Friday, February 18, 2011

PCUSA Mission Yearbook - Nigeria - February 18, 2011

The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria traces its origins to 1846, when missionaries from Scotland arrived in Calabar, at the invitation of the local kings.  In its early years, the church spread to the nearby cities of Port Harcourt and Aba.  In more recent times, it has expanded into Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, and Abuja, the political capital.  The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria is a large, vibrant, and growing denomination.  It is a wonderful example of how a church can be African, charismatic, and Reformed, all at the same time. 

The church has placed a high priority on establishing a university, named Hope Waddell University, in honor of the first Presbyterian missionary to arrive in the country.  The church envisions “a dynamic institution built on the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria’s tradition of academic excellence and the Church’s commitment to the regeneration of society toward service to God and humanity.”  It sees the university as a way to train leaders who will serve Nigeria, just as the church has served the country. 

Nigeria’s potential is enormous.  It has a large and educated population, and vast natural resources.  But the problems are also daunting.  There is periodic violence between religious and ethnic groups, and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few while most are poor.  Let us pray, therefore, for the church and its work. 

Lord God, you have promised that in Christ, there is a new creation, the old has past and the new is come.  We pray for the Christian mission, ministry, and service of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.  With the power of your Holy Spirit, may they bring about transformation and regeneration of church and society.  

The moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Rev. U. B. Usung, standing in front of a historic congregation in the city of Calabar.  

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