St. Paul's Cathedral Ahoada
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St. Paul's Church History:

 

THE ADVENT OF CHRISTAINTY IN ST. PAUL'S N.D.P. CHURCH EHUDA (AHOADA)

 

History has it that in reply to the appeal made to London by king William Dapper Pepple of Bonny, the Rt. Rev. Ajayi Crowther was sent to Bonny in 1864 by the C.M. S; and Christianity was thus planted. The People of Bonny embraced Christianity and put in their life, wealth and energy to spread same . Commercial activities at that time , along the riverine areas, aided the spread of Christianity first at Ogbele, the gateway by water, to the hinterland of the Ekpeye Kingdom.

About the year 1900, Christianity was established at Ehuda (Ahoada) at Unuoshi-Udor, through the activities of traders from Okologba i.e the kalabaris on the river Sombreiro. Trading in palm produce, Oil and kernel has been on between these tribes.

The Kalabari traders came also with the word. They anchored to sell or buy. There were converts among those who heard the word of God. These converts became early Christians or worshippers of God. Within the same period as the converts increased in number, Mr. Okodu Nwolisa volunteered his hall for Church worship at Igbu Ogbor quarters of Ehuda (Ahoada).

While the Church activities were smoothly going on at Okodu's hall, his first son named Okpoloko Okodu Nwolisa was vehemently against the new religion in his father's compound since he was a heathen. To avoid the problems of the heathens as led by Okpoloko Okodu Nwolisa, about the year 1902-1904, the converts worshiped in a mud house with a thatched roof, in Akrika's compound of Igbu Ogbor quarters that was more comfortable.

Sam Oge and Frank Ebe of Urmudhor Igwe Family donated a piece of Land situated in front of Isaiah Kinidhor's house; the converts built a batcher with a zink roof, this was also more comfortable to them.

Years later, when the number of converts increased tremendously, Pa Mark Echikwa donated the present site in 1910, where the present Church block house known as St. Paul's Niger Delta Protectorate Church (NDP) Ehuda (Ahoada) or "Church Ehuda" as it is popularly called. During this period (1910) the Government School Ahoada was established and the first Head Master Mr. J.B. Liverpool a West Indian was sent there. He was as then doing a dual job of piloting the affairs of the School and as well as helping the spread of Evangelism in Ehuda (Ahoada). The first man who was confirmed in 1909 by the Rt. Rev. Herbert Tugwell D. D. at Abonnema, was Pa. Mark Echikwa; others who were confirmed later by other Bishops, were elders Michael Aliegbe, and Christopher Okpo and Thomas Ajiekeh. It will interest us to note that Mr. Frank Enwudhuma Ajiekeh was the first bell ringer of the church.

 

The early Christians did not find things easy in Ehuda (Ahoada) Town. They were discriminated against by the Elders of the Town particularly the "Egbukele Cult" members, who wondered why their sons should revolt against them by joining a strange Religion at the expense of all their deities, idols, gods, Unuobodo, eleula in Ehuda and in Ekpeye and they were hostile to Christains because they did not support the killing of twin babies and their mothers . They discouraged the sacrifice of human beings to idols. Christain resisted the evil practices that prevailed before the advent of Christainity. The stand of the Christains encouraged the families that lost their children and mothers due to the barbaric action of the heathens.

These were the names of some founding fathers, Okodu Nwolisa, lshike Edema, Apia Egbeleke, Mark Echikwa, Jonah Ihua, David Ideozu, Joseph Enyedike, Moses Ahuzie, Frank Enwudhuma Ajiekeh, Samuel Oge, Ogbu Ikpe, Isaac Udho, Michael U. Aliegbe, Francis Ekpo Egbe, Joseph Unwe Edeh, Frank Ebe, Henry Dimkpa Echikwa, Christopher Okpo, Simeon Ukpo Echi, Isaac Edima, Dick Odu, Samuel China, Moses Manna, Dolphin Court Amakiri, and others.

Inspite of the hostility which the Church witnessed during this period, it embarked on one of the most notable projects in Ehuda Town. In 1925 a primary School was started to give education to 'the people of the Church and those who were interested. St. Paul's N.D.P. (CMS) Church was enhanced and the administrative headquarters was moved from Ogbele to Ehuda (Ahoada) in same year 1925 for administrative convenience. It was a big challenge to the church at Ehuda (Ahoada), who immediately embarked on school building project. First, a Nursery School was opened and parents were encouraged to send their children to learn the A.B.C.D. lessons. Later, a formal primary school was started for the primary pupils of school age.

St. Paul's NDP church embarked on a Maternity home project, while the school work was not completed. This was a very sound, beautiful and lovely home where pregnant women attended throughout their pregnancy, good care was given to women. It was the first of such facility in the whole of Ahoada District. It became functional in the mid forties. A trained Midwife and an Assistant were posted to man the maternity. It was a blessing to the community. They were also taught basic hygiene and health lessons which improved their knowledge.

They also opened a domestic center where young ladies were trained to sew, cook, knead and learn to care for the home. The location of the church Administrative Headquarters to Ahoada and the visible projects, left and right and the love of God by the church people spurred them to embark further on the building of a Vicarage, the first of its kind in the whole area. This Vicarage which started in the mid 1940s was dedicated in 1951. The year "1951", is boldly written on it. We can appreciate the joy that surged the hearts of the people of St. Paul's N.D.P. (CMS) Church Ehuda (Ahoada).

 

In 1952, a new Diocese was carved out of the Niger Delta Protectorate and named Niger Delta Diocese and Ahoada and it's surroundings became part of this Diocese. Ahoada had a full Parish church under the new Diocese it became a district and later an Archdeaconry made up of the Ekpeye, Engeni, Abua, Ogba, Egbema Ndoni by the special grace of God Ahoada is now a Diocese of its own, hence we are now in the Diocese of Ahoada from July, 2004, with St. Paul's church as the Cathedral.