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The Brief Historical Development of The Apostolic Church as a Denomination in Nigeria

The Apostolic Church as a denominational name was adopted here in Nigeria in the year 1931.

It all happened in the year 1918 during the period of influenza epidemic, certain brethren, eighteen (18) in number began to practice Divine Healing as a result of which they had to withdraw from their denomination and formed the “Diamond Society” due to persecution from their former denominations. They later affiliated with “Faith Tabernacle Congregation” in U.S.A.

On 10th-July, 1930 in Ilesha; a great Revival started in the churches in fellowship with “Faith Tabernacle Congregation” which resulted in much persecution. This Revival was led by Late Evangelist Joseph Ayo Babalola. Simultaneously at Lagos a never-to-be-forgotten Revival broke out through Late Evangelist and Prophet D.O. Orekoya, a member of Faith Tabernacle Congregation. From Lagos, the Lord directed him to Ibadan making Oke-Bola, Ibadan the seat of the Revival from where people from all walks of life came to receive the blessings of God by way of miracles, signs and wonders both in healing, deliverance from bondage of sin and demons.

When persecution was rife in Lagos, Ibadan and Ilesha respectively, which were the principal places at that initial stage of Revival, appealed for help to the leaders of Faith Tabernacle Congregation was sent but unfortunately not headed. Consequently another appeal had to be made to the leaders of The Apostolic Church in Britain for assistance to which response was made being regarded as “Macedonian call for help”. In answer to this invitation, three European Missionary Delegates arrived in Lagos, Nigeria on 23rd September, 1931. They were the late Pastors D.P. Williams (President). A. Turnbull (Vice President) and W.J. Williams (International Prophet) all of The Apostolic Church, Great Britain.

God richly blessed their ministry and offered an exchange of views on Doctrinal matters and other fundamental scriptural truths, the leaders and entire members of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation, Nigeria to which we belonged at that time unanimously decided to affiliate with The Apostolic Church as a Denominational name together with its Principles and Practices.

In November 1931 the visiting Apostles ordained and anointed the first seven pastors of The Apostolic Church in Nigeria at Noloney Great Bridge Street Assembly, Lagos. The seven brethren were the late Pastors J.B. Esinsinade, D. O. Odubanjo, J. A. Babatope, S. A. Mensah, E. G. L. Macauley, I. B. Akinyele and S. G. Adegboyega.

SPREAD TO EASTERN NIGERIA – CALABAR

One of the outcomes of the Revival that were experienced in the then Eastern Regional areas about which mention had already briefly been made, was a request sent to the United Kingdom International Headquarters requesting for some missionaries by the Lagos area administration. In due course and in response to this invitation, in the year 1932, Pastors G. Perfect and I. J. Vaugham arrived in that City from United Kingdom.

And in 1932 Evangelist I. J. Vaugham from Britain and Joseph Babalola from Western Nigeria arrived at Duke town and Creek town, Calabar simultaneously.

The powerful message of these Evangelists was accompanied with such signs as were predicted by the Lord Jesus Christ in Mark 16:15-17. Those were also attached by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, healing of diverse kinds of sicknesses and casting out of unclean spirits as found in the entire book of Acts. This great spiritual revival which hitherto has no comparison spread its flames to the whole of Eastern Nigeria and later into the Cameroon Republic. “The Apostolic Church” which now has hundreds of Assembles of thousands of converted saints all over the states.

SPREAD TO IGBO

The Apostolic Church came to Igbo land in December 1931 and in the year 1932, Pastor Albert Emetanjo was sent to Igbo land from Calabar to reside in Aba, to gather the existing stations and form into Districts.

Pastor George Perfect and Idris J. Vaugham arrived at Calabar in the year 1932 and visited many places in Igbo land including Oloko, Nbansi, and Aba.

Amumara was a prayer house under Ife, and became an Assembly and a District under Pastor V. Wellings at Ife. Pastor V. Wellings arrived at Ife on Thursday 18th January 1940. The Amala of Amumara offered a large portion of land to the church and requested Pastor V. Wellings to send a European to come and live with them.

In July 1940, Pastor I. J. Vaughan was sent to live in Amumara as the superintendent for Igbo Area.

God blessed the word in the areas and it has been established to the level of Territorial status and a Bible college.

SPREAD TO RIVERS & BAYELSA STATES – MARITIME TERRITORY

It was on the 20th day of June 1934, that through the ministry of Pastor Noah Evans a European missionary from Calabar, that the church was established at Bodo, Ogoni, Rivers State. It actually came about when Mr. Uranta, a petition writer from Opobo town brought news to the little group of worshippers in Christ Army Church Bodo, that a church was operating in Calabar in which the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts and clapping of hands while singing were practiced.

The Bodo brethren then sent a delegation to Calabar and as a result, the Calabar council officially sent pastor Noah Evans in 1935 to group at Bodo to show them The Apostolic vision and its attendant principles and practices. The church today has grown up to the status of Territorial Level and is named Maritime which comprises Rivers and Bayelsa States respectively.

SPREAD TO OTHER PARTS OF NIGERIA AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

It should be noted that from Lagos in Nigeria the church spread and gained entrance to every state in Nigeria including some other countries in West Africa and it is one of the most populated denominations in Nigeria.

A sort of staff training was embarked upon and as staff were recruited and trained overseas as well as in Nigeria, the need arose for bible college to be established within the church in Nigeria. At present time the church has established colleges in nearly all the fields in the Nigerian nation.

The Apostolic Church is one of the strongest Pentecostal movements in Nigeria and embraces the great important doctrines of the Bible and upholds the fundamental principles of Christ and His tenets.

Long Live The Apostolic Glorious Vision on Earth!