Presbyterian Church celebrates achievements, 175th anniversary in Nigeria
The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria (PCN) has celebrated the 175th anniversary of Church’s witness in Nigeria.
In his address during the ceremony at St. Peters PCN, Umuahia, His Eminence Nzie Nsi Eke, prelate and moderator of the General Assembly, traced the foundation of the Church in Nigeria to the invitation of two Kings from the Ancient Efik Kingdom, King Eyamba V. and King Eyo Honesty IV.
He disclosed that upon the invitation, a team of missionaries led by Rev. Hope Masterton Waddell set out to Nigeria in spite of the dangers of the sea and of mosquitoes.
Eke said they arrived Calabar and founded Presbyterian Church at Creek and Duke Towns in 1846.
The PCN Prelate and Moderator of the General Assembly who was represented by Chukwuma Kalu Okorie (Very Rev.) revealed that Hugh Goldie, one of the missionaries who followed the team to Calabar in his book, ‘Calabar and its Mission,’ remarked that King Eyo IV was quite in advance of his countrymen and was sincerely desirous of improving the tribe by education and abolition of the rites of blood.
Reminiscing the achievements recorded since PCN came to Nigeria, the Prelate and Moderator disclosed that the journey so far, the PCN noticed in deep and dear appreciation to God some of the notable achievements and victories won by God through Presbyterian witness in Nigeria all these 175 years. He said that football was first introduced to Nigeria (Calabar) in the year 1902 by one of its missionaries, Rev. James Luke.
“It is on record that most people who laid a solid foundation for development of Nigeria as a nation and the educational sector passed through or have link with Presbyterian Institution,” the Prelate recalled.
He further said that Presbyterians pioneered the work of Bible Translation in Nigeria with the translation of the Holy Bible into Efik Language in 1862, thus making Efik Bible the first Vernacular Bible in Nigeria.
Eke also hinted that one of the Church’s Schools, Hope Waddell Training, Calabar, founded in 1895 has produced eminent Nigerians, among others.
Ikechukwu I. Nduka (Clergy) the guest preacher during the Anniversary Services held at PCN, Umuahia by South-Central Synod of the Church, disclosed that PCN was the first Church to arrive Nigeria before Catholic, Methodist and Anglican Churches.