Saturday, 2 April 2011

Brief History of the Cathedral Church of St. Mary's Uruagu, Nnewi

Pro-Cathedral of St. Mary's Uruagu Nnewi
It was in Uruagu villageNnewi that the church Missionary Society (C.M.S) first landed when they came with the good news in 1893. At their arrival they visited a highly respected chief and the traditional ruler of Uruagu autonomous community who was known as Ogbufo Okonkwo Ezeorimiri who with his cabinet highly received them. Unfortunately, their stay was ephemeral because Ogbufo’s great war of territorial expansion. Ogbufo wanted them to continue the work which they started by but because of the terrain, he asked them to leave for their own safety.
In October 1902, missionaries under same church Missionary Society (C.M.S) made their second missionary journey to Uruagu from Obosi under the leadership of Rev’d P.A. Bennet, Miss Alice Lydia Wilson and Miss Bird. With the full backing of the traditional ruler evangelists were bold enough to move in and out of the palace hall without molestation. The Palace was too busy for the missionaries therefore Ogbufo spoke to his brother Umeoduagu who was the head Umeobieli family who accepted to accommodate the missionaries in his compound.
Later, when the converts increased, they moved to the residence of Ezeolu Aso. The existing thatched building there was used for prayers and meetings while they retire for rest at Umeoduagu’s house. It is from there the church subsequently moved to it’s present site, uzoudo, through the generousity of Umeobieli family of Ndiojukwu village, Urruagu Nnewi.
The founding fathers of St. Mary’s Church, Uruagu were:
1.      Paul Nwogu
2.      Jeremiah Dike
3.      Alfred Uzokwe
4.      Sampson Okafo
5.      Joseph Ngwube
6.      Ezeolu Aso
7.      John Onweluzo
8.      Peter Ukachukwu
9.      Emmanuel Metu
10.  Mark Okafor
11.  Simon Okeke
12.  Ephraim Ifediora
13.  Matthias Emenike
14.  Mark Obienu
15.  Moses Udemezue
16.  Elijah Obiakonwa
3.6.2 St. Barth’s Anglican Church, Umuezeagu
St. Barth’s was said to be founded in the year 1985. A Church teacher was sent to the place by name Sylvester Afam Nwokeoti who arrived there in that same year. Mr. Benneth Ekemezie Okonkwo gave out his house free of charge to the Church teacher. The church’s search for a land to build a place of worship was realised on the 2nd January, 1988 through the land donation made by Chief Sir Aaron E. Okoye of blessed memory.
On Sunday, 22nd December, 1991 the then Archdeacon of Nnewi Archdeaconry, Ven. G.I.N. Okpala in accordance with Diocesan approval inaugurated the church St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church Umuezeagu Uruagu Nnewi. The names of the workers of this Church since inception until date are as follows:
Mr. Sylvester Afam Nwekeoti: 1985-1992
Mr. Chinedu ben Ifedigbo: 1993-1995
Mr. ALphonsus Ogbogu: 1996-1999
Mr. Felix O. Uzokwe: 2000-2004
Mr. Nnamdi Orizu: 2004
Rev’d Inno C. Mekaowulu: 2005-2007
Rev’d K.C. Nzewi: 2008
3.6.3. St. Andrew’s Anglican, Akaboezem
With the advent of Christianity in Uruagu Nnewi in 1902, early converts from Akaboezem village walked long distance for Church activities. In 1943, Late Pa Gabriel Nwosu and others requested to be allowed to conduct evening service at Akaboezem. The Nnewi district superintendent late Rev’d O. Osadebe considered and granted their request that same year. With great joy for such achievement, late pa Gabriel nwosu donated a parcel of land to the Church and saw to it that a thatched building was erected to serve as both worship and school activities. The first Church/school teacher Mr. Gabriel Ifebude was sent there in the year 1949 and the church was name St. Andrew’s (C.M.S.) Church Akaboezem.
3.6.4 St. John’s Anglican Church, Edoji
Mr Gideon Chidugha a native of Ogbunike was the initiator of this Church St. John’s as a Church teacher who was in St. Mary’s C.M.S. Church Uruagu. The evangelist while on routine missionary work, stopped at Uno-Ogba at Nkwo Edoji which was a market place and preached the gospel to Edoji community. At the end of the day he returned to the base. The plan to set up St. John’s Church and school started in 1913 through the instrumentality of Mr. Joseph Esione before then, Mr Gideon Chidugha was the visiting preacher but to make the work lighter Mr Nathaniel Chidolue, david Igbokwe, Joseph Ngwube and Michael Nzewi helped the Church teacher in conducting services and also doing school work. Mazi Ume-egbebuike and Mr John Nnadozie donated a piece of land each to the Church for commencement of the Church building which took off in 1913.
3.6.5 Miracle Anglican Church, Obiagu
The name “Miracle” aptly describes the process of the Anglican Church in Obiagu Village in Nnewi. The vision to the miracle began in the year 2000 through the efforts of late catechist A.E.A. Mbamalu, Late Mrs Virginia Okafor and prince C.O Okeke. It started as an evening service in the house of Prince C.O. Okeke.
The Anglican Church started in the year 2000 when the Pro-Cathedral sent an evangelist by name C.O. Chukwuma there as a missionary. His house to house evangelism led Chief Anene Ike who was a member of the Roman catholic Church to donate his piece of land to the Church. the sum of Two hundred and fifty thousand naira was given to the evangelist and also Engr. J.C. Uzokwe to start the building of the Church. the fire brigade team and the EFAC of St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral cleared the shrine bushes in front of the land.
On July 7, 2001, a four day crusade commenced at Obom Obiagu. The Sunday following, morning service was held at Obi Obiagu, presided by Rev’d U.J. Okoli and Rev’d C.O. Akabogu. It was in this Church service in July 11, 2011 that the young Church was named Miracle Anglican Church Obiagu.

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