian Ubah (2005 -2015)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.        <!--[endif]-->Mr. Kenneth S. Ndinechi (2016 = 2018)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.        <!--[endif]-->Comrade Emmanuel C. Maduka (2019 – date)

 

Succession of Pastors’s  warden in the church / parish

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.        <!--[endif]-->Mr. Jonathan Okeke (2010 – 2011)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.        <!--[endif]-->Mr. Nichodemus Ezeh (2012 -2014)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.        <!--[endif]-->Mr. Nnamdi Eruchalu (2015 – date)

 

Succession of sextons in the church  / parish

  1. Mr. Cyprian Ubah (2005 – 2014)
  2. Chinedu Chukwu (2015 -2016)
  3. Chigozie Akudigwe (2016 – 2018)
  4. Mr. Sunday Ezeh (2018 – date)

 

HISTORICAL LANDMARKS

  1. The following  gave portions of land to the church free of charge or by  accepting  token payments Mr. Arthur Ezenwekwe, Mr. Appolos Umeh, Mr. Solomon Umeh, Anozie family of Umuikechem -Ndam, Nnobi, Ukpaka family of  Umuezeme – Ndam,  Nnobi, Ejike family of Umudiokpala – Ndam  Nnobi, Mr. Eric Igwilo and Mr. David Ezenwanne.
  2. Members of the church management committee appointed by Ven. Emma O. Ukpede on 27th July, 2006, to  manage the affairs of the new church , pending the election  of substantive PCC members were Ven. E. O. Ukpeke  (Chairman)  Mr. now Rev. Henry Nwachukwu (CT / Vice Chairman) Comrade Emma. C. Maduka (Secretary) Mr. Emeka Okeke (Treasurer) Mr. Cyprian Ubah, Mr. Joseph Ukpaka, Mrs . Patience Azugo, Lady Mercy Mkpajide Mr. Obiorah Ugozu, Mr. Chukwunonso Ochiagha, Mr Sam Omeje, Mr. Nnamdi Eruchalu, Mrs Mary Ochiagha,  Mrs Catherine Ugozu (member) with Rev. G.C. Okeke and ord nor Ven. Ifeanyi Ogbueli, as special members.
  3. The first elected  PCC members of the  church in January 2007, mid-wifed by Ven. J.O.I Nweke were Mr. Cyprian Ubah (People’s Warden) Comrade Emma Maduka (Secretary) Mr. Emeka Okeke(Treasurer) Mr. Jonathan Okeke (Pastor’s Warden) Mrs Mary Ochiagha), Lady Mercy Mkpajide, Mrs  Uche Okeke,  Mr. Joseph Ukpaka, Mr. Vincent  Iwuamaeze, Mr. Nelson Agwuncha, Mr. Nnamdi Eruchalu, Mrs. Comfort Okonkwor. (member) Mrs Ifeoma Nweyi (co-opted) to serve as the financial secretary) with Rev. G. C. Okeke, Ord now Ven. Ifeanyi Ogbueli and Mr. now Rev. James Achugbu (Church Teacher) as special members.
  4. Other highlights:

(i)        First Holy Communion Service in the church, officiated by Rev. C.A. Iloka was held on 19th June 2005.

(ii)       The first pastoral visit to the church by the Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Ken. S.E. Okeke, was on 30th May 2006.

iii        The first candidates baptized in the church  by Ven. Emma. O Ukpeke on 25th January 2006 were eleven infants and one adult.

iv        the first candidates from the church to be confirmed by Rt. Rev. Ken. S.E. Okeke, Bishop on the Niger on 1st January 2006 were eight in number.

v         the first General Cash Harvest Thanksgiving in the Church was held on 31st December 2006.

vi        the pioneer cross bearers in the church were Mr. Chibuike Okeke and Mr. Friday Edeh.

vii       the pioneer choir master was Mr. Augustine Ichenku, assisted in 2008, by Mrs. Ifeoma Ejabukwa.

viii      the first wedding in the Church officiated by the Rev. C.C Mozie, involving Mr. & Mrs Chimezie Okpala was on 14th November 2009.

ix        the first substantial Account Clerk, Princess Obioma Nnatuanya now Mrs. Owoh, was posted to the church on 3rd February 2010

x         The Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Ken. S.C. Okeke made his last pastoral visit to the parish on Tuesday July 2010.

xi        Mr. Isaac Eruchalu was the building contractor who built the  main church building, Later , Mr. Vincent Iwuamaeeze handled the toilet/part of the uncompleted  parsonage building.

xii       Mr. now Ven. Ifeanyi Ogbueli acted as the local church helper and Mr. Nelson Agwuncha as reader at inception of the church.

xiii      Mr. Joseph Ukpaka and Mr. George Okeke spearheaded the vision of having the church established.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW ‘S ANGLICAN CHURCH AWUDA, NNOBI

By 1910, Nnobi was already a promising base for the spread of the Anglican mission, both within and outside its borders.  It has to be recalled that Chief Solomon Ezeokoli who was the prime figure for the introduction of the Anglican mission in Nnobi was able to realize early enough that the evolving colonial society, its overt resistance was raging throughout Igboland and beyond.  Through his capacity as a redoubtable evangelist and his position and influence as a warrant chief, the Anglican mission of which he was a patron at Nnobi had a golden opportunity to expand and was stronger within and outside Nnobi.

 

Thus from 1908 -1914, all Anglicans at Nnobi were compelled to worship together at St. Simon’s which had then come into being at Ngo-Nnobi.  This arrangement however started fragmenting when in 1914; Ebenesi members went back to their reconstructed   church.

With the accession of Chief Solomon Ezeokoli to the throner as a warrant chief coupled with his dazzling popularity, jealousy took the lives of many.  Among the lot was the warrant chief of Awuda quarters, Chief Ezeomeisheukwu. The son of Ezeokigbo, who saw Ezeokoli’s growing  popularity as a source of major disturbance.  He therefore set machinery in motion to undermine Ezeokoli’s influence and popularity by introducing a rival sect, the R.C.M in Nnobi  As it has always been with Awuda quarter, early Anglican converts met with  diabolical oppositions from some  of their

 

 

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fellow kinsmen who went in sympathy with Ezeomeishukwu who went all out to bring  in the  Roman Catholic Mission as an instrument to fight a rival Anglican warrant Chief whose Christian group the  C.M.S  has  strongly dominated  Ngo  and Ebenesi quarters respectively and gaining  more grounds in the remaining of his, the Awuda quarters.

Chief Solomon Ezeokoli having been elevated to the  rank of paramount chief as well as the  founder and president of Nnobi nature court, came up with a  counter strategy by decentralizing  the Anglican Communion in Nnobi by planting  churches in Ebenesi quarter through the rebuilding  in 1914 of the defunct church “Uka Amaefuna” which collapsed in 1906 under the leadership of Chief Abraham Arinze on the ruins of the first church building of 1906 where the present St. Paul’s Church Ebenesi is today.

 

In 1915, Chief Solomon Ezeokoli took up the work of building the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Awuda and with the kind gesture of Ezeokeanya Nwabueze (Chief Abraham Arinze’s brother - in law), land  was freely donated for the building  of the  first church which was completed that same  year as services  commenced  there with Mr. Moses Ntika  (Now Aniegbu) from Amichi as the  first Catechist –all courtesy of Chief Solomon Ezeokoli and the  UKa Eke evangelism adherents of Awuda that include fathers like Daiel Ekwufolu, John Ekwufolu, Samson Metu, Simon Ezunagu, Izuegbunam Ezuragu, Fredrick Ukeje  Okokwo Ezeokeanya Nwabueze, Jonathan Ezewudo, Ebenezer Okachukwu, Nelson Nwosu, Okeke Ogbujingidi Uchedili, Moses Okafor, Hezekiah Obi, Ngolu Ezeoke, Elijah Odunukwe, Benson Ezewudo, Okeke Omenkwu, Onuagbala Okeakpu,

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Josiah Onyaogulu, Josiah Okaekwu, Barnabas Ezeonu. Barthemeuos Uzuafor, Alenxander Nduka, Isaah Umechukwu including their  wives too.  These were men who bequeathed   determination, perseverance, sense of  mission and dynamic traits still existing in St. Andrew’a Church, Awuda Nnobi to this day

 

It  is noteworthy that in 1915, the following Awuda patriots, who with their counterparts from St. Simon’s Church formed  Uka Eke evangelism: viz Samson Ezunagu, Daniel Ekwufolu, Samson Metu, Izuegbunam Ezunagu, John Ekwufolu, Abel Okoye etc decided to bring  home to Awuda this light that has  started shinning around ; “Oku-Onwufolu Chi”, the lamp used  by early missionaries: A.C. Onyeaboand Miss Hornby known as “Ojiugo” for her beautiful fair complexion.  Thus under the supervision of Mr. Moses Ntika from Amichi, they commenced worshipping during Martins at St. Simon’s  Ngo  on Sundays and their evening services (evensong) at Awuda under  a thatch  buiding  sited on a land  donated by  Abanefo Ezeokanya Nwabueze a new  convert.  From this piece of land they performed  exploits as Uka Eke evangelism,  moving from house to house and market places spreading the gospel with their  popular song “Jesus nazoputa”  infact the  Belfry was sited on Anieke, a diety believed to punish couples who copulated  on Eke days.  They over ran the deity, planted Mango trees on the land and made it possible for people to now pass through it unmolested spiritually or otherwise.  The motor road through which you now enter the church premises is part of it.

 

 

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The gigantic and magnificent new church building started in 1985 attests to the  determination and sense of mission for which  St. Andrews Anglican Church Awuda had been  known since inception in 1915, when they  had  the first church building , modified in 1927 with a mud pulpit.

 

The vision of the modern church building was initially conceived by late Messrs.  Josiah Ogwu Metu and Charles Nwabueze who  during  their  tenures as Chairman and Treasurer respectively of t he general  Home and abroad members meeting  of  the church . Nevertheless, work  did not start  properly until years  after when, under Bazaar set up, Samuel Nwabueze and Goddy Okaekwu made spark donations to rekindle this dream .  Thus under  Catechist Enoch  Ejikeme of Ojoto, the home of and abroad meeting led by Mr. Levi Okpala (Eziifedinma), Charles Nwabueze, B.J. Ezenwudo & Co, a   building committee, was convened in 1985 Festus Iweka Ezunagu was elected chairman building committee, with late Mr. Charles Nwabueze as works supervisor. Other members were Edwin Dunu, Ude Metu Beniah Metu, B. J. Ezewudo, Anthony Ibewelu, Rev’d Stephen Dozie  Ekwufolu and Micah Onyeogulu.  The committee decided that it was no longer expedient to construct the usual oblong structure which may eventually call for early demolition and replacement within the first decade of dedication.

 

The foundation laying ceremony of the church was laid during the tenure of Ven. P.N. Ukachukwu the then Archdeacon of Nnobi Archdeaconry,  Mr. Albert Udememezue (church teacher St. Andrew’s Church Awuda Nnobi),

 

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by his Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Jonathan Arinze chukwu Onyemalukwe on Monday 24th April, 2000. the church was dedicated by His Grace, the Most Rev. Dr. J.A. Onyemelukwe visit to this  new church building, reveals instantly that in any  computation of the  modern standards of aesthetic excellence, the said building scores very high.

It is worthy of note to recognize and appreciate the efforts of late Mr. Micheal Onyeogulu the one and only indigenous  Choir master, for over 40 years may his soul rest in peace.

 

CENTENARY CELEBRATION

A century is a year when people celebrate something important that happened one hundred years earlier.  For a church  to celebrate  her centenary, it is a God given period for total  rehabilitation and assessment  for Awuda Nnobi Christians 30th  December, 2015 therefore was greater than any  other day with the celebration  of 100 years  of existence as a church .  We therefore thank God for the gift of people of this parish, people with talent, dogged will, substance and potentialities.  To God be the Glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LIST OF PARISH PRIESTS

1.         Rev’d B.C. Momah                             1999 (1st Priest)

2.         Rev’d  Can. J. Ochuba                         2000 – 2001

3.         Rev’d A. Echefudike                          2002 – 2003 (Now Late)

4.         Rev. Henry Okoye                                          2004 -2007 (Now Late)

5.         Rev. Chidi Chukwukelu                                 2008

6.         Rev. Can. Iyke Egbuonu                                2009  (Now Rev. Can)

7.         Rev. Ikechukwu Elobisis                               2010 - 2014 (Now Ven.)

8          Rev. Izuchukwu  Ndubisi                              2015 – 2017 (Now Rev. Can.)         

9.         Rev. Ugochukwu Onukaegbe                        2017 – 2019

10.       Rev. Ugochukwu Nweke                               July 2019 – Date

 

 

INDIGENOUS PRIESTS

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.                  <!--[endif]-->Late Rev’d Stephen Ekwufolu

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.                  <!--[endif]-->Ven. Moses N. Ekwufolu

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.                  <!--[endif]-->Ven. Samuel A. Ezewudo

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->4.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev’d Festus C. Nnabuike

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->5.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. Chinedu Agbazue

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->6.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. Okpala Tony

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->7.                  <!--[endif]-->Rev. Arinze Nwokike

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORY OF ST. PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH,  UMUAGU NGO NNOBI.

 

INTRODUCTION:

            In the year 1990, move was made to establish St. Simon’s Anglican Church extension in Mbana Umuagu, Nnobi when late Rev. Canon B.N Okeke visited his members who live within this area popularly known as  Mbana Umuagu.  He was led and assisted by his “Pastors Warden Mr. Obichili Emmanuel.  He visited many of his members.  The space given  was very much limited  to put  the names here one by one .  It was an indelible pastoral visit that led to discovery of the difficulties that his flocks were encountering coming to the church .  Services and other programmes being done at St. Simon’s Anglican  Church and saw the need of planting the church down here. To the will of God, he could not actualize his vision before he retired but made it known to his successor late Ven. P.N. Ukachukwu in 1992.

 

Moreover, two men in person of Mr. Jerome Ogbuonyalu (Sanction) and Chief Stephen Ochiagha (Omemgbo) hearing of the pastoral and proposal  to plant Church at Mbana Umuagu.  They decided to take a bull by the horn; they met late Rev. B.N Canon Okeke who wrote a letter demanding a portion of land from Agu-Umuagu which was sent to the chairman Umuagu Brothers Association late DPO Pius Ochiagha through the two men.

 

 

 

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In August 1991, late D.P.O  Pius Ochiagha read the letter to the UBA Executive  that  Umuagu Anglican Community are demanding  a portion of land to erect a  church  building  at Agu Umuagu it was supported  by late  Mr. Emmanuel Nwanjika, late  Mr. Godfrey Nnoli late Mr. Ephraim Uzoewulu. Infact, all members of Anglican Community supported the request. At the general meeting there was much opposition from Catholic Community members and for this two  portion of land was set out for each community.

 

In 1994, series and series of meetings were held with the PCC members and late P.N.Ukachukwu.

 

On 10th April, 1994 (Easter Sunday) the Ven. P.N. Ukachukwu announced to the  hearing of all the congregation at St. Simon’s Anglican Church that by  January 1996, there will be planting  of Church at Mbana Umuagu.  This was accepted by a lot of members including their guest speaker and indigenous priest Rev. John Ekwue some of the members from Mbana Umuagu jubilated on the announcement made.  Committee for the planting of church was set up which was headed by late Lay-reader. Alex Nwachukwu assisted by Elder Prince Jerry Ezeokoli.

 

In 1995, they were inaugurated in t he 1st Sunday of January.

 

 

 

 

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The first challenges the Committee had was the place of worship on Sundays.  Many offered spaces in their houses.  The one accepted was that of Late  Mr. Peter Nwabugwu’s one half of his building ground floor, for the  Adult Services while upstairs was for children’s services.

On the 14th day of January 1996, the Church was planted by Ven. P.N. Ukachukwu at late Mr. Peter Nwabugwu’s house.

 

In the first service only few members attended service.  Moreover after service, Ven. Ukachukwu called on members to wait.  He shared and allocated duties to the members.

 

On 21st January, 1996 work began in earnest members responded faithfully and positively.

 

On Saturday, 21st December, 1996 the church held its first General Harvest and Bazaar.

            In the year 1998 on the  13th  January, being Tuesday late Archbishop J.A. Onyemelukwe gave the name of which she bears till today as God directed  him ST PETER’S ANDLICAN CHURCH UMUAGU NGO NNOBI because it was  the name of the man  who offered his house  to be used as John Mark’s  mother’s house i.e. Mr & Mrs  Peter Nwabugwu.  All the members accepted the name. Many more donation continued to flow into the church.

 

 

 

 

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            God in His infinite mercies sent us  a local church helper in t he person of Mr. Charles Oraelosi on January 2000 by Archdeacon Ven. A.I. Ibe.

 

In 2001, Mr. Linus Akudolu (now ordained priest) in the diocese was sent to the church as the first church teacher.  He stayed from 2001 to 2006

 

In the year 2006, Mr Chukwudi Ezeh was posted to be the second church Teacher.

 

In the year 2008 the third church teacher was posted to the church in person of Mr. Peter Nnake.

 

In the same year 2008, Ven. R.U. Obiekwe attended his first service and was  able to  realize 50 bags of cement for the unplastered  part of the Church.

 

In the year 2009, Mr. Chikadibia was posted to church as fourth church teacher.  He worked in the administration of Ven. R.U.Obiekwe.

 

From the church he entered into Divinity Course, to be a priest

 

In the year 2009 and in August women‘s 1st General meeting was held in the year 2010 Mr. Chikadibia Okeke highlighted the Church members on the dedication of their church through the suggestion made by Ven. R.U. Obiekwe. The Church saw it as very vital.

 

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On the juncture, 15 man  committee was set out of which Mr Ojukwu Vincent was made to be the chairman of the committee.

 

In the year 2011, God incited the mind of  our new Bishop on t he Niger the son of our soil, the Rt. Rev. Owen Chiedozie Nwokolo set aside 3rd September, 2011 Saturday for the dedication of the church building.

After the dedication more developments had been flowing into the church.

 

In the year 2015 on the 2nd  January the laying of Foundation Stone for the  workers house or parsonage  was done  by his Lordship Rt. Rev. Owen Chiedozie Nwokolo, the Bishop on the Niger Diocese.  Building of theis workers’ house was through the suggestion made to the P.C.C by Angus Umeh.

 

In the year 2016, Eva. Ossy Ugwuegbu took over the matter from Mr. Chikadibia Okeke and built a very beautiful School for the children and other children from other Anglican Church was baptized with the name St. Peter’s Bright Future International Nursery/Primary School.

 

Mr Ossy Ugwuegbu left the church on transfer to another church and handed over to Evan. Elkana Ubakama who is still in the church engineering the members of the church  to be more energetic  over getting their minds ready to worship God always.  The school was established in the academic year 2016/2017.  The headmistress of the school is Mrs Kate Ojukwu.  The school headmistress management the  controller Evang. Elkana Ubakamma.

 

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Notwithstanding, it was  on record  that many personalities conttibuted immeasurably, immensely, indefatigably, materially, morally, spiritually, physically, socially and otherwise to progress and promotion to  the Church but based more to the  church leaders and indigenous priests for the lack of space..

 

(A)       THE CHURCH LEADERS:

(i)        Lay Reader Alex Nwachukwu                                  -           1996 -1999

(ii)       Mr. Charles  C. Oraelosi (Now Rev. )                        -           2000

(iii)      Mr. Linus Akudolu (now Rev.)                                 -           2001 – 2005

(iv)      Mr. Chukwu Eze                                                         -           2006 – 2007

(v)       Mr. Chukadibia Okeke (now) Rev’d             -           2009 – 2015

(vi)      Evan. Ossy Ugwuegbu                                               -           2016 – 2017

(vii)     Evan. Elkana Ubakam                                               -           2018

 

B          INDIGENOUS PRIESTS:

(i)        Rev. Iyke Samuel Okudo

(ii)       Rev. Ken Chukwugozie Okeakpu

(iii)      Rev. Ephraim Nwaolisa

(iv)      Rev. Ven. Chigozie Aniukwu

(v)       Rev. Ebere F. Ojukwu

(vi)      Rev. Ikenna Nwolisa

(vii)     Rev. Azubike Okudo

(viii)    Rev. Johnson Iwuamaeze

 

 

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“ To God  be the  Glory “

“Long live Niger Diocese”

“Long live Nnobi Arch.”

“Long live St. Simon Anglican Church Nnobi

“Long live St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Nnobi.

 

Compiled by :-

1.         Mr. Ojukwu David C.

2.         Evan. Elkana Ubakamma (the Church Teacher)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH EBENESI,

NNOBI

ACTIVITIES OF THE C.M.S AT EBENESI NNOBI LOCATION AND COMPOSITION OF EBENESI NNOBI

            Nnobi is in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.  Ebenesi is one of the three major quarters in Nnobi .  The others are Ngo and Awuda.  Ebenesi is the eldest and is bounded to the South by Nnewi, to the North by Ngo, Nnobi, to the east by Awka-Etiti and to the West by Awuda, Nnobi.

 

Ebenesi,  is intersected by roads that pass from Nnokwa to Nnewi and from Ekwulobia to Nkpor through Afor Nnobi market.  There are six villages viz: Umuona, Amadunu, Ifite, Ubaha, Umuhu and Umuafor.  The first three make up what is referred to as “Uhuani” while the last three consist of what is referred to as Ebenato.

 

St. Paul’s Anglican Church is occupying a spot almost central to all the six villages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE FIRST CONTACT

C.M.S. had an outpost that was active and thriving at Obosi early in this century.  By 1900 they had established so well that many of the  Obosi citizens were educated and many more converted and were busy as traders.  Also at the  time, around 1901 the Royal Niger Company had a trading  station at Onitsha and  people were trekking to Onitsha through Obosi to sell palm produce and to buy fish with other  imported general goods.  The contact of Ebenesi, Nnobi with such traders brought in Christianity.

 

            It came in 1906 through a palm produce dealer from Onitsha alled Mr. John Amalunweze, a Christian convert who had become an eloquent preacher opened a palm produce depot at Nnobi in 1906 and used the house of Chief Ibah Nwalie at Umushim (Amadunu).  Chief Ibah Nwalie was made the first warrant Chief of Ebenesi in 1905 when the first Whiteman was said to had visited Nnobi.  Apart from the routine business deals in palm produce at Chief Nwalie’s house, Mr. Amalunweze often used the house to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to his customers.  He attracted some few converts and they started worshipping at Chief Nwalie’s house. Although Chief Nwalie was never converted to Christianity he was interested in the progress of both the produce trade and Christian evangelism which used his house as a base.  Reports had it that as the number of converts grew, Chief Nwalie provided them with a plot of land where they set up a thatched church building.  That was still in 1906. 

 

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The thatched church building was situated where the present St. Paul’s Nursery School is located.  It was then popularly known as “Uka Ama-Efuna” in reference to its closeness to the  Amaefuna’s compound.  At this time the members of the  young church  included Eze Ikesebe, Mr. Okwulogu, Mr. Gideon Agu, Mr. Ezenabo, Mr. Ezulum and  Eze Agbudugbu to mention a few.  In those days it was  said that  the worship seemed  funny as the  congregation mispronounced some words, for example, when the teacher says “ka aha gi din so” in Our Lord’s prayers, the congregation repeated “Agbangidi nso”  So some people also called the converts “Ndi uka agbangidi nso”

 

            The church continued but unfortunately, however, the plot of land where the church was situated caused a serious misunderstanding within the family of the donor and so one night, Umeasi, a junior brother of Chief Nwalie burnt down the church building.  That was in 1908.  The members of the church scattered and the worship stopped abruptly.  Although the church was suddenly discontinued in 1908, its effect, coupled with the fact that Ebenesi is traditionally the eldest quarter of Nnobi gave rise to slogan “Ebenesi No 1.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE SECOND CONTACT

Shortly after the collapse of the church at Ebenesi, Nnobi, another Anglican Church - The St. Simon’s Anglican Church was established at Ngo, Nnobi in 1908 from obosi through the efforts of Ezeokoli Ezebube and his friend Mr. A.C. Onyeabor.  Ezeokoli, the son of Ezebube of Umuagu was by profession a traditional physician (Nwadibia). As the then paramount Chief of Nnobi he was famous for treating many diseases which afflicted  people in those days when  modern scientific methods  of treating diseases had not been introduced  effectively  in this area.  He used  Obosi as one  of his  temporary base to attend  to his numerous clients.

 

During Ezeokoli’s frequent visits to   Obosi he came  into contact with the British Colonial Administrators and Christian Missionaries. At this time the  C.M.S Church  at Obosi was already very strong.

 

            Unlike other traditional physicians who do not quite like the missionaries because they believed that the Christian teachings of the missionaries was affecting the validity and acceptability of their profession in Igbo society.  Chief Ezeokoli accepted the missionaries warmly.  Chief Ezeokoli was consequently converted to Christianity at Obosi in 1906 by Mr.  Alphonsus C. Onyeabor an indigene of Onitsha serving as a  catechist at Obosi.  He was baptized and given the name Solomon.  Chief Ezokoli and Mr. Onyeabor became friends and according to the records Mr. Onyeabor  started sending gifts to Ezeokoli’s father and the  latter in due course invited  Onyeabor to Nnobi. It was this visit by Onyeabor in1908 that served as that watershed of Christianity in Nnobi.

 

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He was said to have  arrived with commodities like  lamp, kerosene, matches, rice, biscuit, etc which   Nnobi  people  considered  strange.  We remember that the people of Nnobi then called the bush lamp “Oku Onwufoluchi” (a light which could stay on till day break).  The report – A history of the Anglican mission in Nnobi, stated that many people gathered to see this wonderful lamp in the  house of Ezeobube.  It afforded   Mr Onyeabor the  opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and many people became converted.

 

            As soon as t he good news of the success of the Anglican mission at Nnobi reached Onitsha, the headquarters sent a young British Missionary called Miss A. Hornby to reside in Nnobi in order to nurture the  young Anglican Church planted  by Mr. Onyeabor Miss Hornby was warmly received at Nnobi and the records show that she was given a local name “OjiUgo.”  She circulated very well from one part of Nnobi to another, she mixed freely with the people, visiting them in their homes and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to them.  She won so many converts including aome women and men from Ebenesi.  Some of these women like Naomi Chukwuka and Margaret Etudo Snr. Were reputed to go to Ngo to worship often hiding their dresses with cocoyam leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

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Immediately St. Simon’s Anglican Church was established at Ngo, old and new converts from   Ebenesi attended the new church.At that time also  C.M.S.  Station at Uruagu Nnewi was thriving as it had arrived there through Oraifite as far back as 1893.  Most weddings at this time were conducted at St. Mary’s Uruagu for the converts from Ebenesi Nnobi.  However, due to inter village wars between Uruagu and Nnewi Ichi, the early missionaries withdrew and went back to  Obosi but then they  had trained out some converts to a point where they became teachers and interpreters. By 1909 Mr John Kanu from Aro Ndizogu had been posted to serve  as  Catechist at St. Simon’s Anglican  Church Ngo, Nnobi. Between 1909 and 1914 most devout Ebenesi men and women worshipped at St. Simon’s Church Ngo which had continued to grow in strength.

 

In 1914, the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ebenesi which collapsed in 1906 was rebuilt by the converts from Ebenesi under the leadership of Chief Abraham Arinze who was Chief   Ezeokoli’s maternal uncle.  The church building was once again erected on the ruins of the first church building, which was destroyed in 1906.  Mr. Ephrim Udoye from Uruagu, Nnewi was posted to this new church as its first catechist in 1914.  Mr. Menakaya, the late father of the famous Dr. T. Menakaya of the Menax Hospital of Umunya was posted in January1917.  The church was then built with mud and had thatched roof.  The walls were regularly scrubbed and beautified by some women some of whom were not yet converted to Christianity but were married to men who have been converted.  Such women like Ugoji Ikesebe, Mrs. N. Chukwuka and Mrs. M. Okpara to perform this function.

 

 

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St. Paul’s Anglican church at Ebenesi continued t o grow in strength and converts continued worshipping in t he thatched house until 1932 when the foundation of a more befitting church was laid.  The new church was constructed directly opposite the new parsonage on a portion of land jointly donated by the Ikebotu, Ezeofia and Nwosu families. The building of this church was supervised by Mr. Isaiah Okeke.  Records show that the  roof of the building was put up by Messrs  Daniel Umeji, Fredrick Unachukwu, Jonathan Onyiagha, Wilson Okpala, Ishmael Okafor, Simon Okonkwo to mention a few.  These men were contractors and they came back from Makurdi to do this job in their home church free.

 

When Mr. Udoye left the services of the church he was replaced by Mr. Nwasike who was formerly serving at St. Mary’s   Akwa-Etiti.   He stayed three years and was replaced by Mr. Udeh who was popularly called “Udeh Onu Mpe.”

            It is important to note that the chrch building started in 1932 waas dedicated in April 1936.  Some of the foundation members (i.e. the late  generation members) include Chief Abraham Arinze, Mr. James Okeke, Isaac Arinze, Mr. Enoch Okafor Etudo, Simeon Ifemeludike, Matthew Obiaku, Zephnaiah  Okafor, Elijah Obikudu Ifionu,  Alfred Ngwuakpu, Thomas  Madueme, Joshua Okpala, Lazarus Chukwuka, Benjamin Nwokolo, David Achuka,  George Okafor, Ben Ezenwa, Joseph Okpala, Joseph Obiaku, Samuel Ikebotu, Andrew Chukwuka, Jeremiah Ifemedike, Theo Osilike , Aaron Nzewi, Nathaniel Nwawelu, Edward Dunu, Richard Onwuka,

 

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Jacob Ezenyem, Eleazar Okafor, Herbert Onyiagha, Mrs. Eunice Okeke, Mrs. J. Arinze, Mrs M. Ezenyem, Mrs  Dorcas Nwenyi, Mrs. Fanny Okafor and Mrs. Edna Chukwuka, etc

 

            In these early days the great majority of the citizens of Nnobi were idol worshippers Juju shrines abound and juju priests wilded a lot of powere . Some of these dreaded shrines then include Aho, Idemili Nwa  Onyeushi, Ukpaka Ndam, Udo Umuhu, Udezuna, Udide, Udo Agbom.  These shrines were venues  of captivating  programmes and their  priest terrorized the  citizenry psychologically, it therefore , took super human courage for the early converts to attend church worship and to  undertake  development programmes for the church .  These men and women demonstrated a great act of faith in 1937 when they cleared  the great “Ichie abia groove” This faith  continued to revitalize members of the Anglican Communion in Nnobi in general and Ebenesi in particular

 

            Also, during this period the deification of “Eke” (the phyton was in vogue. Nnobi people like most people in Onitsha province then were worshipping these snakes as their agents of  Chukwu who they  approached fro protection, freedom from calamities, drought etc.  Thus “Eke” Idemili” was held in very high spiritual esteem.  Any misdemeanor within the community was believed to be visited  with wrath of “Eka.” It was regarded as a favorite spirit watching over the whole of Nnobi.  |Thus then, it was sacrilegious for any person from Nnobi to kill the python.  In fact any man who killed it accidentally must inform the Chief and must give it a 

 

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befitting burial.  If it was found dead from natural causes the priests will be notified and they take care of its disposal in a most  “reverent manner”

 

Story has it that in 1939 a man named Nathaniel, a new Christion convert from Ngo killed the snake and used its meat to prepare his meal.  When the act  was confirmed the “Inyom Nnobi” in nudity went to Onitsha to lodge their  complaints to the  resident officer. At the sight of the spectacle the officer ran away. When he later discovered what happened he authorized the women to avenge their sorrow in their customary way.  The women went back to Nnobi singing ferocious songs.  Om reaching Nathaniel’s house they could not find him. They burnt his house and performed the “Ituaja” rite on him.  This story was narrated to show the hostile atmosphere in Nnobi during the period early Christion converts functioned.  This was a period when the seven principal Agwus oin Nnobi “Ebo awu isa” were wielding tremendous influence too.  These converts were therefore, men of great faith and courage. They exercised the power our Almighty God, the father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ invested on them and took dominion of all creatures.  They demystified the reverence to all these idols and enthroned the worship of the only true God. Their early activities have continued to sustain the church.

 

Ebenesi Primary School:    The school was established by the CMS in 1915. It was established and called St. Psul’s CMS School, nnobi.  It started as one teacher infant classes one and two.  After the infant classess 1 and 2, the pupils went to St. Simon’s  CMS School, now called Centra School, Nnobi, for standard one to six.   Later, the school rose up from infant classes

 

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to standard one to four.  After standard four, the pupils still went up St. Simon’s CMS for Standard five to six.  St. Paul’s CMS School later rose to standard six and got approval to take First School Leaving Certificate Examination.

            The school was completely managed by the Church.  Unfortunately, however, after the civil war in 1970, Government took over the school and the name was changed to Ebenesi Primary School, Nnobi.

            Some of the head teachers who headed the school include:

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1.                  <!--[endif]-->Mrs. Margaret Etudo

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2.                  <!--[endif]-->Mrs. Chikeluba

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3.                  <!--[endif]-->Mr. Okokwo

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->4.                  <!--[endif]-->Mr. Megwalu

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->5.                  <!--[endif]-->Mrs. Ifemeludike

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->6.                  <!--[endif]-->Mr. Linus Ezedum

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->7.                  <!--[endif]-->Mr. L.Chikobi

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->8.                  <!--[endif]-->Mrs. M.C.Okolue               1977 - 1999

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->9.                  <!--[endif]-->Mrs. P.N.Ezeanya

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->10.              <!--[endif]-->Mrs. J.I.Udeaja

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->11.              <!--[endif]-->Mrs. C.N. Umeh                1992 – 1994 (retired from service)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->12.              <!--[endif]-->Mrs. W. U. Umeh              1995 – 2007 (transferred in 2007)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->13.              <!--[endif]-->Mrs. N. Ezeimo                             2008 2010 (transferred in 2010)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->14.              <!--[endif]-->Lady  M.C.Mkpajide         2010 – 2013 (retired  in 2013 from service)

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->15.              <!--[endif]-->Mrs. Nkoli Ogbuka                       2013 – 2018

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->16.              <!--[endif]-->Mrs. Pauline Oti               2019

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->17.              <!--[endif]-->Mr. Edith Anigbogu                     2019

 

THE JOURNEY TO DISTRICT STATUS

THE DEFUNCT ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN DISTRICT, EBENESI

In the early years of the church St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ebenesi was part of the  Nnobi group of churches in the Nnewi District (St. Mary’s Uruagu District) . In 1938, the St. Simon’s Anglican Church   Nnobi was elevated to the  status of a parish and St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ebenesi and St. Andrew’s  Anglican Church  Awuda formed part of the Parish. Rev. Agori Iwe who served from 1938 – 1939 was the first priest of the parish.  He was followed by Rev. A.N. Ekpunobi (1944 – 45)

 

            In 1947 St. Paul’s with other 15 churches were excised from Nnewi district and they became St. Simon’s District Nnobi with Rev. J.A. Iwuora as the  priest in charge.   The St. Simon’s Anglican Church was the district headqurters which  looked after all the  Anglican  Churches in Nnobi, Oraukwu, Nnoka, Awka –Etiti, Azigbo, Ekwulumili, Unubi, Amichi, Osumenyi, Ebenato , Ezifinite, Utu and Akwaijedi etc.

 

            St. Pauls’s Church remained under the St. Simon’s District until 1970 when it was granted A District Status. Rev. A. C. Odilora was installed as the first superintendent on 11 January, 1970 at the end of the Nigeria – Biafra Civil War.  The late Rev. David Nwosu succeeded Rev. Odilora as the second priest of the district.  The district status was however, revoked later by the Diocese because of acute shortage of priests many of whom had gone back to their old stations at the end of the war.  St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ebenesi was sent back to St. Simon’s District. However, by this time the

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Church had grown tremendously.  A statistic of the church in Diocesan records of 1971 showed as follows:

Laymen and women              =          8

Communicants                                   =          565

Baptized adults for the year =          70

Baptized children for the year         =          48

Catechumens                         =          5

Total                                                   =          688

The same record showed that 308 scholars were registered in Sunday school.

 

THE PRESENT ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH PARISH, EBENESI , NNOBI

            The church building where the first district operated was considered  unfit and inadequate for the growing congregation. Thus a new church building was embarked upon.  At the same time under Ven . P.N. Ukachukwu as series of negotiations took place and St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ebenesi came out again as a one Church District. Rev. V.I. Igwebike was sent to be first District Superintendent of this Second District.  The new District was inaugurated on Sunday 7th February, 1993 by the Bishop on the Niger . The Rt. Rev. Dr. J.A. Onyemelukwe.  The journey to this second elevation started with a motion moved in the men’s General Meeting of July 1992 to the effect that the church should apply fr a district status.  Even though  the church  was not so  sure that the  application could go through.  Pleasantly however, by the December, 1992 Meeting of the men’s General Meeting the feedback was positive and the news was that application had

 

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been granted.  There was great jubilation and ovation at hat meeting.  It meant that from then the  church  started acting as an  independent church district for the second time in her history.  Rev. V.I.Igwebike stayed  on the job for four  years piloting  the affairs of the young district.  He left in 1996.  In January, 1997 Rev. J.O.I Nweke and Mr. Patrick Onwuzulike (Caterchist) were  posted to the district.  They showed total commitment, zeal, competence and courage in the  discharge of their duties.  The journey of the church so far, even though painfully tortuous has yielded enormous fruits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            THE PRESENT CHURCH BUILDING, THE PARSONAGE, FURTHER FUNDAMENTAL  DEVELOPMENT IN THE CHURCH AND THE PRESENT REMODELLING OF THE CHURCH.

 

Shortly after the Nigerian –Biafra civil was, some active members of St. Paul’s Church observed that the church dedicated in 1936 was fast becoming unfit and inadequate for its growing congregation.  The church built with mud blocks was ageing and gradually getting unsafe for people to worship in .  In 1972, Mr. E.D.C Etudo the then district treasurer initiated a move to acquire land for a new church building.  He approached the families of Timothy oliaku, Josiah Ogbuka and Umeji and requested them to sell their lands where the present church is located to St. Paul’s Church.  He got a positive response and a committee was formed and he was the chairman.  The other members of the committee were: Josiah Ogbuka, S.C. Ikebotu, Isaiah Ogbuefi and W.A Arinze.  They overcame all oppositions from within and outside the church and acquired the land from Timothy Oliaku’s family on 25th July, 1972 at £200.00.  The land from Josiah Ogbuka’s family was acquired on 6th August, 1972 at £150.00while the land from Umeji family was acquired on 24th August, 1972 at £200.00.  All the Nnobi traditional ceremonies needed in buying and selling of land including the traditional killing of goat (Igbu ewu ani) were duly performed on the land.  On 3rd June, 1974 the church purchased another portion of land from Fredrick Umeasi family at ₦546.50 and performed all the necessary ceremonies.  This portion of land was offered to the school in exchange for another piece of land at a portion more comfortable to the church.

 

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The plan for the new church building was drawn by an Aba Based plan maker (draughtsman).  The contract for the construction  of the new church building was first awarded to Mr. Amos Ndubisi of Alor, then it was later awarded to Danson Construction Ltd. Owned  by a building  contractor from Uke, when  Amos could not interpret the drawings.  The work started in 1976 under  the supervision of Mr. E.D.C. Etudo, Mr. Christopher O. Okongwu (Odika Ehihie) was the Chairman  of the Building Committee at this period and  Mr. Nnuriam was the catechist in charge of the church.  A separate fund for the construction of the church was created and members of the church were graded and requested to contribute money towards the building according to the gradings. After the foundation stage the builders Mr. Amos Ndubisi and Co. could not continue the construction work due to some problems in interpreting the building plan.  Engr. A.U.J. Ezinmo a son of St. Paul’s Church Ebenesi who was a famous engineer was contacted and he redesigned the church building gratis.  The construction work the n continued under Danson Construction Ltd.

 

The construction work which  was collectively started with great determination and zeal did not however progress  as expected .  Several problems which included internal crises kept on interrupting the progress of the work.  We shall not delve into these problems here. The summary of the whole episode is that the devil is never happy when the work of God is progressing. When Mr. C.O. Okongwu died, Mr. L.C. Okpala took over the Chairmanship of the building committee.  He resigned after three months and he was replaced by Mr. H.C.  Obiaku. Work on the building continued
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at a very slow  pace until 1988 when Mr. O.I Afamefuna (popularly called  “Nna anyi Abraham”) was the catechist. At that time the old church building was at the verge of collapsing.  Mr. Afamefuna summoned up courage and with  great faith he proposed a date when the church services will be transferred to the new building.  The church was roofed and church service was held within the building  on the proposed date. The foundation stone of this new church  was laid on 22nd October, 1988 by His Lordship, the Rt. Rev. J.A.Onyemelukwe, the Bishop on the Niger. Mr. Rowland C. Okpala was the chairman of the planning committee fir the foundation laying ceremony. The building plan was further modified in 1989 by Engr. Ifeanyi Agu – another son of St. Paul’s Church Ebenesi.  The modification which became necessary was in order to make the building meet up with the modern designs and gratis. Mr. E.D.C. Etudo also contributed some ideas in modifying and adjusting the construction of the building. From 1988 to 1990 the construction of the church witnessed an impressive progress.   It is worthy of note that the terrazzo on the church floor was done as a donation by the St. Paul’s Women General Meeting which celebrated  their golden jubilee anniversary in August,1997. The Men General Meeting installed the hand rail and the generating set.  These were done during the time Mr. Emma. Ezenyem was the Chairman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As we mentioned earlier, St. Paul’s Church Ebenesi was again granted a district status in 1993 as a one church district with Rev. Igwebike as the superintendent.  In the address presented to the Bishop during the inauguration of the district, St. Paul’s Church promised among other things that  we  are going  to build  a befitting  parsonage and that  the church building  will  soon be completed and be ready for dedication.  At the end of 1996, the church building still had no ceiling and was not yet painted.  The old  pulpit inherited from the old church building was still being used, and the  seats which were  inherited  from the old  church were the only seats available for the congregation. Some other aspects  to the building  were yet to be  completed . Rev. Igwebike left at the end of 1996.  He was replaced by both Rev. J.O.I Nweke and Mr.Onwuzulike P.
(Catechist) in January 1997.  Rev. Nweke showed a great deal of concern and commitment towards th completion of th building and the building committee headed by Sir. Simon Omekaodinma and the Parochial Church Committee cooperated with him. Mr. Onwuzulike also played a key role in this development of the church.

 

On 28 December, 1997 Rev. Nweke called for donations towards the ceiling of the building during the church  service.  Ven. Sam. Chukwuka who earlier in the year had presented a new pulpit to the Church during his thanksgiving service for his installation as Archdeacon joined Rev. Nweke in making the call.  Ezeume who was also present joined in the call.  By the grace of God people responded to the call, and cash as well as pldges higher than the estimated cost of the building was realized.  Our God is a miracle working

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God.  The ceiling was done in 1998 and shortly after the ceiling, Mr. Ebube Etudo single  handedly painted the church building.  Earlier in the year, it was estimated that forty new seats were needed in the church . Rev. Nweke called for donation of seats and  individuals and organizations in the church responded .  A contract was awarded for  the construction of the forty seats.  The seats were completed in January 1999.  Rev. Nweke achieved rapid  success in connection  with the building project.  His  charming public  relationship and commitment to duty served as a great  source of motivation and inspiration to the children of God.  Rev. Nweke,  the building committees then  headed by Sir Simon Omekaodinma, the Church Committee, and Mr. Patrick Onwuzulike (the Catechist) also succeeded because they always used the money generated for what it was meant for. The church building was dedicated on February 14, 1999.

 

                              THE PARSONAGE

Members of St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ebenesi   promised  to build a befitting  parsonage in 1992 when they  applied for the district status. During the inauguration of the district in 1993 they reaffirmed the promise.

 

The foundation of the parsonage was made in 1993 by the by the first Superintendent Rev. V.I  Igwebuike.  The construction work however stopped after the foundation due mainly to lack of funds. 

 

 

 

 

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Construction resumed in 1997.  In  November 1998 when some delegates led by Rev. J.O.I.  Nweke visited the Arch Bishop, His Grace, the Most Rev.  (Dr) J.A. Onyemelukwe to fix a date  for the dedication of the church  building, they  yielded  to the  Arch  Bishop’s  persuasion that  the  Parsonage  will be  dedicated  at the  same  with the church  building  on February 14th, 1999.  They  raised  the tempo  of work on the  parsonage.  By the end  of December, 1998 the parsonage had no roof but by January 20th, 1999 it had been roofed , plastered  and frenzied efforts were made and by the grace of God  the set goal was achieved  and the set goal was achieved  and the parsonage was also dedicated  on February 14th, 1999 under Rev. J.O.I Nweke.

 

FURTHER FUNDAMENTAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE CHURCH

Rev. J.O.I. Nweke was transferred in 2001, and was replaced by Rev. Canon C. Umeakafor  (who is now late). During the  period of Rev.  Canon C. Umeokafor, the parish Clerk’s Office was equipped with manual typewriter and cyclostyling machine.  The church generating set was also reactivated and an under-ground water tank was constructed for harvesting and storage of rain water.  The fencing of the parsonage started during Rev. Canon Umeokafor’s time. It was between 2001 and 2003 during Rev. Canon Umeokafor’s time that an initiative to build a two storey building expected to be a hall was taken. The foundation was started in front of the  parsonage.  Th building did not however continue after the foundation due to some fundamental logistics.

 

 

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In 2004, Rev. Canon Umeokafor was transferred and was replaced  by Rev. C.Okechukwu.  During the short period, Rev. Okechukwu stayed (2004- 2005) the fencing of the parsonage and the entire school compound  together with the new Nursery  and  Primary School was  completed.

 

When Rev. C. Okechukwu was transferred in 2005, Rev. E. Amugo took over as the superintendent of St. Paul’s Parish.  Rev. Amugo also superintended over the church for only one year: 2005-2006.  During his period of stay, the entrance gate to the parsonage was constructed and fixed.  Also, over-head tanks were constructed at the  parsonage and the church  compound for water distribution at the  parsonage, and for  the effective cleaning of the  church.

 

            As Rev. E. Amugo left on transfer in 2007, Rev. Canon E. Okoye arrived and served as the superintendent of St. Paul’s Parish till 2009. During  his period, the floor of the  parsonage  was tiled.  It is during this period that some good spirited members of St. Paul’s Church who cherish working in God’s vineyard made some marvelous donations to the church.  One of such children of God constructed and installed marble pulpit , marble lectern  and marble  reading  desk in the church.  It was during Rev. Canon E. Okoye’s period that activities was renewed at our church at Ifite (now All Saints Anglican Church, Ifite). The site was again cleared for church activities.

 

            As we send forth Rev. Canon Okoye in December, 2009 Rev. Dr. Fred Nwachukwuma arrived in January, 2009.  Rev. Dr. Nwachukwuma arrived with a clear vision and direction and did not allow any form of challenges  to distrct him.  He introduced the church bulletin and constructed excellent modern (water system) conveniences in the church compound.  As he  received  a vision of a St. Paul that will have at  least two  other  flourishing  churches  before he leaves it, he reinvigorated  the  effort to make the church at  Ifite grow.

 

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Oftentimes, members of ST. Paul who are not from   Ifite are mandated to worship there.  Rev. Dr. Nwachukwuma was led by the Holy Spirit to minister the vision of building a church at Ifite to a young flourishing son of  St. Paul from Ifite who cherish working in God’s vineyard.  The young man – Chief  Ebuka  Okafor , son of Felix Okafor (late) and Mrs. Eunice Okafor accepted to build  a church at  Ifite. Chief Ebuka  Okafor started  and ultramodern church in 2010 and on December 31, 2012 the ultramodern church that have the capacity  of more than 1500 worshippers was dedicated by the Bishop on the Niger, our own son, Rt. Rev. Owen Chidozie Nwokolo.  During Rev. Nwachukwuma’s period, a borehole was drilled and a large over-head tank was constructed for effective storage and distribution of water  from the borehole.  The water is also being used to minister to members especially those who participate in hour of refreshment.  The period of Rev. Nwachukwuma, with the assistance of the first school board Chairperson Mrs. Charity Nwokolo, witnessed the proper approval, registration and documentation of St. Paul’s Model Nursery and Primary School with the Anambra   State Government, and the beginning  of the construction of a  magnificent storey building for St. Paul’s Nursery an Primary School.  The ground floor, which has taken more than ₦6m, and which consists of classrooms staff Offices has been fully completed  and is in use.  He re-activated, revitalized and re-positioned the English service, and re-inaugurated the gospel band group.

 

During this period also, one of the sons of St. Paul beautified the frontage of the church with interlock, and the family of Oliaku donated their piece of land in front of the Parsonage to the church. In appreciation to Oliaku family, the church extended the water from the borehole to them.

 

            In pursuance of his vision of a church at Ebeneator, Rev. Dr. Nwachukwuma initially started a church outreach at Mr.  Christopher Obiefuna’s compound at Umuhu on  February 5, 2012.  The attendance recorded was sixty-five (65) persons   and the church  collection yielded  three thousand, one hundred  and fifty Naira (3, 150.00)  He pursued the idea of  securing  a land  at Ebenator for the  Ebenator church and was  already sourcing fund and almost making a commitment of  ₦4m  for a piece of land at Umuafor before the negotiation turned  in way the way the Vicar and the PCC decided to keep it in view.  Shortly after this incident, God performed

 

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 His Miracle and marvelous deed  through  the families  of Mr. Nelson (late) and Mrs. Gladys Anosike, and Mr. Josiah (late) and Catherine Anosike.  They made an uncommon sacrifice (a generational sacrifice) by donating more than two plots of land to St. Paul’s Parish at Umuafor village.  While Mrs. Gladys Anosike family donated their own portion of the land unconditionally, the family of Mrs. Catherine Anosike accepted only just a token for their own portion.  Several Blocks were molded at the site  and a  temporary structure was  erected  and the church  started.  The Church at Ebenator – now called St. John’s Church Ebenator was formally inaugurated  on Sunday April 14, 2013 at the  temporary structure for with Mr. Reuben  Ezea as the Coordinator. The property  is now  properly secured  by a fence with two (2) standard  iron gates.  The Church has a convenience  facility and also a temporary structure for children service.  The family of Late Benson Okpala (Onyeocha Calabar) is constructing a 3-bedroom bungalow meant for the Church Teacher.  The bungalow is still at the lintel level. Engr. Earnest Odebeatu (now Rev). And Mr. Ifeanyi Alokwu served as Church Teachers before  the current Church Teacher, Mr. Samuel Ikesi.  The Church which is making gradual but steady progress started a modern church  building in 2018.

The tremendous work of Rev. Dr. Nwachukwuma attracted the attention of the Bishop and on  he named  him as one of those  that will  be collated  Canon of the Cathedral on September 8, 2013.  There is no doubt that the way Rev. Dr. Fred   Nwachukwuma touched souls at St. Paul’s, his evangelism and his developmental strides reached the Almighty God as a living sacrifice.  God further  altered  the decision of th bishop and when  on September, 8 2013 St. Paul’s members  accompanied  Rev. Dr. Nwachukwuma to Onitsha  for his  collation as  Canon of the Cathedral, t he bishop instead collated Rev. Dr. Fred Nwachukwuma an  Archdeacon.  This was to the amazement of those who attended , but with the assistance of his dear wife Mrs. Nwachukwuma; Mr. Samuel Ikesi (Catechist) and wonderful assistance of Ordinand Sylvanus Ugonwenyi.  Ven. Dr. Fred Nwachukwuma retired from St. Paul and a send-fort service wa held on January 5, 2014.  He was replaced by Rev. Sylvanus Ugonwenyi Rev. S. Ugonwenyi’s stay was brief and  he made his modest contributions in the development of the Parish.  He started the Zion Secondary School and it was  during his tenure as Vicar that St. Paul’s Parish celebrated Centenary Anniversary.

 

 

 

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The transfer of Rev. S. Ugonwenyi witnessed the arrival of Rev. Matthew Chukwuneme (Uko Chukwuneme) in 2015.  Rev. Chukwuneme has recorded monumental developments in the Parish in both spiritual and physical dimensions.  He completed the St. Paul’s Nursery and Primary School building and secured government approval for the School as centre for both First School Leaving Certificate Examination and Common Entrance Examination.

 

He has been making a lot of improvement on the Zion Secondary School.  He started and completed the school secretariat with furnished offices and the School has procured two (2) school buses during his tenure as Vicar.  During his tenure the Parish demarcated and equipped Vicar’s office at he parsonage and successfully hosted the Nnobi Archdeaconry Conference in 2017.  He pursued vigorously the control of erosion that should have swallowed the parsonage and some classrooms of Ebenesi Primary School and secured the intervention of Anambra State Government.

 

In May, 2018, the Church still under Rev. Chukwuneme, started the remodeling of the church building.  This remodeling has since blossomed into a construction of a new monumental ultramodern church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE HARVEST OF LABOURERS

As it is the will of God, St. Paul’s Anglican Church District Ebenesi, Nnobi has contributed her own quota of labourers in the vineyard of God.  In a brief scanning  of vital areas of her  contributions  will suffice.

 

PASTORS

            These are  professional  clergies who help individuals within  the congregation achieve their personal  acceptance of grace, so that God  reveal  Himself  to the conscience and inner spiritual  apprehension  of every man .  They are the men heeding the call of Jesus Christ to “Go into the world baptizing men in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”.  They are servants of God, sanctified with divine  authority and they  interpret the words of God and divine will to the people.  St. Paul Anglican Church district produced the first Priest in Nnobi  the Late Rev. (Canon) F. C. Nwokolo and Rev.W.C. Ifemeludike who were both ordained deacon in December, 1963.  To the glory of God, a distinguished vibrant priest who is a son of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Ebenesi Nnobi – Rt. Rev. Sam Chukwuka also became the first Bishop of the Anglican Church Communion from Nnobi.  He served as the pioneer bishop of Isiukwuato – Umuunochi Diocese till December 2012 when he voluntary retired meritoriously.  In 2010, Ven. Owen Nwokolo, a  young unassuming son of Late Canon F.C Nwokolo was to the  glory of God enthroned  as the 6th  Bishop on the Niger. Apart from these landmarks on our harvest of labourers, St. Paul’s Anglican Church has been blessed with numerous outstanding clergy men.  The Table below shows a comprehensive list of Anglican Clergy produced by Paul’s Anglican Church, Ebenesi, Nnobi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anglican Clergy From St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Ebenesi Nnobi

 

S/N

Name

Date of First Ordination

Current/ Last Status

Remark

1

Canon F.C. Nwokolo

Dec 1963

Canon

Died (1994)

2

Rev. W.C Ifemelidike

Dec 1963

Rev.

Died (1980)

3

Rev. C.A Onyiagha

Dec 1964

Rev.

Died (1993)

4

Rev. D.M.C. Umeh

1981

Rev.

Died (1987)

5

Rt. Rev. Sam Chukwuka

 

Bishop

Rtd

6

Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo

 

Bishop on the Niger

 

7

Ven. Engr. Prof. T.C. Madueme

 

 

Rtd. (2019)

8

Rev. Emeka Ezeume

 

 

 

9.

Ven. Victor Ibah

 

Niger-Cem Archdeaconry Ngbo Diocese

 

10

Ven. Clement Okoye

2005

Mutum- Buyu Archdeaconry, Diocese of Jalingo

 

11

Rev.Vin Ifemeludike

 

 

Died (2018)

12

Ven. T. Madunagu

 

Vicar, Holy Trinity, Akaboukwu, Nnewi

 

13

Ven. Samson Ifeanyichukwu Ogbuka, JP

 

St. John’s Church  Umueze Anam

 

14

Ven. Ike  Chukwuka

 

 

In Diaspora

15

Rev. Canon Ifeanyi Chukwuka

 

 

In Diaspora

16

Rev. Grateful Umeh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE CATECHISTS

            The district produced notable catechists in the persons of Mr. John Mbachu, Mr, S.C. Ikebuotu, Mr. Josiah Okeke, Mr. J. Ifemeludike, Mr. Temple Madunagu (now Ven.) and Mr. Isaiah Ogbuefi, Mr. Emma Ifesie, Mathias Obiakor, etc.

 

 

Licensed Lay Readers

 St. Paul’s Anglican Church  district also has produced lay raders in th person of Mr. A. Chukwuka, Mr. K. Ezeonu, Mr. S. Omekaodinma, Mr. E.C. Nwawelu, Mrs. C. Okwuegbu, Mr. F.C. Z. Okpala, Prof. Micah Osilike, Prof. (Mrs) I.S. Madueme, Mrs. Catherine Anosike, Mr. Martin Nwawelu, Mrs Charity Nwokolo, Mrs. Edith  Okafor, Mr. Francis Umeh, Mr, Wilson oliaku etc.

 

SCHOOL TEACHERA (Retain only Professors)

St. Paul’s Anglican Church parish can boast of men and women  in the different  professions.  They have produced numerous teachers in the different  tiers  of educational  institutions.  Among the outstanding teachers include: Mr. Elisha Etudo who was the first Principal Nnobi produced  and in fact, one  of the  first  graduates Nnobi produced .  It is worth  noting that  St. Paul’s Women contributed  to his education financially.  Among the numerous outstanding teachers produced by St. Paul’s Anglican Church Parish , we have the following professors in various tertiary institutions around the world: Prof. M.O Osilike, Prof. O.Agu, Ven Engr. (Prof) T.C. Madueme, Prof. F. C. Okafor, Prof.(Mrs.) i.S. Madueme, Prof. Goddy Onyiagha, Prof. Osita Anyaeche to mention a few.

            Furthermore, the church has contributed her quota inll the filds of human endeavours as she has her sons and daughters in government, commercial and health institutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE CHOIR

            In the early days of the church at Ebenesi, there was no organized choir as we have it today.  What happened  was that  there were  individuals with good voices who usually introduced  tunes during  worship.  These people chose the tunes for the congregation. Examples of such  men were Late Mr. Joseph Oliaku and Late Mr. Timothy  Nzewi.   However, by 1930s the Church  had an  organized choir.  At this time, one Mr. Ufele the Catechist doubled as  choirmaster.  He was assisted by  Mr. Mbachi.  In fact, the choir that sang on the day of the dedication of the old church  building still has its choristers among the congregation now.  Under Mr Mbachi the choir  won shields in singing  competitions.  The choir was later handled by Mr. Oti a teacher from Central School Ngo. After him came Rev.  Canon Felix Nwokolo, now late who took  over as the choirmaster.  When Felix Nwokolo left, Mr. Edward  Etudo took over.  He later went  down to onitsha as he joined  the Christ Church “Choir from where he usually comes home to assist Mr. Micheal Ngwudo who took over from him.  Mr. Ngwudo had a long term as choirmaster and the late Mr. David Akubueze also came  in to assist  him. After Mr. Micheal Ngwudo, in about  1966, the mantle fell on  Mr. Peter Okafor, who stayed  a long time and was joined  in 1980s by another  choirmaster by name  Mr. Nwokolo, I.G who was a youg graduate. IG as was  popularly known introduced  modern  style of singing and taught  the choir so many oratorios  Nigro Spiritual, Classical pieces and so many other kinds of Igbo and English  Anthems that helped to further raise the standard of the choir, that hey are now the choice of many during different church and traditional ceremonies.

 

            In this onerous task to further improve on the standard of the choir, the then  Vicar of the church now Ven. J.O.I Nweke appointed  Sir Emmanuel Nwokolo and  Mrs. Charity Okwuegbu as choirmaster II ND III respectively to help manage the choir whis is now growing both in size and in strength .  This was a result of the fact that Mr. Nwokolo IG was moved to Nnobi Archdeaconry Headquarters St. Simon to raise a standing choir for St. Simon’s Church after which he came back to St. Paul’s Church still the choir master.  All these choirmasters/ choir mistress have been playing astute coordinating, inspiring roles in shaping and equipping the choir.

 

 

 

 

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            We have  had so many chairmen  of the choir like Mr. Henry Nwokolo, Mr. Theophilus Okpala and currently Mrs. Ibekwe Ifeyinwa and Chiyere Ikekpeazu as Chairperson and Secretary respectively.  The Choir also had  good keyboard, which always accompanies it during services.  Among the pioneer organists were  Mr. Levi Achuka,  Mr. Felix Okafor, Engr. Emma Umeh (all of blessed memory) and Sir Prof. Goddy Onyiagha, Mr. Andrew Ifemeludike, Mr. Nwokolo Joel, Miss May Umeh and Ngwudo Patrick.

 

           There were so many notable choristers among our elders, people like Albert ikebese, Robert Umeh, Mrs. M. Onyiagha (all late) and Ndu Madunagu, Ik. Osilike, Madam Caroline Onyiagha to mention a few, also there are other scintillating stars whose solo voice performance enthralled and thrilled the Congregation.  Such individuals. Like the Chukwukas (Charity and Mirian) late Caroline Maduekwe, Christiana Onyiagha and presently Master Abuchi Okeke.  St. Paul’s choir reached  a very important height in t heir performance in1947 and this had been the focus of every generation of chorister. In that year, they represented Nnobi group at the Nnewi District Singing Competition and won. Even now, theystill perform very well in both Diocesan and Archdeaconry levels.  In 2013, they took first position in the Combined Niger Archdeaconry Music Competition and thereafter took third position in the 2013 Diocesan Music Festival held at the  all Saints Cathedral Onitsha where they took the first position at the  Diocesan Rural Archdeaconry Music Festival and is currently the best rural choir in the Diocese.

 

GOSPEL BAND

In the early days of the church around 1920s the converts were prohibited strictly from watching or participating in heathen activities no matter  how captivating  (for  example Ikpu Okwa of Umuoha). They  were also to find ways of attracting  converts . So, St. Paul’s Ebenesi had a brass band that thrilled  people in all important occasions.  The atmosphere they created  during  their performances was electrifying .  A popular song by the  band  then was “Ebenesi nomba wan a bia”  (which means Ebenesi number one has come). The band  had people  like Mr. Andrew Chukwuka, Mr. Jodeph Oliaku, Mr. Ephraim Enemuo (flutist), Mr. Ben. Nwokolo, Mr. Peter oguegbulu and Isaiah Arinze among  others as members of the band. 

 

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This band was later absorbed by another band (its rival) at St. Simon’s Church when they unified

Today , St. Paul’s Anglican Church  has another Gospel band that is  successful. This  band was donated by Mt. Chukwukelu Okwulogu, but presently being  re-branded and  re-equipped by St. Paul’s home and abroad women and the P.C.C.  who made sure that  the band is in good  from.  This band perform similar functions as the old band.  The  active members are Emma Ikebeotu, Ebere Achuka who is current band leader, Miss Adaolisa Achuka, David Okafor,  Onyeka Nwokolo, Chinyere Ikekpeazu, Emeka Uche, Mr & Mrs Sunday Onwughalu, David Chizoba etc.

 

THE YOUTH FELLOWSHIP

 

In  the 1950s, a militant  ogan of the Anglican Church  was created and is called Anglican Youth Fellowship.  This was a fellowship of young vibrant Christians and they entertained  the congregation in most  occasions with their melodious songs. They made worship an  exciting  experience and they  did the manual jobs of the church.  They  also actively evangelized in various forms. They engaged in humanitarian activities.  Their activities  reached the climax in the early 1960s and through  them the  Anglican Church won many converts.  St. Paul’s Anglican  Youth  Fellowship had in its  fold  one time or the other  men like  Mr. Ebenezer Ofoma, Stephen Ukadike, Emmanuel Nwawelu, Peter Okafor, Henry Nwokolo, Solomon Okpala, Ephraim Ezume and Isaac Okpala, to  mention a few.  Other young men  who served as adtute youth leaders included Mr. F.C.Z Okpala, Mr. Innocent Nwokolo, Mr. Emma Onua, etc  Today, this organization is still strong under the able leadership of Mr. Elochukwu Obidike. One remembers  their clarion call with excitement – “ Ndi Youth Holy ,Holy” – “Holy, Holy”.   It has always  been a spectacle watching them perform and they have contributed immensely to the growth  and  development of this church.  Most of today’s  leaders cut their teeth in the  Youth Fellowship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OTHERS

            The  Anglican Church at Ebenesi, like its counterparts elsewhere derive their  strength from some key organizations like Men’s  General Meeting , the Women General meeting (Home and Abroad), the Mother’s Union, the Women’s Guild. Most of these  are instruments  of development, discipline and socialization.  Most functions of the  church  depend on the cooperation of these  organs and their  leadership from inception have all been exemplary.

            The Women’s General Meeting are making invaluable contributions to the development of the Parish.  They rendered immeasurable support in the completion of the present  church building, and had supported  immensely in the provision of cars for some clergy produced  by St. Paul’s Parish.  Recently, in  pursuance of a befitting  centenary anniversary celebration, they resumed work on the  church hall which was abandoned  long ago at he  foundation level.  They have decked  the hall, raised  the first floor, and have roofed  the hall.  In fact, they have almost completed the hall that it is now  being used by St. Paul’s Zion Modern Secondary School as tentative school building.

            The young boys and girls are not left out.  The “Saturday Boys” the Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade are all organizations that help build up our youth in disciplined Christian living.  The other  groups include the Scripture Union that was  once active in the  organization of Sunday School Classes and Bible Studies. This job has been taken over in the church by the EFAC (Evangelical Fellowship in the  Anglican Communion). There is the A.P.A (Anglican  Praying Association) which is now active as A.C.M (Anglican Children Ministry) and other organs all participating in the growth of the church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AWARD WINNERS

 

1          D.M.A (Diocesan Merit  Award Winners)

The following sons and daughters of the  district have been awarded the Merit  Award of the Diocese: H.C. Obiaku, S.C. Ikebuotu, E.D.C.Etudo, R.C. Okpala, Mrs. Catherine Chukwuka, Simon Omekaodinma, Charity  Okwuegbu, Samson Ezeigbo, Comfort Umeh, F.C.Z. Okpala and Isaiah Ukadike.

 

2          Jerusalem Pilgrims

The following sons and daughters have paid official pilgrimage to Israel.

Sir I.K Akubeze

Mr. H.A. Onyiagha

Mrs. Eunice Okafor

Rev. Canon S.I. Ogbuka

Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Chidozie Nwokolo

Dr. Mrs. Else Nwokolo

 

3          Knights in the Anglican Communion:

The  following have been Knighted in one of the approved Order of Knights in Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.

            Sir Simon Omekaodinma

Sir I.K. Akubeze

            Sir Ezekiel Ibekwe

            Sir David Ikebuotu

            Sir Goddy C. Onyiagha

            Sir Micah O. Osilike

            Sir Fabian C. Okafor

            Sir Emma Nwokolo

            Sir Goddy Oguegbulu

            Sir Henry Okpala

            Sir Philip Onwuka (late)

            Sir Felix Okafor (late

            Sir Innocent Nwokolo

            Sir Ebuka Okafor

 

 

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COMMUNITY SERVICE

St. Paul’s Anglican Church  like the other Anglican Churches in Nnobi served the  immediate community  in many ways one of which  is education  of the youths . School began in Nnobi in 1908. Ezeokoli I was literate (a stammering of English Language) so he  realized that  Western Education was an indispensable instrument for social  change  so  he encouraged Nnobi people to pursue  education.  In  St. Paul’s  a  school was attached to the  thatched  roof church and pupils study there.  After the class two they moved over to Central School Ngo to study from standard one upwards. Much later,  the school was upgraded and pupils can study up to  Standard  4 at St. Paul’s. By 1962 St. Paul’s School was allowed to reach standard six.  This school has produced, several categories of individuals some of whom  are successful businessmen, academicians, clergies and other specialized  professionals.

St. Paul’s  Anglican Church Ebenesi also contributes in the running of the  Maternity Home even though it is a Community Development  Project of the town.

In the church there is a poverty alleviation programme that caters for the destitute, providing Food for the hungry and shelter for the homeless.  Some widows - Dorcas, Margaret Okpala and Joy Nnaji were provided with a home among others as examples of some benevolent acts.  The church also runs a scholarship programme.   Somebody like Mr. Adolph Uzoefie benefited from such programme. The programme is still viable with about 30 students under the scheme in 1997/98 academic year.

           The other areas of activity are social. The church declared war against such vices as killing of twins. For example, records show that such prominent citizens as Chief Ekechukwu, Mr. Camillus Ezeogu and Mrs. Catherine Chukwuka to mention a few benefited from such actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MISCELLANEOUS  FACTS

 

List of Priests that served  St. Paul’s Anglican Church:

1          Rev. Agori Iwe                                   (1940 – 41)

2          Rev. B.P. Apena                                  (1941 – 42)

3          Rev. S. Jumbo                         (1942 – 43)

4          Rev. A.N. Ekpunobi                (1944 – 45)

5          Rev. J.A.Iwuora                                  (1946 – 50)

6          Rev. J.A. Okafor                                  (1951 – 56)

7          Rev.     D.I. Okechukwu                      (1957 – 60)

8          Rev. C. Mbonu                                    (1961 – 64)

9          Rev. R.C.Emelugo                               (1965 – 69)

10        Rev. A.O. Odilora                                (1968)

11        Rev. M.IIechukwu                              (1969)

12        Rev.J.I. Okoye                         (1970 – 77)

13        Rev. L.C.M. Mgbemena                      (1975)

14        Rev. P.D. Onwuzulu               (1976 – 78)

15        Rev. M.I. Mbogu                                 (1979 – 83)

16        Rev. (Canon) B.N. Okeke       (1984 – 91)

17        Rev.E.M.A. Ike                                    (1991)

18        Ven.     P.N.Ukachukwu                      (1992

19        Rev.V. I. Igwebike                              (1993 – 96)

20        Rev. J.O.I Nweke                                 (1997 – 2001)

21        Rev. Canon C. Umeokafor     (2001 – 2004)

22        Rev. C.Okechukwu                 (2004 – 2005)

23        Rev. E. Amugo                                    (2005 – 2007)

24        Rev. Canon E. Okoye              (2007 – 2009)

25        Rev. Dr. Fred Nwachukwuma          (2009 – January, 2014)

26        Rev.     Sylvanus Ugonwenyi (January 2014 – 2015)

27        Rev. Matthew Chukwuneme (January 2015)

 

To nurture the church from infancy to this adult stage, the church also benefited from the services of some catechists.  The history of the church cannot be complete without mentioning their names.  The wife of one these men Mrs. Maduekwe initiated the “Nzuko ndi ofia na ndi uno” for the women of St. Paul’s Anglican Church  Ebenesi, Nnobi.

 

 

 

21

The List is as follows (not in chronological order):

Mr. Ufele

Mr. MenakayaMr.

Uwe-eweni

Mr. S. Onyenwe

Mr. J. Ikezue

Mr. Okpaleke

Mr. W. Ezenwa

Mr. J. Asuzu

Mr. T. Madusolumo

Mr. S.O Ejelua

Mr. T. Madunagu

Mr. Obiako

Mr.O.I. Afamefuna

Mr. S. Nnuriam

Mr. R.O.C Okpala Akunne

Mr. Isaiah Okeke

Mr. Maduewesi

Mr.D.O. Ike

Mr. Onyedike

Mr. Maduekwe

Mr. P. Onwuzulike

Mr. Samuel Ikesi

Mr. Ifeanyi Alokwe

Mr. Reuben Ezea.