he Presbyterian Church of Nigeria is aware of its origins in the Reformation, especially for the enlightening ministries of John Calvin in Switzerland and John Knox in Scotland.
The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria is also indebted to the Presbyterian Church in Jamaica and the Jamaican Missionary Board for West Indies and Africa for taking the initiative to send five Jamaicans and the Rev. Hope Masterdon Waddell to Calabar in 1846 at the invitation of King Evamba V and King Eyo II and other chiefs of Calabar. The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria is also grateful to the Church of Scotland Mission for its generous support of further mission personnel bringing in the light of the gospel.
The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria remembers the creation of the Presbytery of Biafra for the oversight of the congregations formed and Creek Town and Duke Town on September 1, 1858, and to be known as “The Presbyterian Church in Biafra.” The Church gives thanks to God for the memory of its first indigenous Nigerian minister, the Rev. Esien Esien Ukpabio, ordained to the holy ministry by the Presbytery of Biafra on April 9, 1872. The Church still rejoices when on May 4, 1921 the Synod of Biafra was formed, comprised of two Presbyteries. The Synod became “The Presbyterian Church of Eastern Nigeria” in June, 1952, and in recognition of its own national character and mission, in June 1960 changed its name to “The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria”.
The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria gives glory to God and expresses its everlasting gratitude to the Church of Scotland, who already in 1945 began a plan of handing over to indigenous Nigerians that part of its Church established on Nigerian soil, to become a self governing and independent Nigerian counterpart to the Church of Scotland. This handing over was completed by 1960.
ot to be forgotten is this Church’s strong determination to remain a single entity, even through the ravages of the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 1970, and hence, on the 7th of January, 1971, the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria resolved that for “the furtherance of evangelism and its mission in the nation, to adopt a new structure which includes a General Assembly as he supreme court of the Church, as well as Synods, Presbyteries, and Sessions.”
In the light of this historical context, the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria remains faithful to its origins, yet equally faithful to the leading of God through His Holy Spirit in adapting itself to contemporary situations.
First Abuja Parish
irst Abuja Parish of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, as the name implies, is the first Presbyterian Church in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The idea of establishing a Presbyterian Church in Abuja was first muted during the 1978 Annual Synod (now General Assembly) meeting. This was one of the reactions of the Church to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s decision to relocate her national capital from Lagos to Abuja in 1976. In order to foreclose the possibility of our Church being a late entrant to Abuja as was the case in Lagos, the machinery was immediately set in motion. 1983, the Rev. E. A. Ndon was posted to formally commence the Church.
In August 21, 1983, the Rev. Ndon organized the first divine worship service in the living room of one Mr. Ufiem. A. Oji at Block 9, Flat 9, Area 11, Garki, Abuja. This preaching post was erected as an Extension Charge on Sunday April 1, 1984, during a divine service at Old Parade Ground, Abuja. Three years after, on Sunday July 26th, 1987, the Extension Charge was formally given a full Parish Status with the ordination of two pioneer Elders, namely Agbai Onuoha Ogba and Ifechide Kalu Umoga in the same service of inauguration.
ince then, the Parish has grown from strength to strength, giving birth to many other Parishes within the FCT and its environs. The Parishes are Nyanya, Kubwa, and Minna all inaugurated in 1995. Other new Parishes that have emerged from the First Abuja Parish include Gwagwalada (1996); defunct Karmo (2004), Lugbe (2005) and Gwarinpa (2010). Mpape and Zauda congregations are looking forward to attaining Parish status soon.
he following Ministers have served as Associate Ministers of the Parish in chronological order:
Revs Marshal Kalu, Nene Amogu, Ambrose Onyobi, Effiom Opla, Ume Okorie, Lekwauwa Eke, Mrs. Ntonova Nkanu, Major Nze, Mrs. Uzoma Dike, Precious Ogo, Grace Oku, Emeka Kalu and Jessica Okon-Effiong. Revs Nene Amogu, Ebere Solomon-Umazi, Ijeoma Okoronkwo, Inyang Ubi and Emmanuel Nwankwo are currently (2013) serving as Associate ministers.
he Kirk Session has about 30 active Ruling Elders on roll, with Elder Ifendu K. Ukonu as incumbent Session Clerk and Elder Dr. E. E. Nkang as incumbent Board Chairman.
The Church auditorium of First Abuja Parish is strategically located as 5 Boke, Close, off Sakono Street, Opposite AP Plaza, Wuse II, Abuja. The Church complex also doubles as the official Head Office of Synod of the North.