There is a lot of nostalgia surrounding 24th September of 1842 in Nigeria especially with the first open air crusade under Agia Tree at Badagry. Methodist Church Nigeria, the first international denomination in Nigeria has nurtured and engaged in mission for 175 years as it continues to awaken people to the reality of God at work in their lives and in the world, and continues to prod people to go out and rouse others to realise the holiness, power and possibility of healing the world God has given us. We have gone through the cultural ethos, civil war, and church crisis that revolves around the development of social structure and institutions and less emphasis is given to the development of one’s personal spiritual life. It was a period where one is more concerned with doing Methodism than experiencing Methodism. Consequently, it was a time in our spiritual and national life when doing Christianity was the development of the external forms of the institutional church. The reflection is that ‘too much activism wears too many activists thin.’ At a point in time, longing for inner peace and renewal begins to resurface, hence the beginning notes of a new spiritual awakening and expansion of Methodism in all the four regions in Nigeria. To God be the glory for the great awakening among our youths fellowship, Campus fellowship and its Alumni, Association of Methodist Brigade, Men’s and Women’s fellowships, and the Conference Department of Evangelism.

The lesson and task from our 175 years history calls us to reflect on the challenges of just doing Methodism and the blessing of experiencing Methodism in Truth and Spirit in Nigeria. Methodists are a people of inner faith, warmed heart translated into external concern and work. I believe God is calling Methodist Church Nigeria as a church of Jesus Christ and not just as institutional forms the church takes in any age and culture. God is calling Methodist Church Nigeria not just to follow the the status quo strategy so as not to ‘be crushed in the seismic waves of change that are rattling our lives.’ God is calling us to reclaim our evangelical and leadership place in Nigeria as the grand story teller in our public schools, the church, and the family. Family is the most important grand story teller for experiencing Methodism in Nigeria. Through class meetings and house fellowships, a Methodist family suggests ‘a land where faith and hard work filled the soul with a sense of accomplishment.’ Today, the the strength of Nigerian Methodism is the the home of its members.

With the help of the missionary, Methodist Church Nigeria founded public schools teaching Christian values that were essential to our national common good shaped by the distinctively African values of respect and hospitality. We need the restoration of the grand Nigerian story of unity and love and not of tribalism and greed. In the beginning Methodist Church Nigeria assisted the family and the school, preparing people for heaven in the future and instil within them moral qualities of good citizenship for the here and now. In Nigeria today, the traditional role of the church is collapsing, coupled with division over what the baseline elements of the Christian message are. Under the scourge of secular seduction, the essence of Christian story has fallen victim to the relativism that has entered the church.

Irenaeus famously said that the glory of God is a human being, fully alive.  The task of Methodist Church Nigeria is to rouse Nigerians to the fully alive, risen life of Jesus’ friends and disciples, and to dream God’s dream for healing, restoration, and reconciliation. The urgent task before Nigerian Methodism at 175 is prophetic, especially in the face of our spiritual and national complacency when things go well and tribal/self-centred despair when things go bad. Our prophetic calling could be a resource for faithful and united hope that does not rest on cynical tribal and self-concerns. Nigeria, presently under the materialistic self-assertion of our political elites summons Nigerian Methodism to arise and be a voice for the millions of voiceless Nigerians living in poverty. God is calling Nigerian Methodism to attest to the ways in which God is mocked and Nigerians are demeaned by spiritual and ‘political arrogance, economic manipulation, and religious obtuseness.’ Prophetically, Methodist Church Nigeria is raised to denounce and ‘expose the distorted view of societal reality sustained by the ideology that breeds unrealistic notions of entitlement, privilege, and superiority.’ Nigeria need alternative story that refuses the greed and secular illusion and ideology and that takes the reality of experiencing Methodism in Truth and Spirit, working and walking with God in the light of His Word.

Nigerian Methodists prophetic task is both theological and pragmatic. The secret of our prophetic task as a church of Jesus Christ is the oneness of our leadership. Regardless of our present situation and challenges, our prophetic potential summons us to be fully alive with one another. Faced with cloud of witnesses, our oneness reflects and assures us of the very nature of God. God is calling us to make every effort to keep the unity of Methodism in Nigeria as a reflection of God’s own unity and model of unity and revival in Nigeria.


PRAYER: Heavenly Father thank You for 175 years of Methodism in Nigeria. We thank You that we are all One in Christ and we pray that as member of Your body, Your Holy Spirit would knit us together in the bond of unity and love.  O Lord, we ask that You would continue to equip each of us, both individually and corporately with the talents and gifts that may be used to Your praise and glory for our edification and evangelism in Nigeria and all over the world.  Protect us from the wiles of the enemy who seeks to destroy and cause divisions among us. Help us to be sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, and hospitable and gentle one towards each other. Let us not be motivated by selfishness but in humility may we seek to regard the needs and necessities of others before our own.

Give wisdom and good health to our Prelate, His Eminence Dr Samuel Chukwu Emeka Uche and all our leaders. Give wisdom to those that teach and a teachable spirit to those that listen. Thank you Lord for answered prayer.